Bruce D. Greenberg is a highly experienced litigator who draws on his more than 30 years of practice to provide sophisticated representation to clients in appellate and complex commercial litigation. Bruce has successfully handled dozens of cases in federal and state courts around the country, and has presented numerous cases before the Supreme Court of New Jersey and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He also represents applicants before the Supreme Court of New Jersey Committee on Character.
During lower-court proceedings, Bruce focuses on winning the matter at hand while also laying the groundwork for a strong position on appeal. He is regularly asked to take over on appeal cases that were handled in lower courts by other counsel. A “lawyers’ lawyer,” Bruce has been retained by other attorneys to prosecute appeals in their own personal partnership, matrimonial and counsel fee matters. Some of his appellate work has led to multimillion-dollar victories for his clients. More than 40 of his cases have been officially reported, including significant decisions on class actions, restrictive employment covenants, land use, real estate brokerage and other topics.
“To be successful in appellate work,” says Bruce, “you must have the oral argument skills and quick reactions of a superb debater, combined with the technical and analytical proficiency of a legal scholar. You must understand the appellate process inside and out, as well as the rules and preferences of the individual courts. With more than three decades of experience in trial-level and appellate practice, I believe I offer my clients all of these capabilities.”
Bruce has extensive experience handling complex products liability, antitrust, securities fraud and consumer fraud class actions across the country, at the trial and appellate levels. He also represents business and individual clients in commercial litigation and represents individual applicants to the New Jersey Bar before the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Character (on which he previously served for fifteen years).
As lead and co-lead counsel in numerous class action cases, Bruce has helped his clients win significant victories. These include Varacallo v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Ins. Co., 226 F.R.D. 207 (D.N.J. 2005), an insurance sales practices case that resulted in a nationwide class settlement worth over $750 million; In re STEC, Inc. Securities Litig., No. cv-09-1304 (JVS) (C.D. Cal.)., which produced a settlement of $35.75 million for a nationwide class; and In re Samsung DLP Television Class Action Litig., No. 07-2141(GEB) (D.N.J.), a case involving defective televisions that resulted in a highly valuable nationwide settlement.
In Pedersen v. Ford Motor Co., No. GIC 821797(Cal. Super. Ct.), Bruce negotiated a four-state consumer fraud settlement that afforded full benefit of the bargain relief. This favorable settlement was the direct result of his efforts as co-lead counsel in constituent New Jersey and Pennsylvania cases. Bruce was also instrumental in In re Motorola Securities Litig., Civ. No. 03-C-287 (N.D. Ill.), where Lite DePalma Greenberg, as co-lead counsel, achieved a $193 million settlement for a nationwide class just three business days before trial was to begin.
Some of Bruce’s current cases in which he serves as a co-lead counsel include Schwartz v. Avis Rent A Car System, LLC, No. 2:11-CV-4052-JLL-JAD (D.N.J.), in which he recently obtained approval of a nationwide consumer fraud and breach of contract class settlement worth up to $13 million, Cole v. NIBCO, Inc., No. 13-CV-07871-FLW-TJB (D.N.J.), a case involving defective plumbing piping, tubing and fixtures, and DeMarco v. AvalonBay Communities, Inc., No. 15-CV-628-JLL-JAD, a consolidation of three cases that allege that the defendant’s negligence caused a massive fire that destroyed an entire building at the residential complex known as Avalon at Edgewater, located in Edgewater, New Jersey.
Bruce has also served as an executive committee member or as liaison counsel in many class action cases. For example, he acted as liaison counsel for the commercial cases in In re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litig., MDL No. 1663, No. 04-5184(FSH) (D.N.J.), which resulted in settlements totaling over $200 million for a nationwide class. He was a member of the executive committee in Henderson v. Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, No. 2:09-cv-04146-CCC-JAD (D.N.J.), a case involving catastrophic transmission failures that conferred millions of dollars in settlement benefits on 90,000 class members.
