Paul M. DePascale v. State of New Jersey
A central tenet of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s efforts is to support access to justice and the critical importance of judicial independence as a cornerstone of our democracy.
The New Jersey State Bar Association has supported Judge Paul M. DePascale in his recent lawsuit, through op-eds and letters to the editor in statewide publications, and through a resolution of the Board of Trustees calling for the repeal of P.L. 2011, Chapter 78, an Act Concerning Employee Pension and Health Care Benefits, as it applies to sitting judges of the Superior Court and justices of the New Jersey Supreme Court.
Last week, the NJSBA filed papers seeking an amicus role before the New Jersey Supreme Court in support of judicial independence, and the judge’s lawsuit itself, calling for the law to be declared unconstitutional.
Click here (PDF) to read the brief.
Matter of Boggia
The New Jersey Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Matter of Boggia on July 27, 2010. The case questions whether a part-time municipal court judge should be disciplined for political contributions made by his two-partner law firm without his knowledge. The Court concluded that, given the particular facts of this case, Judge Boggia should not be disciplined, but agreed with the NJSBA that even part-time municipal court judges should be subject to the contribution prohibitions contained in the Rules governing Judicial Conduct.
Guido v. Duane Morris
(decision pending) In this legal malpractice action, was the defendant attorney entitled to summary judgment based on the client's prior agreement to settle the underlying litigation?
Klumpp v. Borough of Avalon
(decision pending) May a municipal occupy a property and obtain title through adverse condemnation without initiating condemnation proceedings under the Eminent Domain Act, N.J.S.A. 20:3-1 to 50?
Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc.
Under the circumstances presented, does the attorney-client privilege protect this employee's email with her attorney sent through her personal, internet-based email account while using her employer-issued computer?
Fawzy v. Fawzy
Fawzy v. Fawzy - 199 N.J. 456 (2009) Questions whether parents can resolve custody and parenting time disputes using arbitration.
Fernandez v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company
Fernandez v. Nationwide - 199 N.J. 591 (2009) Does an automobile insurer's right to reimbursement for paid personal injury protection benefits have priority over the insured's right to be made whole where the negligent driver's insurance does not fully cover the insured's personal injury damages?
Hand v. Philadelphia Insurance Company
Hand v. Philadelphia Insurance Co. - 408 N.J. Super. 973 (App. Div. 2009) Whether a legislative enactment prohibiting "step-down" clauses in commercial automobile insurance polices should be retroactive.
Makroulakis v. Empire Fire and Marine Insurance Company
Makroulakis v. Estate of Garcia - A-2800-07T2 (App. Div. 2009) Whether a legislative enactment prohibiting "step-down" clauses in commercial automobile insurance policies should be retroactive.
Agha v. Feiner
Agha v. Feiner - 198 N.J. 50 (2009) At issue is whether the testimony of a physician qualified to interpret an MRI was required to establish that the MRI represented proof of a herniated disc, and, absent such testimony, whether the trial court was required to give a limiting instruction regarding the jury's use of the MRI.
Brundage v. Estate of Carambio
195 N.J. 575 (2008) Whether plaintiff's attorney violated the Ruels of Professional Conduce by not disclosing knowledge of a pending appeal in a case confronting the same issue at the case at bar.
Jablonowska v. Suther
195 N.J. 91 (2008) Whether the verbal threshold applies to a person who has not sustained a bodily injury in an accident but who suffered emotional distress fro witnessing the death of a close family member
Olkusz v. Brown
401 N.J.Super 496 (App. Div. 2008) Whether a legislative enactment prohibiting "step-down" clauses in commercial automobile insurance policies should be retroactive.
Davidson v. Slater
189 N.J. 166 (2007) Whether a person who has a pre-existing condition is required to provide a comparative analysis in order to satisfy the verbal threshold
Johnson v. Scaccetti
192 N.J. 256 (2007) Whether a person who has sustained one injury that satisfies the verbal threshold must prove that every other injury also satisfied the threshold
Gac v. Gac
186 N.J. 535 (2006) Whether former husband was required to contribute towards child's educational expenses.
In Re ACPE 697
188 N.J. 549 (2006) Whether it is a conflict of interest for a lawyer or another in the firm to represent both a municipal agency and a private client concurrently in the municipality's court or before any agency of the municipality.
