This Week's News

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building in Washington, D.C.

SEC Charges NJ Lawyer With Creating, Selling Sham Companies

Charles Toutant | May 13, 2016

A New Jersey lawyer and a California stock promoter have been charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with creating a series of shell corporations in order to defraud investors.

Excellence in education and zealous advocacy are hallmarks of association

The first installment in a three-part series looking at the groups and entities that make the NJSBA work.

Hille welcomes state's law students to the profession

NJSBA President Robert B. Hille went back to school to welcome hundreds of incoming law school students.

Blog Roll: Blogs from the New Jersey State Bar Foundation's Legally Speaking

The New Jersey State Bar Foundation's new blog, Legally Speaking, addresses questions for the public.

CAPITOL REPORT

This week's report focuses on the court rule changes coming in September, many of which the NJSBA addressed in the comment process.

John Beisner of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

For Plaintiffs Bar, Taking on J&J Means Battling a Shadow Foe

By Amanda Bronstad |

In lobbying and litigation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Johnson & Johnson often draw from the same playbook. One major connection is John Beisner, head of mass torts at Skadden Arps.

Court Says NJ Plaintiff Firms Can Fight It Out Over Fees

By Michael Booth |

Two New Jersey law firms will have to battle it out over fees generated in a product liability suit where the client switched firms midstream, a New Jersey appeals court has ruled.

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Court's Wisdom 40 Years Ago Makes Guadagno's Run Possible

By Editorial Board |

We have watched a remarkable change in the rights of couples in our society over the last several years, but in so doing we should recall that it was only 40 years ago that spouses were still united for purposes of judicial conduct, and a spouse did not then truly have individual rights. Luckily we had judicial leaders who could see the future, and a court that could expeditiously change the rules in response to changing times.

The Slants

In 'Slants' Case, Court Correctly Rejects Disparagement Clause

By Law Journal Editorial Board |

With the Tam case, the Supreme Court has added another decision to our lexicon of strong First Amendment cases by reiterating in a new and different context that viewpoint or content-based discrimination will not be tolerated.

Breathless Go-go Bar in Rahway

Dancer's Statutory Claim Against Club Not Subject to Arbitration

By Charles Toutant |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has reinstated a suit claiming that exotic dancers at a men's club have been wrongly classified as independent contractors.

Honeywell Diversity VP Says in Suit She Was Fired for Fighting Discrimination

By Charles Toutant |

Honeywell International faces a suit from a former vice president who said she was hired to increase diversity at the executive level but contends she was hired as window dressing.

Judge Marianne Espinosa of the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court.

Court Upends Award, Including Attorney Fees, for Wrongful Murder Conviction

By Michael Booth |

A New Jersey man who spent more than 20 years in prison on a double murder conviction before being released for lack of evidence won't be eligible for compensation unless he can actually prove he was innocent, a state appeals court has ruled.

An EpiPen set during a House Oversight Committee hearing on Capitol Hill addressing the price increase of the company's EpiPen product.

Mylan Settles EpiPen Pricing Claims for $465M

By Max Mitchell |

Mylan has agreed to pay $465 million to settle claims that the Pennsylvania-based ­drugmaker misclassified its EpiPen allergy medication to avoid paying Medicaid rebates.

A photo of Heather Heyer, who was killed during a white nationalist rally, sits on the ground at a memorial the day her life was celebrated at the Paramount Theater, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Little Legal Recourse for Supremacists Booted Off Tech Platforms, Experts Say

By David Ruiz |

A small group of tech companies are legally protected, for the most part, in their decisions to kick users off their platforms for privately and publicly espousing white supremacy.

3rd Circuit Calls for New Look at Class Certification in BMW Junk Fax Suit

By Charles Toutant |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has vacated a ruling denying class certification to persons complaining about junk faxes sent allegedly from the financing arm of BMW.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Fifth Circuit Revives Defamation Suit Against NYT Over Slavery Quotes

By John Council |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has slapped the New York Times by reviving a defamation lawsuit filed against it by a Louisiana economics professor and libertarian who sued the newspaper for defamation after he was quoted in an article stating that slavery was "not so bad."

Kobre & Kim partners Steven Kobre, left, and Michael Kim, right.

Is Change Now Unstoppable for Law Firm Billing?