Bruce currently serves as liaison counsel in In re N.J. Tax Sales Certificates Antitrust Litig., No. 3:12-CV-1893-MAS-TJB (D.N.J.), which has to date achieved settlements of over $10 million for a class of New Jersey property owners. He is a member of the executive committee in In re Shop-Vac Marketing and Sales Practices Litig., No. 4:12-MD-2380 (M.D. Pa.), a pending case involving misrepresentation of the peak horsepower of wet/dry vacuums, where a nationwide settlement worth millions of dollars has been preliminarily approved. Bruce was also appointed liaison counsel and a member of plaintiffs’ steering committee in In re Liquid Aluminum Sulfate Antitrust Litigation, No. 16-md-2687(JLL)(JAD), a multidistrict litigation that alleges price-fixing, bid-rigging, and market allocation by sellers of aluminum sulfate.
Additional cases of note include Summer v. Toshiba America Consumer Products, Inc. (N.J. Superior Ct.) (settlement worth over $100 million for nationwide class); Delaney v. Enterprise Rent-A-Car Co. (N.J. Superior Ct.) (settlement for New Jersey class worth over $7 million); Barrood v. IBM (N.J. Superior Ct.) (full benefit of the bargain settlement for nationwide class); and DeLima v. Exxon (N.J. Superior Ct.) ($4.5 million settlement for New Jersey class).
Bruce writes frequently on a range of legal topics, with a focus on appellate issues. He is the creator and author of New Jersey’s foremost appellate blog, New Jersey Appellate Law (http://appellatelaw-nj.com), which focuses on New Jersey appeals, appellate law and appellate practice, with special attention to decisions of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, the Appellate Division, and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Bruce is the author of the chapter entitled "Supreme Court Review" in New Jersey Appellate Practice Handbook (New Jersey ICLE 2015 ed., and prior editions), and co-author, with Allyn Z. Lite, of the chapter entitled "Class Action Litigation" in New Jersey Federal Civil Procedure (NJLJ Books 2016, and prior editions). He has written a number of law review articles, on topics including procedural fairness, class actions, and the right to a civil jury trial. Several of Bruce’s articles have been cited with approval by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, the Appellate Division, and courts in other jurisdictions.
Bruce is as comfortable at the podium as he is before the keyboard. He has lectured on class actions for New Jersey and Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education, Strafford Publications, the American Conference Institute, the New Jersey State Bar Association, and the New Jersey Association for Justice. He recently delivered the Alice and Stephen Evangelides Memorial Lecture at Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics, on the subject of “Class Action Litigation: Who Benefits?” He was a presenter at the American Bar Association’s Class Actions Institute. Bruce has served as an expert witness on attorneys' fees in class actions and on the effect of class action waivers on the ability of clients to attract counsel. He also has spoken on civil trial preparation, appellate practice and other subjects.
Bruce has been named to the "New Jersey Super Lawyers" list in appellate practice by New Jersey Monthly magazine every year since 2005, and he earned a “Top 100” ranking among all “New Jersey Super Lawyers” in 2014. He was also listed in ALM’s 2012 “New Jersey’s Top Rated Lawyers” list, in the category of Commercial Litigation, and holds an "AV" rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
Bruce is active in numerous legal and professional associations and has held a range of leadership positions in these organizations. From 2008 through 2016, he served as co-chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s (NJSBA) Class Actions Committee. He was chair of the NJSBA’s Appellate Practice Committee from 2004 through 2006. He is also a member of the NJSBA’s Land Use Law Section.
The Supreme Court of New Jersey appointed Bruce to serve on its Committee on Character in 1991, and reappointed him to that position for additional terms through 2006, when Bruce reached the term limit for service on that committee. He was one of the founding members of the New Jersey Law Firm Group, a consortium of law firms committed to advancing the hiring of minority lawyers, for which he served as chair from 1990 to 1994. Bruce is currently a mediator for the Essex County Chancery Division Mediation Program, a position he has held since 2009. He previously served as an arbitrator/mediator for the county’s Arbitration/Settlement Program from 1992 to 1998.