In Re CAA Opinion 39
Whether the "Best Lawyers" and "Super Lawyers" advertising violates the rules governing attorney advertising
In Re Peter Jacoby
188 N.J. 384 (2006) Whether there should be a perse suspension for an attorney convicted of domestic violence
Liberty Mutual v. Land
186 N.J. 163 (2006) Whether preponderance of the evidence is the proper standard of proof under the Insurance Fraud Prevention Act.
Pasqua v. Council
186 N.J. 127 (2006) Whether indigent parents charged with violation of child support orders have a right to appointed counsel
Banco Popular North America v. Gandi
184 N.J. 161 (2005) Whether New Jersey recognizes a casue of action for creditor fraud and whetehr any attorney may be liable for consipiracy under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act.
Brunswick Hills Racquet Club v. Route 18 Shopping Center
182 N.J. 210 (2005) Whether covenant of good failth and fair dealings voerns sophisticated commercial transactions.
DiProspero v. Penn
183 N.J. 477 (2005) Whether a person injured in an automobile accident is require to prove a serious impact on life in order to recover non-economic damages under the Automobile Insurance Reform Act
Fischer v. Fischer
375 N.J. Super 278 (app. Div. 2005) Whether wife's attorney could be required to return retainer as condition of withdrawal
Jerista v. Murray
185 N.J. 175 (2005) Whether attorneys in a legal malpractice action should have been required to produce expert opinion as to the negligence of the alleged tortfeasor or whether they could have relied on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur to create an inference of negligence.
LaManna v. Proformance Insurance Company
184 N.J. 214 (2005) Whether a statute that permits parties to stipulate that a majority of fewer than five-sixths of jurors may render a verdict is constitutional.
Mani v. Mani
183 N.J. 70 (2005) Whether trial court could consider marital fault when awarding alimony and counsel fees.
Puder v. Buechel
183 N.J. 428 (2005) Whether a client is bound by his representation to the trial court that a divorce settlement was acceptable and fair.
R.M. v. Supreme Court
185 N.J. 208 (2005) Whether a grievance filed against an attorney should remain confidential until a formal complaint has been filed.
State v. Williams
184 N.J. 432 (2005) Whether a mediator appointed by the court may testify in a subsequent criminal proceeding regarding a statement made by a participant during mediation.
In re Keri
181 N.J. 50 (2004) Whether adult children who serve as legal guardians may transfer to themselves their parents' assets to hasten their parents' eligibility for Medicaid
Macedo v. Dello Russo
178 N.J. 340 (2004) Whether the Consumer Fraud Act applies to advertisements relating to the rendering of professional services.
Weishaus v. Weishaus
180 N.J. 131 (2004) Whether the trial courts have the discretion in uncontested divorce actions to approve consensual support agrements without rendering findings as to marital lifestyle.
In the Matter of Commitment of D.L.
Whether SVPA litigants are constitutionally entitled to appoint counsel on appeals from commitment orders.
Starkey Kelly Blaney & White v. Estate of Nicolaysen
172 N.J. 60 (2002) Whether an attorney who enters into an unenforceable, oral contingent fee agreement is entitled to be paid a fee based upon quantum merit.
In re Philadelphia Bar Association Request for Advisory Opinion
Seeks an opinion about whether a plan for shared office space meets the requirements of a bona fide office rule.