By Miriam Rozen |

New billing models are about to sweep the industry, according to one law firm leader who says alternative fees helped catapult his firm onto The Am Law 200 just 14 years after he founded it.

New York Skyline

One OAG Lieutenant Bound for Big Law, Another Retiring

By Michael Booth |

Two high-ranking officials in the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety are leaving, Attorney General Christopher Porrino has announced.

NJ Municipal Bond Counsel

Wilentz, McManimon Trade Places on NJ Bond Counsel List

By David Gialanella |

Larger bond issues but fewer of them—that's the general takeaway from New Jersey's public finance market this year, which again included a significant number of refinancings of existing government debt. The list of active bond counsel included mostly familiar names, though the firms occupying the top two spots last year traded places.

retrieved 8/2015-   Cheryl Ann Krause, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia.

Circuit Reverses Transfer of Howmedica Sales Rep Suit to California

By Charles Toutant |

The appeals court overturned an order transferring the entire case to the Northern District of California, finding the move violated the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in "Atlantic Marine Construction v. U.S. District Court."

Stethoscope

Treating Doctor Can't Testify on Standard of Care, Court Says

By Michael Booth |

A New Jersey appeals court has ruled that a doctor who corrected a colleague's alleged surgical errors should not have been permitted to testify on the standard of care in the resulting medical malpractice case.

Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Suit Over Dating Pharma Execs' Exchange of Trade Secrets Heats Up in Discovery

By Max Mitchell |

The dispute between generic drugmakers Apotex and Teva stemming from a former Teva executive's alleged disclosure of trade secrets to an Apotex CEO while the two were dating is heating up, with the parties now sparring over the speed of discovery.

David McAtee, senior executive vice president and general counsel at AT&T.

AT&T GC Says Choosing ADR Over Court Has Become 'Overriding Philosophy'

By Jennifer Williams-Alvarez |

David McAtee of AT&T opens up about his company's use of ADR and why it (usually) is preferred over going to court.

ABA Report Promotes Changes to Treat Addiction, Depression

By Roy Strom |

A report released Monday by the American Bar Association hopes to help the legal profession address addiction and depression by detailing sweeping changes that bar regulators, judges, law firms, law schools and others can make to address what the report says amounts to a crisis in lawyers’ well-being.

U.S. District Judge Jose Linares

BASF Alleges Conflict, Says Rivera-Soto Shouldn't Serve as Asbestos Special Master

By Charles Toutant |

For the second time in a month, the judge in a fraudulent-concealment case against BASF and law firm Cahill, Gordon & Reindel is hearing grumbling over his choice of discovery special master.

Alan Alda on the art and science of relating and communicating

Alan Alda to discuss communication at NJICLE event

Merck CEO Quits Trump Advisory Council Amid White Nationalist Protests in Va.

By Michael Booth |

Kenneth Frazier, the chairman and CEO of pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. and a member of President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council, abruptly quit the administration's advisory committee following Trump's response to right-wing violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

What's the Next Hot Market for Law Firm Mergers?

By Roy Strom |

In recent months, the Midwest has seen a spurt of law firm combinations. Smaller firms are joining forces.

Job Site Electrical Burns Lead to $1.325M Settlement in Middlesex

By Charles Toutant |

An electrical contractor who suffered burns in an explosion at a job site agreed to a $1.325 million settlement in his Middlesex County suit, Young v. Palin Enterprises, on June 19.

Appellate Ruling Could Change Local Finance Game; Publish It

By Law Journal Editorial Board |

A recent unpublished Appellate Division decision, National Loan Acquisitions v. Bridgeton Municipal Port Authority, has important consequences for the credit of New Jersey's municipalities and should therefore, we think, be approved for publication.

Morey's Pier Opinion Got it Right On Tort Claims Issue

By Law Journal Editorial Board |

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently held that the notice requirements of the Tort Claims Act apply to cross-claims and third party claims, and forged a practical and equitable solution to situations in which a defendant loses the right to seek contribution due to the plaintiff's delay. We think the opinion is not only correct, but also well reasoned and provides excellent guidance.

Best Buy Employment Arbitration Agreement Held Unenforceable

By Charles Toutant |

A New Jersey appeals court has voided Best Buy's mandatory arbitration policy for workplace disputes based on the company's failure to obtain employees' assent to the terms.