Prior to joining Lite DePalma Greenberg, Bruce was a partner at one of New Jersey's largest law firms. After graduating from the Columbia University School of Law, he clerked for Justice Daniel J. O'Hern of the Supreme Court of New Jersey from 1982 to 1983. While in law school, Bruce was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and served as Writing and Research Editor of the Columbia Journal of Law & Social Problems.
In conjunction with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Bruce served as co-counsel in Ferguson v. JONAH, a consumer fraud case against an organization that purported to offer gay conversion therapy, a scientifically discredited practice. After a month-long jury trial, the defendants were required to pay damages, and they later agreed to shut down their operations. Bruce has also represented the National Federation of the Blind in cases in New Jersey, including, most recently, against a community college that had not complied with federal laws that require accommodation of the blind.
Shelton v. Restaurant.com, Inc., 214 N.J. 419 (2013) (answering certified questions regarding the Truth in Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act)
Cornett v. Johnson & Johnson, 211 N.J. 362 (2012) (certain state law claims not pre-empted by Medical Device Amendments to federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act)
May L. Walker v. Carmelo Guiffre, NJ Supreme Ct. (January 25, 2012), rejecting importation of restrictive federal fee-shifting standards into New Jersey law
Kieffer v. High Point Ins. Co., 422 N.J. Super. 38 (App. Div. 2011) (affirming dismissal of complaints seeking payment of “diminution in value” by auto insurers where insurance policies expressly excluded such payments)
Cornett v. Johnson & Johnson, 414 N.J. Super. 365 (App. Div. 2010) (manufacturing defect, failure to warn, and certain warranty claims not pre-empted by Medical Device Amendments to federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act)
Kaufman v. Allstate New Jersey Ins. Co., 561 F.3d 144 (3d Cir. 2009) (first opinion in the United States interpreting key provisions of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005)
Bosland v. Warnock Dodge Inc., 197 N.J.543 (2009) (Consumer Fraud Act does not require victimized consumer to give pre-suit notice to seller).
Mason v. City of Hoboken, 196 N.J. 51 (2008) (catalyst doctrine for attorneys' fees reaffirmed in Open Public Records Act case).
New Jersey v. Sprint Corp., 531 F. Supp. 2d 1273 (D. Kan 2008) (sustaining complaint for securities fraud under new Tellabs standard).
In re Motorola Securities Litigation, 2007 WL 487738 (N.D. Ill. March 29, 2007) (denying in substantial part defendants’ motions for summary judgment in certified nationwide securities fraud class action; case settled on eve of trial for $190 million).
Zeno v. Ford Motor Co., Inc., 480 F. Supp. 2d 825 (W.D. Pa. 2007) (denying defendant’s motion for summary judgment in certified class action for breach of contract; case later settled for full benefit of the bargain recovery).
Muise v. GPU, Inc., 391 N.J. Super. 90 (App. Div. 2007) (reversing Law Division’s refusal to obey appellate mandate to certify class).
NCP Litigation Trust v. KPMG, 399 N.J. Super. 600 (Law Div. 2006) (“deepening insolvency” theory stated claim against accounting firm)
Dabush v. Mercedes-Benz USA, 378 N.J. Super. 105 (App. Div. 2005) (consumer fraud plaintiff did not show ascertainable loss)
Varacallo v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Ins. Co., 226 F.R.D. 207 (D.N.J. 2005) (approving nationwide class action settlement of insurance sales practices case worth over $768 million to class members, and noting that this was third largest insurance sales practices settlement ever).