Lewis v. Harris
188 N.J. 415 (2006) Whether committed same sex couples are entitled to the same privileges and benefits as married couples
§ Lewis v. Harris
§ Brief II of Amicus Curiae NJ State Bar Association
§ Appendix in support of Brief II
State v. Chun
194 N.J. 54 (2008) Concerning the reliability of the Alcotest 7110 MKIII-C in the prosecution of dui cases.
§ State v. Chun - Brief on Special Masters Report
§ State v. Chun - Reply Brief on Special Masters Report
§ State v. Chun - Brief on Supplemental Findings
§ State v. Chun - Reply Brief on Supplemental Findings
§ State v. Chun - Foundational Docs
§ State v. Chun - Motion to Enforce Court's Order
§ State v. Chun - Letter from President Ralph J. Lamparello in lieu of formal brief
§ State v Chun Order and Opinion
New Jersey Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection v. Stewart Title Guaranty Co.,203 N.J. 208 (2010) -- May a title insurance company be held liable for a closing attorney’s theft of his clients’ funds under the circumstances presented? Held: No agency relationship existed between the title company and the attorney who misappropriated the clients' funds at the time the misappropriation occurred; the title company is not liable for the misappropriation.
Click here for the NJSBA brief drafted by Lawrence J. Fineberg, Elliot D. Ostrove and Donald A. Souter.
State v. Ciancaglini, 204 N.J. 597 (2011) -- Under the circumstances presented, should defendant be sentenced as a third-time offender for driving under the influence pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(a)? Held: Defendant Ciancaglini's conviction in 2006 for refusing to take a breathalyzer test does not constitute a prior conviction for purposes of determining her sentence for driving while intoxicated in 2008.
Click here for the NJSBA brief drafted by Jeffrey Evan Gold and James J. Gerrow, Jr.
Aronberg v. Tolbert, 207 N.J. 587 (2011) --Does N.J.S.A. 39:6A-4.5(a), which bars a lawsuit for automobile accident damages by an individual who was operating an uninsured vehicle, also preclude a wrongful death claim by the estate of that individual? Held: When an uninsured motorist's cause of action is barred by N.J.S.A.39:6A-4.5(a), an heir has no right of recovery under the Wrongful Death Act,N.J.S.A. 2A:31-1 to -6.
Click here for the NJSBA brief drafted by Anthony Murgatroyd.
He v. Miller, 207 N.J. 230 (2011) -- Did the trial court err in remitting the plaintiff’s jury verdict for pain and suffering? Held: The jury's award cannot stand because the trial court provided a sufficient explanation for remittitur and its decision was supported by the record.
Click here for the NJSBA brief drafted by Gerald H. Baker.
Yousef v. General Dynamics Corp., 205 N.J. 543 (2011) -- Is New Jersey an appropriate forum to hear the claims of these New Jersey residents against a Florida resident and an American corporation for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident that occurred in South Africa? Held: The trial court properly weighed the public-interest and private-interest factors in finding that defendants failed to carry their burden of demonstrating that New Jersey is a "demonstrably inappropriate" forum. Therefore, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the forum non conveniens motion.
Click here for the NJSBA brief drafted by Amirali Y. Haidri.
Petition for Review of the Letter Decision of the Committee on Attorney Advertising, Docket No. 47 2007, Docket No. 62,134 -- Can a mediation center that employs attorneys who also perform legal services use the name “Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation” followed by the name of the attorney who is the managing partner consistent with RPC 7.1 and RPC 7.5 of the Rules of Professional Conduct? Decision Pending.
Click here for the NJSBA letter brief.
Click here to read the Opinion.
Gere v. Louis, 209 N.J. 486 (2012) -- Is plaintiff’s legal malpractice claim barred under Puder v. Buechel, 183 N.J. 428 (2005), where she resolved a property dispute with her former spouse by entering into a settlement agreement that included a reservation of rights to sue her former attorney? Held: Because the situation here is materially distinguishable from that which was considered in Puder, plaintiff’s legal malpractice claim is not barred.
Click here for the NJSBA brief drafted by Christopher J. Carey, Amirali Y. Haidri, Theodore H. Hilke, Robert Hille and John W. Kavaney.