$123K Fee Award Against Montclair in Ordinance Challenge Reversed

By Michael Booth |

A New Jersey appeals court has overturned a counsel fee award to a Montclair resident who successfully challenged a local ordinance allowing for the construction of an assisted-living facility.

General Council accepting candidates

NJSBA General Council seeks candidates; petitions due Sept. 13

Irvington Mayor Cleared of Sexual Assault Claim in Employee's Suit

By Charles Toutant |

An Essex County jury has returned a no-cause verdict in a civil suit, clearing Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss on a claim that he sexually assaulted and harassed a city employee. The jury ordered his accuser to pay $7,000 on a counterclaim for defamation.

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in downtown Washington, DC.

OCC Has Banking Sandbox-Like 'Pilot' for Fintechs in the Works

By Stephanie Forshee |

The banking regulator's chief counsel gave her thoughts on the pilot program at the ABA's annual meeting Thursday.

GlaxoSmithKline headquaters.

How Pharma Giant GSK Got Tough on Fixed Fees

By Chris Johnson |

As Microsoft pushes to move nearly all its outside legal work away from the billable hour, GlaxoSmithKline puts its own alternative fee formula on display.

Equal Employment Opportunity Comm'n v. City of Long Branch

District Court Erroneously Treated Administrative Agency's Motion to Enforce Subpoena as Nondispositive Rather than Dispositive

Bernards Township, NJ. Wikimedia

Bernards Mosque Settlement Spurs 2 New Suits

By Charles Toutant |

Two months after Bernards Township agreed to a $3.25 million settlement of litigation over its denial of a mosque application, the settlement has been challenged in two suits by a conservative religious group.

On the left is Muhammad Faridi. On the right is Adeel Mangi.

Living the American Dream, These Big Law Partners Have Seen an Ugly Side

By Leigh Jones |

As part of a small minority of partners of Southeast Asian descent and as Muslims in Big Law, Muhammad Faridi and Adeel Mangi feel a special sense of accomplishment from a victory that allowed the construction of a mosque.

Avvo Blasts New Ethics Opinions on Attorney Match Services

By Christine Simmons |

New York has become the latest state to target attorney match service Avvo Inc. for ethical violations.

Mary Jane Augustine.

McCarter & English Ex-Practice Leader Adapts to Business World

By McKenna Moore |

With football season less than a month away, one former Big Law partner who represented the National Football League’s New York Giants and New York Jets on the construction of MetLife Stadium is getting ready for a new season of her own.

FBI Director Christopher Wray

Bill, Spurred by Wray Representation, Would Mandate Retainers

By Michael Booth |

One of Gov. Chris Christie's most persistent critics in the state Legislature is sponsoring a bill that effectively would have barred Christie's apparent hiring of high-profile lawyer Christopher Wray—now the FBI director—without a written retainer agreement.

Law Journal Seeks Nominees for Diverse Attorneys of the Year

The Law Journal is seeking suggestions for our second Diverse Attorneys of the Year honors.

GNC Dodges Potential Consumer Class Action Over Website

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Pennsylvania federal judge has dismissed a nascent class action against vitamin and nutritional supplement chain GNC alleging the company's website violated New Jersey state consumer law.

Value of Firm Equity Tackled in Big Law Partner's Divorce Case

By David Gialanella |

In a 53-page decision that at times reads like a partnership primer, the Appellate Division has tackled the tricky issue of the monetary value of a lawyer's practice, and in the process upended many aspects of a New Jersey Big Law attorney's divorce judgment.

Craig Carpenito.

Carpenito Favored for US Attorney as Berman Sets Sights on New York

By Charles Toutant |

Securities lawyer Craig Carpenito has emerged as the front-runner for the job of U.S. attorney in the District of New Jersey, according to sources familiar with the search process. Carpenito came under consideration for the job after Geoffrey Berman, a Greenberg Traurig lawyer previously the favorite, became a candidate for the job of U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York, those sources said.

Comcast

NJ Consumer Affairs Chief Going In-House at Comcast

By Michael Booth |

Steve Lee, the director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, is resigning to take a job with Comcast, the nation's largest telecommunications conglomerate.

MDL Panel Steers Nexium, Prilosec Litigation to NJ Federal Court

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal judicial panel has transferred more than 200 cases to New Jersey involving heartburn medications Nexium and Prilosec just six months after it refused a similar request.