Muise v. GPU, Inc., 371 N.J. Super. 13 (App. Div. 2004) (re-certifying large portion of class that was erroneously decertified by lower court)
McGrogan v. Till, 167 N.J. 414 (2001) (addressing statute of limitations for legal malpractice)
Lamorte Burns & Co. v. Walters, 167 N.J. 285 (2001) (the leading New Jersey case regarding employees’ duty of loyalty and related doctrines)
Varacallo v. Mass. Mut. Life Ins. Co., 332 N.J. Super. 31 (App. Div. 2000) (reversing denial of certification of New Jersey class, resulting in the first certified class against MassMutual, which ultimately led to nationwide federal class action settlement worth over $750 million)
Rivkin v. Dover Tp. Rent Leveling Bd., 143 N.J. 352 (1996) (federal Civil Rights Act claim not available where adequate post-deprivation remedy exists)
Sica v. Wall Tp. Bd. of Adjustment, 127 N.J. 152 (1992) (enhanced burden of proof for use variances does not apply to inherently beneficial uses)
North Bergen Action Group v. North Bergen Tp. Planning Bd., 122 N.J. 567 (1991) (height variances are bulk variances, not use variances, under New Jersey’s Municipal Land Use Law)
"Civil Trial Preparation" (New Jersey ICLE, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2014 eds.)
Sunday Dialogue, "Putting the Justices on TV," The New York Times, December 10, 2011 (Letter to the Editor)
“Keeping the Flies Out of the Ointment: Restricting Objectors to Class Action Settlements,” 84 St. John’s L. Rev. 949 (2010) (cited in In re Kentucky Grilled Chicken Coupon Marketing & Sales Practices Litig., 2011 WL 5599129 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 16, 2011))
"New Jersey Supreme Court Review"- Chapter 4 in New Jersey Appellate Practice Handbook (New Jersey ICLE, 5th ed. 1999, 6th Ed. 2002, 7th Ed. 2005, 8th Ed. 2008, 9th Ed. 2011)
"Don't Eviscerate Consumer Fraud Act," 204 N.J.L.J. 658 (June 6, 2011)
“In Consumer Class Actions, New Jersey Still Stands Tall,” 203 N.J.L.J. 382 (February 7, 2011)
"Class Action Litigation"- Chapter 9 in New Jersey Federal Practice and Procedure (New Jersey Law Journal Books, 1st Ed.1999, 2nd Ed. 2008, and annual supplements)
“New Jersey’s ‘Fairness and Rightness’ Doctrine,” 15 Rutgers L.J. 927 (1984) (cited in People in Interest of Z.B., 757 N.W.2d 595 (S.D. 2008); State v. P.Z., 152 N.J. 86 (1997); State v. Yoskowitz, 116 N.J. 679 (1989); and State v. Consolidated Apartments, Inc., 2007 WL 2188692 (App. Div. July 31, 2007))
“Justice Daniel J. O’Hern: A Law Clerk’s Tribute,” 30 Seton Hall L. Rev. 1062 (2000)
“The Right to a Civil Jury Trial in New Jersey,” 47 Rutgers L. Rev. 1461 (1995) (cited in Brennan v. Orban, 145 N.J. 282 (1996); Lyn-Anna Properties v. Harborview Development, 145 N.J. 313 (1996); and State v. One 1990 Honda Accord, 154 N.J. 373 (1998))
“25 Years of the New Jersey Antitrust Act,” 26 Seton Hall L. Rev. 637 (1996)
Bruce D. Greenberg was quoted in an article in the New Jersey Law Journal regarding the effect of two recent Supreme Court of New Jersey decisions regarding the Truth in Consumer Contract, Warranty, and Notice Act (“TCCWNA”). To read this article, click here.
Bruce D. Greenberg was quoted in an article in Law360 regarding the Third Circuit’s increasing unwillingness to apply the standing doctrine of Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins to bar plaintiffs from proceeding. To read this article, click here.
Bruce D. Greenberg was named to the 2017 list of “New Jersey Super Lawyers.” Mr. Greenberg has been included on that list every year since 2005, when the listing was first introduced.¹
Today, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey granted the motion of the plaintiffs and the class of former Russell Building tenants whom they represent and preliminary approved a proposed classwide settlement. By order of the Court, a Court-approved notice of the settlement, with details about its terms and former Russell tenants’ options regarding the settlement, will go out by mail or e-mail to all former Russell Building tenants for whom AvalonBay has addresses within 20 days. The Court will conduct a hearing on July 11, 2017 at 10:30 A.M. to decide whether to grant final approval to the settlement and allow it to go into effect. click here.
