April 24, 2018
Contact: Paula Saha
Director of Communications
NEW BRUNSWICK - The appellate division has affirmed the trial court ruling and agreed with the New Jersey State Bar Association’s arguments in Bianchi v. Ladjen, et. al., a case that questioned procedures used in house closings, the role of title companies, and the use of experts and net opinions. The NJSBA had filed an amicus brief and participated in arguments before the appellate division in this case.
The case alleged that an attorney negligently breached his duty to his client, the plaintiff-purchaser, by failing to provide advice about purchasing homeowners insurance. The NJSBA had urged the Court to affirm the trial court's determination as a matter of law that a legal malpractice claim cannot be premised on a non-existent duty supported by an expert's opinion that is based solely on the subjective personal experience of the proffered expert, rather than recognized authority and objective criteria.
The Court affirmed the grant of summary judgement and agreed that the expert’s testimony should have been barred due to the lack of reliance on objective standards.
NJSBA Trustee Diana C. Manning argued the case for New Jersey State Bar Association. NJSBA President Robert B. Hille, John W. Kaveney, NJSBA Trustee Evelyn R. Storch and Manning wrote the brief.
Read the court’s opinion here.
Read the NJSBA brief here.