U.S. Justice Department in Washington

Whistleblower Snags $9M in Case Against Mortgage Lender PHH Corp.

By C. Ryan Barber |

A whistleblower was awarded $9.4 million Tuesday for her role in raising concerns about possible misconduct at the New Jersey-based mortgage lender PHH Corp., which will pay $74.5 million overall to resolve claims the company's loan practices put borrowers and the U.S. government at risk.

Justice Anne Patterson

NJ Supreme Court Rewrites Standard for Child Relocation

By Michael Booth |

The New Jersey Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned a 16-year-old precedent that has been widely used to determine whether a custodial parent can relocate children to another state over the objections of the other parent.

Miguel Alexander Pozo of Duane Morris in Atlanta.

Lessons Learned In-House at Mercedes-Benz USA

By Stephanie Forshee |

Miguel Alexander Pozo, who recently left Mercedes-Benz USA for Duane Morris, shared some of his lessons from his time in the automotive company's legal department.

2016 N.J. State of the State Address by Gov. Chris Christie

Closed-Circuit Testimony Extended to Adults in New Law

By Michael Booth |

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday signed legislation permitting victims and witnesses of alleged domestic violence or sexual assault to testify against defendants through closed-circuit television—a possibility that until now existed only for minors.

Judge Garrett Brown

Rivera-Soto Named as New Special Master in Asbestos Claimants' Fraudulent-Concealment Suit

By Charles Toutant |

After plaintiffs said a special master's hourly rate is at the top of the scale for New Jersey, the judge in a fraudulent-concealment case against BASF and law firm Cahill, Gordon & Reindel has replaced the first candidate with someone, a former justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, who charges less.

Geoffrey Berman

Report: Trump Wants Greenberg Traurig Shareholder for Bharara's Old Job

By Josefa Velasquez |

Geoffrey Berman, who co-leads the New Jersey office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig, is in consideration to lead the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan, BuzzFeed reported Monday afternoon.

Police Dashcam Footage Is a Disclosable Public Record

By Law Journal Editorial Board |

At a time of often bitter and hostile public discord concerning police shootings, our court's ruling was sage, both as a matter of law and public policy.

$4.25 Million Settlement in Child Med Mal Case in Essex

By David Gialanella |

A settlement in which medical professionals agreed to pay a combined $4.25 million to settle a suit over complications from a toddler's tonsillectomy was approved by an Essex County judge on June 26 in Charles v. Thomas.

N.J. Supreme Court Justice Jaynee LaVecchia

Court Split on Public Records Requirements for Fire Department

By Michael Booth |

Fire districts in New Jersey, which provide most of the state's firefighting services, are subject to the Open Public Records Act, though their member fire companies may not be subject to the same rules, the state Supreme Court ruled on Monday.

Call for New Speakers and Innovative Ideas

NJICLE launches speaker portal

CAPITOL REPORT

A report on recent action in Trenton of interest to NJSBA members

Mock Trial programs expose students to the law and foster critical thinking

Bar foundation mock trial programs highlighted

Energy Trio Helps McCarter & English Expand in DC

By Meghan Tribe |

The firm has brought on Allen O’Neil, Christine Ryan and Emily Streett as partners in Washington, D.C., from Holland & Knight, where the trio joined the latter three years ago in a mass lateral move from now-defunct boutique Brickfield, Burchette, Ritts & Stone.

Order to Wash Windows While Pregnant Was Discriminatory, Panel Rules

By Charles Toutant |

An appeals court has ruled that a medical technician presented a prima facie case of pregnancy discrimination with her wrongful termination suit over her refusal to climb a ladder to wash windows after being diagnosed with a high-risk pregnancy.

Third Circuit Upholds Racketeering Conviction of Ferriero, Ex-Bergen Democratic Leader

By Charles Toutant |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has upheld the conviction of former Bergen County Democratic Committee chairman Joseph Ferriero, who was sentenced to 35 months in jail on bribery and racketeering charges.

Suit Over Decades-Old Abuse Claims Against Scout Leader Not Time-Barred

By Charles Toutant |

Three former boy scouts who claimed they were sexually abused by a scout leader in the 1990s have been cleared to proceed with a civil suit after a Bergen County judge rejected a challenge on statute of limitations grounds.

Developer Wins Automatic Approval After Board Rebuffs Application

By Charles Toutant |

An application to build two high-rise buildings on the Hoboken waterfront is entitled to automatic approval after the city planning board refused to hold hearings on the plan, a New Jersey appeals court has ruled.

Court Affirms Expert Needed for Proximate Cause in Legal Mal

By Michael Booth |

The Appellate Division has reaffirmed trial courts' authority to require a legal malpractice plaintiff to present expert testimony to demonstrate proximate cause.

Obamacare website

Secular Anti-Abortion Groups Must Provide Contraceptive Coverage, Split Third Circuit Rules

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Nonreligious anti-abortion organizations are not exempt from the Affordable Care Act's mandate that their health insurers cover birth control in employees' insurance plans, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Suits Challenge Towns' Registration Fees For Vacant Houses

By Charles Toutant |

Local regulations intended to crack down on the proliferation of "zombie houses" are facing court challenges in Southern New Jersey.

George Washington Bridge

Unidentified Christie Aides Subject to Bridgegate OPRA Fines

By Michael Booth |

A state appeals court ruled that officials in the Christie administration could face civil penalties for failing to release documents, requested by a newspaper group under the state's Open Public Records Act, related to the Bridgegate scandal.

Kremlin complex in Moscow

New VPN Ban in Russia Latest Step in Increasing Cyber Risk for US Companies

By Ed Silverstein |

Recent Russian cyber actions, such as the restrictive use of VPN technology, may make it more difficult for companies to conduct routine business activities.

U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

In Big Leap, SCOTUS Announces E-Filing Is Coming Soon

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Thursday that electronic filing of case documents will be required beginning on November 13 and virtually all new filings will be available free of cost to the public. The system will not be part of PACER, the longstanding operation used by lower federal courts, which charges for documents by the page.

Third Circuit Clarifies Discretion to Reject Declaratory Judgment Actions

By Kenneth M. Portner |

Insurance companies often prefer to litigate insurance coverage issues in federal courts. There are a number of reasons for this. First, well-founded or not, there is a general perception that the federal bench is more accustomed to addressing the complex legal issues that can sometimes arise in insurance coverage disputes. Second, while insurance coverage litigation is often adjudicated on dispositive motions, where there is a factual dispute to be resolved, the federal courts offer a more diverse jury pool, an important factor where the state court jury pool is perceived as unfriendly to insurers. Finally, litigation in federal court insulates an insurer from any perceived local bias in favor of a local insured.

Hughes Justice Complex, Trenton, N.J.

Court to Decide Cross-State Issue in Workers' Comp Case

By Michael Booth |

The New Jersey Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether the Division of Workers' Compensation has jurisdiction over the case of a state resident who was hurt on an out-of-state job site but was at home when he accepted the offer of employment.

The Ebola virus under a microscope

Remuneration Rare in Quarantine Suits, Ebola Nurse Settlement Shows

By Charles Toutant |

The failure of nurse Kaci Hickox to collect any money after being held by state officials for 80 hours in a tent outside a hospital, even after twice testing negative for Ebola, illustrates the difficulties of getting compensated for allegations of excessive quarantine measures.

Judge Involved in Friend's Custody Case Denies Ethics Violations

By Michael Booth |

A New Jersey judge is denying that she violated ethics rules by becoming involved in a friend's child custody case.

Donald Trump

Lawsuit Claims Fox News, Trump Conspired on DNC Staffer Murder Story

By Cogan Schneier and Colby Hamilton |

Rod Wheeler, a Fox News commentator and private investigator, alleges unpaid Fox News contributor Ed Butowsky and reporter Malia Zimmerman used fake quotations in the now retracted story "because that is the way the president wanted the article."

Chipotle Wants Lawyers in Overtime Suit Sanctioned for Contempt

By Erin Mulvaney |

Attorneys for Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. on Tuesday said a lawsuit filed against the company in New Jersey represented a “dismissive attitude” toward a court order that halted the contentious Obama-era labor rule that made millions of workers eligible for overtime.

Robert Kugler

Drugmakers Agree to $300M Settlement in MDL Over Hypertension Medication Benicar

By Charles Toutant |

Drugmakers Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Laboratories have agreed to a $300 million settlement in multidistrict litigation by users of hypertension drug Benicar who claimed they developed severe gastrointestinal side effects.