On November 29, 2016, Bruce D. Greenberg moderated and Susana Cruz Hodge participated as a panelist at the Prevailing Trends in Class Action Litigation seminar sponsored by New Jersey ICLE.
Bruce D. Greenberg was appointed as a member of the Executive Committee in In re Volkswagen Timing Chain Product Liability Litigation, No. 16-2765(JLL)(JAD)(D.N.J.). The case involves allegations that Volkswagen and Audi vehicles have defective timing chains that can cause their engines to fail suddenly and unexpectedly, resulting in thousands of dollars in damages.
Bruce D. Greenberg and Susana Cruz Hodge were quoted in a Law360 article about their participation on a panel titled “The Evolving Nature of Class Actions” at the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting. To read this article, click here.
Bruce D. Greenberg was named to the 2016 list of “New Jersey Super Lawyers.” Mr. Greenberg has been included on that list every year since 2005, when the listing was first introduced.¹
Bruce D. Greenberg was quoted in an article on Law360, "NJ Cases To Watch In The 2nd Half of 2015". To read this article, click here.
Bruce D. Greenberg was quoted in a Law360.com article titled “The Biggest NJ Court Decisions of 2015: Midyear Report.” To read this article, click here.
Bruce D. Greenberg was mentioned in an article in Law360 as a member of the successful trial team in Ferguson v. JONAH. For a more complete description of the trial result, click here.
Bruce D. Greenberg was quoted in an article on Law360.com about the Appellate Division’s recent decision in Daniels v. Hollister, which rejected the Third Circuit’s view that, in order to certify a class of consumers, each class member must be individually ascertainable at the time of class certification.
Bruce D. Greenberg spoke on “Latest Developments in Class Action Litigation,” New Jersey State Bar Association, May 14, 2015.
Joseph J. DePalma and Bruce D. Greenberg were included in the list of 2015 "New Jersey Super Lawyers.” Mr. Greenberg has been included in the “New Jersey Super Lawyers” list every year since 2005, when the listing was first introduced, and Mr. DePalma has appeared every year since 2007. Susana Cruz Hodge and Jeffrey A. Shooman were listed among the 2015 “New Jersey Rising Stars."
Bruce D. Greenberg was quoted in an article in the Star-Ledger regarding the class action complaint that Lite DePalma Greenberg filed on behalf of persons affected by the fire at the Avalon at Edgewater residential complex in Edgewater, New Jersey, which destroyed class members’ homes and property. Click here to view this article. Click here to read the Complaint.
Bruce D. Greenberg was quoted in an article on Law360.com, "New Jersey Cases To Watch in 2015" (January 2, 2015). Click here to view the article.
Bruce D. Greenberg was quoted in an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, "N.J. high court might choose to resolve affordable-housing dispute" (December 28, 2014). Click here to view the article.
Bruce D. Greenberg was quoted in an article on Law360.com, "NJ High Court Takes On Arbitration, Atty Conduct In 2014" (December 22, 2014). Click here to view this article.
Bruce D. Greenberg served as a presenter for “Who Needs The Second City: Class Certification from A(ykroyd) to Lovit(Z): A Three-Act Play,” American Bar Association’s 18th Annual National Institute on Class Actions, October 24, 2014.
Bruce D. Greenberg spoke on “New Jersey Appellate Practice: Tips From the Bench and Bar,” Morris County Bar Association, September 10, 2014. Other panelists included Supreme Court Justice Anne Patterson, Appellate Division Judge Jack Sabatino, and retired Appellate Division Judges Edwin Stern and Francine Axelrad.
Bruce D. Greenberg spoke on “Hot Topics in Class Actions,” New Jersey State Bar Association, May 15, 2014.
Bruce D. Greenberg spoke at the “Mass Tort Litigation Conference with Judge Marina Corodemus (Ret.),” HarrisMartin, April 4, 2014.
Bruce D. Greenberg spoke on “Appellate Practice: Lessons Learned From on High,” New Jersey ICLE, March 25, 2014.