Tannen v. Tannen, 208 N.J. 409 (2011) -- Under the circumstances of this case, is it proper to impute income to defendant based on her beneficial interest in a discretionary trust for purposes of determining plaintiff’s alimony and child support obligations? Held: The judgment of the Appellate Division is affirmed substantially for the reasons expressed in Judge Messano's opinion; the trust income should not be imputed under the Restatement (Second) of Trusts.
Click here for the NJSBA brief drafted by Martin L. Bearg, Lawrence A. Friedman, Richard H. Greenberg, Stephanie F. Hagan, Glenn A. Henkel, Richard Kahn, Jeralyn L. Lawrence, Daniel M. Serviss and Thomas J. Snyder.
Nostrame v. Santiago, Docket No. 68,651 -- May this attorney who was terminated by his client maintain an action against the client’s new attorney for tortious interference with contract under the circumstances? Decision pending.
Click here for the NJSBA brief drafted by Shalom D. Stone and Stacie L. Powers.
Click here to read the Opinion.
Prime Accounting Dep't v. Township of Carney's Point, Docket No. 68,380 --Where this complaint to challenge a tax assessment did not correctly identify the taxpayer and instead named a former tenant's accounting department, which never owned or leased the property but was listed on the municipal tax bill, should the taxpayer be permitted to amend the complaint to add itself as sole plaintiff to avoid dismissal for lack of standing? Decision pending.
Click here for the NJSBA brief drafted by Susan A. Feeney and Daniel P. Zazzali and filed in the Supreme Court.
Click here for the NJSBA brief drafted by Tom Olson, Cory K. Kestner and Richard P. DeAngelis and filed in the Appellate Division.
Segal v. Lynch and Schofel, Docket No. 67,683 -- May a parenting coordinator, who also is an attorney, be awarded fees for time she spent responding to plaintiff’s motions and subpoenas and to his grievances against her under the Parenting Coordinator Pilot Program Implementation Guidelines?
Held: the judgment of the Appellate Division is affirmed to the extend that it affirmed the trial court's April 14, 2008, order awarding fees to Schofel for her work as a parent coordinator in responding to the grievances and to the extend that it affirmed the trial court's rejection fo Segal's argument that he was entitled to an evidentiary hearing on his grievances; in all other respects the judgment of the Appellate Division is reversed.
Click here for the NJSBA brief drafted by Bonnie C. Frost, Ronald G. Lieberman and Andrea Beth White.
In re: Complaint Filed by the Allamuchy Township Board of Education, Docket No. 9-11 (before the Council on Local Mandates) – Is the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act an unfunded mandate? Held: The Council on Local Mandates held that the Act was an unfunded mandate. However, the Act was amended by the Legislature, and on March 26, 2012, those amendments were signed into law appropriating $1 million to fund the requirements under the Act.
Click here for the NJSBA brief drafted by Candida Griffin, John Keating, Felice T. Londa, Luanne Peterpaul, and Thomas H. Prol.
DePascale v. State of New Jersey, Docket No. 69,401 -- As applied to certain justices and judges, does the Pension and Health Care Benefits Act, P.L. 2011, c. 78, which increases public employees' contribution rates for their pension and healthcare benefits, operate to diminish judicial salaries and thereby violate article VI, § 6, ¶ 6 of the New Jersey Constitution?
Held: The Pension and Helath Care Benefits Act (Chapter 78), which requires increased pension and health care contributions by sitting justices and judges, diminishes judicial salaries during a jurist's term of appointment in violation of Article VI, Section 6, Paragraph 6 of the New Jersey Constitution.
Click here for the NJSBA brief.
State v. William O'Driscoll (070438)
Was defendant "informed" of the consequences of refusing to submit to a breath test as required to sustain a conviction for refusal under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4a(a), where the officer read to defendant an outdated version of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Standard Statement that did not reflect the current, increased penalties for refusal?
Click here for the NJSBA brief drafted by Jeffrey Evan Gold, Esq. and Kimberly Yonta Aronow, Esq.
§ O'Driscoll Opinion