No Live Witness Guarantee at Bail Hearings, High Court Says

By Michael Booth |

Criminal defendants in New Jersey facing pretrial detention under the state's new bail system do not have an automatic right to confront witnesses at their hearings, the state Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday.

gevel in a courtroom

Potential Litigation Uptick Seen From 3rd Circuit's Workplace Slur Ruling

By Max Mitchell |

In the wake of a federal appeals court's holding that a single slur uttered in the workplace may establish a hostile work environment claim, attorneys are expecting to see an uptick in lawsuits.

Theodore McKee

Third Circuit Says Mistrust of Town's Lawyer Is Grounds for Dismissal

By Charles Toutant |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled that a lack of trust and confidence is sufficient cause for members of a municipal council to terminate a township solicitor who has not acted illegally or unethically.

Louis Greenwald

'Digital Fiduciary' Act Gets Final Legislative Approval

By Michael Booth |

New Jersey may soon join a growing number of states recognizing a fiduciary heir's right to obtain control of a decedent's digital assets.

New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Barry T. Albin.

Lenders Can't Revise Foreclosure Mediation Accords, Court Says

By Michael Booth |

A mortgage lender participating in New Jersey's foreclosure mediation program may not unilaterally modify the terms of a mediated settlement designed to keep the homeowner in his or her home, the state Supreme Court ruled on Monday.

Deadline is this week

NJ Commission on Professionalism seeks candidates for awards

NJSBA magazine explores biotechnology and genetics

August state bar magazine focuses on biotechnology and genetics

CAPITOL REPORT

A report on recent action in Trenton of interest to NJSBA members

Association presents networking and education this month

Upcoming events of interest to NJSBA members

Suits & Deals

By — By Maryam Asjad |

Web Summary, dateline, etc. here

Disgorgement is Now Undoubtedly a Penalty

By Law Journal Editorial Board |

No longer will there be doubt about the requirement that disgorgement actions be brought within the statutory limitations period.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau building in Washington, D.C.

New CFPB Rule is Not 'Anti-Arbitration'

By Law Journal Editorial Board |

Faced with public pressure regarding perceived abuses in pre-dispute arbitration agreements with consumers, the Dodd-Frank financial reforms of July 2010 included two specific measures intended to address those concerns. First, the act prohibited mandatory pre-dispute arbitration clauses in residential mortgages. Second, it required the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau established by the Act (CFPB) to study pre-dispute arbitration agreements in consumer financial documents subject to the bureau's jurisdiction and, upon completion of the study, to issue regulations restricting or prohibiting the use of such agreements if in the public interest and for the benefit of consumers.

NJ Must Innovate to Solve Access-to-Justice Problem

By Law Journal Editorial Board |

Innovation is not simply a matter of technology. Shutting down competitive models that do not comport with appropriate rules is appropriate, but does not solve the more fundamental problem that spawned these alternative models in the first place.

German Luxury Carmakers Hit With Price-Fixing Class Action Suit

By Charles Toutant |

A suit filed in federal court in New Jersey accuses German luxury carmakers of colluding to sell their cars at inflated prices in the United States.

Anne Milgram

Lowenstein Adds Ex-NJ AG, Data Pro Anne Milgram in NY

By Meghan Tribe |

Milgram served as New Jersey's top lawyer from 2007 until 2010. She has since been championing the use of smart data, analytics and technology to reform the criminal justice system.

Over 2,000 Accutane Suits Revived, Appeals Court Says Trial Judge Exceeded Gatekeeper Role

By Charles Toutant |

More than 2,100 suits by users of the acne drug Accutane who developed Crohn's disease have been reinstated after an appeals court ruled that expert testimony on behalf of plaintiffs was improperly excluded by the trial judge.

University of Southern California

Reports on USC Probe Spotlight Gibson Dunn Ties

By MIRIAM ROZEN |

As University of Southern California alumni digest the news of ex-medical school dean Carmen Puliafito’s alleged drug-fueled escapades—and the university’s handling of the scandal—USC’s president announced last week that it had tapped Debra Wong Yang, a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, to conduct a “thorough” investigation.

How Firms Should Be Measuring the Profitability of Matters

By Hugh A. Simons |

Strategist Hugh Simons looks at how firms typically track matter profitability, and what they should be doing instead—looking at margin per partner hour.

