Rayner asked the justices to consider amending the state’s Rules of Evidence to ensure that evidence permitted in New Jersey courtrooms are of comparable caliber to evidence permitted at trial in other jurisdictions. New Jersey’s Rules of Evidence, which act as a framework to determine whether evidence is admissible in court, have been heavily criticized for being too favorable to plaintiffs and their attorneys. As a result, plaintiffs from across the country seek to have their cases heard in New Jersey courts whenever possible, where the standard for what may be considered evidence is notoriously and disproportionately low. The past several years have seen an epidemic of “litigation tourism” in New Jersey as thirty-four other states have adopted all or part of the federal Daubert standard. Amending New Jersey’s Rules of Evidence would likely cut down on litigation tourism and the associated costs of hearing the cases of non-New Jersey residents and warrant fewer instances of appellate review.
Rayner was joined by Edward Fanning, who testified on behalf of the New Jersey Defense Association, and John Zen Jackson, testifying on behalf of the Medical Society. NJLRA’s request is available online here: