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13 posts from April 2014

Thursday, April 24, 2014

NJCJI’s Appellate Program

While this newsletter often focuses on NJCJI’s efforts in the legislature, we are also keenly attuned to what is going on in the court system. In fact, NJCJI is the only organization that systematically reviews every case taken up by the state’s Appellate Division courts and the New Jersey Supreme Court to determine what impact each case might have on the state’s civil justice system.

NJCJI can often provide or coordinate amicus curiae briefs in cases that have broader civil justice implications that the parties cannot fully brief. Amicus curiae is a Latin phrase literally translated as “friend of the court.” It is the name for a brief filed with the court by someone who is not a party to the case.

To date, NJCJI has assisted with or participated in more than a dozen separate cases at the appellate and supreme court levels. Click here to read more about NJCJI’s appellate work.

ATRA White Paper Takes a Closer Look at State Consumer Protection Acts

The American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) has released a new white paper examining the evolution of state consumer protection acts, including the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

Continue reading "ATRA White Paper Takes a Closer Look at State Consumer Protection Acts" »

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Legal Reform & Economic Development

Each day seems to bring additional news confirming what we already know: New Jersey needs to restart its economic engine. The state took a tremendous hit during the recession, and has yet to fully recover. The state’s unemployment rate remains high, and the budget gaps continues to widen as revenue collections miss their targets.

While the government does not and cannot create the jobs needed to buoy the economy in and of itself, it does have many tools at its disposal. Unfortunately, the government’s most oft-used implements, tax policy and government spending, are not producing the results the state so desperately needs. If New Jersey wants to completely and quickly escape the recession, legal reform must become part of the state’s economic development plan.

Continue reading "Legal Reform & Economic Development" »

Mandatory Pilot Program Seeks to Shorten Civil Trials

The New Jersey Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Expedited Civil Actions has released its recommendations for speeding the resolution of civil actions in state courts without sacrificing due process. The report recommends the court approve a mandatory pilot program for all Track 1 and Track 2 cases (which include property and contract disputes and insurance suits) that focuses on streamlining pre-trial procedures and limiting some in-court proceedings.

Continue reading "Mandatory Pilot Program Seeks to Shorten Civil Trials" »

Kott Kicks off New NJCJI Policy Teleforum Series

On April 15th, the New Jersey Civil Justice Council hosted the first in a new series of policy teleforums designed to give NJCJI supporters an inside look at some of the most pressing policy issues and court cases in New Jersey.

David Kott, a partner at McCarter & English LLP and member of the NJCJI Board, was the featured speaker at the first teleforum. Kott gave call participants some background information on business litigation in New Jersey, and discussed the recommendations included in the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Working Group on Business Litigation’s recent report analyzing the needs of the state’s business community and proposed actions by the court system that could address those needs.

As a member of the working group, Kott was able to provide detailed information about the thought-process behind many of the report’s recommendations and also answered questions from call participants about the report. Of particular note was Kott’s view that the recommended expansion of the business litigation pilot program really gets at many of the stated goals of those who desire a separate business court. The processes will be somewhat separate from the general civil court system, while the administration of the system as a whole remains undivided.  

Friday, April 11, 2014

Policy Teleforum on Business Litigation Report Scheduled for April 15

On April 10, the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Working Group on Business Litigation released its report analyzing the needs of the state’s business community and proposed actions by the court system that could address those needs.

 

The New Jersey Civil Justice Institute will be holding a teleforum on the report with working group member David Kott, a partner at McCarter & English LLP and member of the NJCJI Board, on Tuesday, April 15th from 1:30-2:00 PM.

 

If you are interested in joining the call, please email NJCJI’s Director of Public Affairs, Emily Kelchen, for the call-in information.

 

 

Working Group’s Report a Step in the Right Direction

The New Jersey Supreme Court’s Working Group on Business Litigation has released its report analyzing the needs of the state’s business community and proposed actions by the court system that could address those needs.

 

Continue reading "Working Group’s Report a Step in the Right Direction" »

Jersey Courtrooms Open to Junk Science

New Jersey was one of the first jurisdictions to recognize the increasing importance of expert testimony in modern litigation, one of the first to stress the importance of judicial gate keeping, and one of the first to adopt a more structured multi-factor test for examining the validity of expert testimony. Unfortunately, New Jersey can no longer claim it is on the cutting edge when it comes to ensuring bad science is barred from the courtroom.

 

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Friday, April 04, 2014

Top News Clips for the Week of March 29 - April 4

A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of March 29-April 4, 2014.

 

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Thursday, April 03, 2014

Summer Internship at NJCJI

The New Jersey Civil Justice Institute is currently accepting applications for a paid summer internship at our Trenton office. The ideal candidate will be a current law student that is supportive of NJCJI's legal reform efforts, comfortable with legal research, and able to write for both a legal audience and the general public. Applicants should send a cover letter, writing sample, list of references, and resume to info@civiljusticenj.org by April 30. NJCJI is a 501(c)(6), so academic credit may also be possible depending on your institution's policies.

State Bar Forum on Judicial Independence Long on Complaints, Short on Solutions

The New Jersey State Bar Association’s Task Force on Judicial Independence held the first of its four public hearings on April 1, 2014, at the New Jersey Law Center.  Though over 20 people testified at the three-hour hearing, few offered concrete suggestions for how the court system could be improved. The majority of the testimony focused on perceived problems with the system.

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Credit Card Receipt Spawns Class Action

“There was no foul. No one had a problem until a lawyer saw this and he filed a suit against us,” Friedman said. “But if we fight it, we’re not going to win.”

 

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NJCJI Letter to the Editor: Fights on the Schoolyard Shouldn't be Solved in the Courtroom

The Star-Ledger editorial, "Bullying: If schools are liable, parents can be, too" (March 31), appropriately raised warnings about using courts to hold parents of child bullies liable, but I disagree with the conclusion that some good can come from the threat of litigation.

 

Continue reading "NJCJI Letter to the Editor: Fights on the Schoolyard Shouldn't be Solved in the Courtroom" »