Deal Watch: Summer Sees Payment Systems Mergers Heat Up

By Meghan Tribe |

July was a busy month for billion-dollar M&A deals, as the European market began to show signs of recovery from a Brexit-induced shock, although the ensuing transactional trauma did not prove to be as devastating as initially feared. The sales of several payment systems companies this month generated key roles for nearly a dozen large firms.

Pokéstop: Judge Calls Timeout in Suit Against Pokémon Go Maker

By Ross Todd |

A judge in San Francisco has asked property owners to show why their nuisance and trespass claims against Niantic Inc. belong in federal court.

EPIPEN® (epinephrine injection, USP) Auto-Injector 0.3 mg

MDL Panel Appears Reluctant to Consolidate Cases

By Amanda Bronstad |

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation appeared loath to coordinate many of the cases that came up on Thursday, including one involving record requests over the enforcement of President Donald Trump's travel ban.

NJ Supreme Court Justice Anne Patterson.

Claim Against School Curtailed in Suit Over Fatal Amusement Park Accident on Class Trip

By Charles Toutant |

In a suit over a child's fatal accident, an amusement park operator may not seek indemnification from the charter school that organized the outing, but it can seek a verdict allocating fault to the school, the state Supreme Court has ruled.

How One Company (With Help From Sheppard Mullin) Has Raked in $145 Million from Enforcing Its Employment Agreements

By Jenna Greene |

Here’s a number to marvel at: $145 million. That’s how much interdealer broker TP ICAP has recovered in the last three years by enforcing its employee agreements in the United States, according to Stephen Goulet, general counsel for the Americas.

In First Calif. Talc Trial, It's the Defense Taking the Offensive

By Amanda Bronstad |

Johnson & Johnson's lawyers went on the attack Wednesday in the first California trial over talcum powder, even moving for a mistrial in the middle of opening statements.

NJ Appellate Judge Michael Guadagno

Appellate Division Revives 'Sham Litigation' Case, Seeing Anti-Competitive Pattern

By Tom McParland |

A New Jersey appeals court on Tuesday revived a lawsuit alleging that a supermarket and its lawyer had filed anti-competitive sham litigation in an effort to delay development of a shopping complex in Woolwich.

Wells Fargo

Lawyer's 'Inadvertent' E-Discovery Failures Led to Wells Fargo Data Breach

By Christine Simmons |

A massive Wells Fargo customer data breach was not the work of a hacker, but of the bank's own lawyer who failed to review an entire set of discovery documents, including information about the bank's wealthy customers, before it was shipped to a litigation adversary.

Vito Gagliardi

Porzio Sets Up Shop in South Jersey

By Lizzy McLellan |

The new outpost may make Porzio the largest firm to have an office in Ocean City.

Appellate Division Revives More Than 300 Accutane Suits

By Charles Toutant |

A state appeals court has revived more than 300 suits filed against Hoffmann-La Roche by users of the acne drug Accutane who claim the drug caused them to develop inflammatory bowel disease.

L-R Mike McGlamry and M.J. Blakely Jr., Pope McGlamry, Atlanta.

Pope McGlamry Lawyers Step Up to Lead Combined Hip Replacement Litigation

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Michael McGlamry and M.J. Blakely of Pope McGlamry have been appointed to lead separate coordinated litigation efforts related to hip implant product liability lawsuits, the firm has announced.

Transatlantic Merger Concept.

Cross-Border Combinations Drive US Law Firm Merger Activity to Record Highs

By Chris Johnson |

Is Big Law going to continue the merger trend?

Cancer Patient Sues MVC for Discrimination in Processing Photo License

By Charles Toutant |

A cancer patient who lost her hair due to chemotherapy is claiming in a suit that a Motor Vehicle Commission employee repeatedly ordered her to remove her headwrap for her driver's license photo.

George Washington Bridge

Federal Judge Tosses Civil Conspiracy Claim Over Bridgegate Traffic Jams

By Charles Toutant |

A federal judge in Newark has entered judgment for New Jersey in a civil suit brought on behalf of plaintiffs who were caught in traffic jams brought on by the September 2013 George Washington Bridge access lane closures.

Clients Pushing Hard for Diversity? Not Exactly

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Maybe it's because I get jaded easily, but I just can't get myself excited that the legal profession is really getting on the stick about diversity or women.

