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6 posts from May 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Lawyer who brokered $6 red light camera settlement taking up liquor fraud

You may recall an eyeroll-inducing $4.2 million red light camera settlement proposed earlier this year.  Motorists who meet certain criteria (and complete all administrative paperwork) are eligible for an insulting $6.00 award… which hardly makes a dent in the average $85 - $140 red light camera citation.  The attorney, on the other hand, will benefit nicely: Stephen DeNittis is set to make $1,000,000.00.  Final settlement approval is expected on September 12th

In the mean time, DeNittis will be setting his sights on the next potential NJ Consumer Fraud Act cash cow: TGI Friday’s alleged alcohol-swapping scam.  Unsuspecting consumers were routinely given cheap liquor at premium prices at 13 of its New Jersey restaurants, according to a year-long study by New Jersey Division of Alcohol Beverage Control.  DeNittis is now rising to the occasion and seeking compensation for himself New Jersey consumers in a proposed class action lawsuit. 

Let’s hope that the ‘New Jersey consumers’ DeNittis represents aren’t made a spectacle (again). 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

NJCJI Executive Director Marcus Rayner testifies before the NJ Supreme Court


Marcus Rayner Headshot

NJCJI's President, Marcus Rayner, testified before the state’s highest court on Tuesday, May 21st.  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. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Chief Justice Rabner announces effort to expedite civil, criminal proceedings in NJ

Litigation costs are high - for everyone. 

Read about NJ Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner's effort to overhaul New Jersey's civil and criminal justice systems, recently outlined at a State Bar Association event: Rizzo/The Star-Ledger

Friday, May 17, 2013

Download media coverage of A-2878, the so-called 'Facebook bill'

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Legislative update: Social media and statute of limitations

The General Assembly is scheduled to consider changes requested by Governor Christie to the so-called ‘Facebook bill,’ which would prohibit employers from asking for the passwords and login information of current and prospective employees, on Monday, May 20th.  The bill, A-2878, was conditionally vetoed by the Governor last week, citing concerns that sections 4 and 5 would “paint with too broad a brush” and prevent employers from making informed choices about hires for positions requiring social media credentials.   Assembly sponsor John Burizchelli (D-Gloucester) has stated that even with the Governor’s changes, "the integrity of the bill is intact."

The State Senate voted to revise a bill to extend the civil statute of limitations in certain previously dismissed and time-barred cases on Monday, May 13th.  New Jersey’s business community fears that the legislation, S-2281, would leave institutions which serve children vulnerable to unfounded accusations and offer little recourse.  The bill substitution can be found here. 

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Citing liability concerns raised by NJCJI, Governor Christie conditionally vetoes 'Facebook bill'

The so-called "Facebook bill" (A2878) was hailed as a way to safeguard employees' online privacy.  But tucked away in sections 4 and 5, language would have permitted employees and prospective employees to sue businesses who inquired about their Facebook usage.

The legislation would still prohibit employers from requesting employees’ usernames and passwords for social media sites and impose a fine for repeat offenders.  It creates an appropriate level of enforcement without compromising employers’ ability to hire and retain qualified candidates. 

Read the Governor's conditional veto here:

Download A2878 CV