L’Oréal facility in Clark, New Jersey

First-Blush Dismissal of L'Oréal Lawyer's CEPA Case Reversed

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A suit in which a former patent attorney for French cosmetics giant L'Oréal alleged he was fired for standing up for ethical legal practices was dismissed in its early stages. But now a federal appeals court has reinstated the case, saying the claims "were more than skin-deep."

Subha Barry, Working Mother Media.

Working Mother Names Best Law Firms for Women, Laments Industry's 'Glacial' Progress

By Miriam Rozen |

The firms are eager to be recognized for their efforts, but progress in the industry overall is nothing to celebrate.

Workplace Marijuana Rules Confronted in Discrimination Cases

By Erin Mulvaney |

Marijuana use in the workplace has become increasingly hazy as more states legalize the drug and employers grapple with how to adjust their policies to the complex jumble of new laws and court decisions.

Mary Patricia Magee

NJ Estate Tax Phaseout Hasn't Haunted T&E Practices

By David Gialanella |

More than a half year into the increased New Jersey estate tax exemption, and months shy of the tax's outright elimination, the issue seems barely to have registered for lawyers at bulky trusts and estates practices.

Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield building, Newark, NJ

Consultant Report Must Be Turned Over in Suit Over Health Insurer's Plan

By Charles Toutant |

The Supreme Court has ordered the state's largest health insurance company to turn over consultant reports and other materials it relied on when establishing its two-tier OMNIA system to hospitals relegated to the second tier. The justices overturned a decision by the Appellate Division that denied the discovery request, rejecting the panel's conclusion that the broad discovery request was not warranted because the challenge to the OMNIA system lacked merit.

Robert Hille

Bar Groups at Odds Over Latest Push to Shorten Malpractice Window

By Michael Booth |

The New Jersey State Bar Association is leading a coalition urging lawmakers to shorten the filing period for malpractice claims from six to two years, but the state's principal plaintiffs bar group and others stand opposed.

Do Law Firms Enable Alcoholism?

By Katelyn Polantz |

A culture of work-related drinking persists in many places in Big Law—and that can cause problems in a profession that is especially prone to heavy drinking.

VW Plaintiffs' Team Awarded Another $125M in Fees and Costs

By Ross Todd |

Friday's order brings tally awarded to the 22-lawyer plaintiffs' steering committee led by Elizabeth Cabraser of San Francisco's Lieff Cabraser Heimann Bernstein to nearly $350 million.

Leadership Academy grad now a judge

Christine Smith, a graduate of the state bar's Leadership Academy, has been appointed to the bench

Cross-Examination: The Business of Music

NJSBA member Steven C. Schechter discusses the business of music

Board briefs

State bar trustees take action in July meeting

Capitol Report

A report on recent action in Trenton of interest to NJSBA members

I Fell for a Phishing Email, and the Law Couldn't Help Me

By Rhys Dipshan |

Despite regulating spam emails, the federal CAN-SPAM Act may do little to prevent phishing spam from reaching your inbox.

Appellate Division: No Estate Tax Marital Deduction for Registered Domestic Partners

By Richard D. Sanders and Stacey Valentine Fielding |

Same-sex couples registered under New Jersey's Domestic Partnership Act are not entitled to the marital deduction for purposes of calculating the New Jersey estate tax due at the death of the first partner, according to a recent, published opinion out of the Appellate Division.

Client's Needs vs. Attorney's Integrity: An Ethical Tug of War

By Mia V. Stollen and Kelley Rutkowski |

A client's disclosure of unfavorable or potentially damaging information to his attorney in a confidential setting does not automatically prevent the disclosure of that information.

Whose Lifestyle Is It Anyway?

By Alexandra M. Kachala and Michael H. Karu |

In many cases, the financial minutia of the dissolving marriage may be examined in the form of a "lifestyle analysis," but is it really necessary, and does the cost justify the benefit?

'Equitable' Distribution Isn't Always 'Equal'

By Tracy Julian |

In many cases, the application of the 16 statutory factors regarding equitable distribution will result in a disproportionate division of the assets to achieve equity in light of the entire circumstances.

Danielle Joy Healey, Fish and Richardson

Transgender Attorney Finds Strong Support From Her Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Fish & Richardson, which issued a statement in support of transgender lawyer DJ Healey of Houston, helped the IP litigator plan how to inform co-workers and clients.