Bruce D. Greenberg was a panelist at a Morris County Bar Association seminar entitled "Building a Trial Record and Arguing it on Appeal," on September 16, 2013. Other panelists included Supreme Court Justice Anne Patterson, Appellate Division Judge Jack Sabatino, and retired Appellate Division Judges Edwin Stern and Francine Axelrad.
Victor A. Afanador, Bruce D. Greenberg, Susana Cruz Hodge and Danielle Y. Alvarez were mentioned in an article on Law360.com, “Newark Doesn't Have To Cover Cop For Shooting: NJ Court” (July 29, 2013), covering a New Jersey appeals court’s decision that the city of Newark was not required to indemnify a police officer for a $2.8 million civil judgment stemming from an off-duty shooting.
Bruce D. Greenberg spoke on "Class Actions Today … and Tomorrow," New Jersey State Bar Association, May 19, 2011
Bruce D. Greenberg served as a moderator for "Consumer Class Actions & Beyond: Threatened or Alive and Well?" New Jersey ICLE, April 27, 2011
Bruce D. Greenberg spoke on "Significant Developments in Class Actions," New Jersey ICLE, June 24, 2009 (webinar).
Bruce D. Greenberg was reappointed as co-Chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association's Class Actions Committee. He has served as co-Chair since 2008. Mr. Greenberg succeeded Allyn Z. Lite, who served as co-Chair for four years.
Bruce D. Greenberg spoke on "Hot Topics in Class Action Litigation," New Jersey State Bar Association, May 17, 2007.
Bruce D. Greenberg spoke at the "Appellate Bench-Bar Conference," New Jersey State Bar Association, May 18, 2006.
Bruce D. Greenberg spoke on "The Future of Class Actions in New Jersey- Alive and Well?!," New Jersey ICLE, May 19 and June 17, 2005
Bruce D. Greenberg served as a moderator for "Appellate Practice in New Jersey: 2005," New Jersey ICLE, March 8 and March 30, 2005.
Bruce D. Greenberg completed a two-year term as Chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association's Appellate Practice Committee. He has served on that committee for more than ten years.
Bruce D. Greenberg was quoted in the New Jersey Law Journal in connection with his victory in the Appellate Division in a case in which he represented an attorney in a dispute with his former law partner.
Bruce D. Greenberg was quoted in the New Jersey Law Journal regarding his victory in the Supreme Court of New Jersey case of Walker v. Giuffre.
Bruce D. Greenberg and Katrina Carroll were mentioned in the New Jersey Law Journal in connection with their success in defeating a motion by Wells Fargo Bank to dismiss a class action case that LDG brought against the bank and its predecessor.
Bruce D. Greenberg was quoted in the New Jersey Law Journal about the decision of the Supreme Court of New Jersey to answer certified questions posed by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Shelton v. Restaurant.com in which he was brought in on appeal as co-counsel and won the appeal before the Supreme Court.
Bruce D. Greenberg was quoted in the Newark Star-Ledger article about Bosland v. Warnock Dodge, Inc., a New Jersey Supreme Court decision that rejected an attempt to reduce protections for consumers under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. Mr. Greenberg had submitted a friend of the court brief in the case on behalf of Consumers League of New Jersey, whose reasoning was adopted by the Supreme Court in its unanimous opinion.
Bruce D. Greenberg was quoted in the New Jersey Law Journal regarding Chin v. DaimlerChrysler Corp., in which plaintiffs' attorneys' efforts had been the catalyst for relief worth over $54 million to purchasers and lessees of Chrysler vehicles.
Bruce D. Greenberg was quoted in the New Jersey Law Journal about the mechanics of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. The article focused on the Pet Food Products Liability Litigation, in which Lite DePalma Greenberg filed more cases than any other firm in the nation.
Bruce D. Greenberg was quoted in an article in the National Law Journal about the use of confidential witnesses in class action securities cases. A similar version of that article appeared in the New Jersey Law Journal as well.
Bruce D. Greenberg was quoted in the New Jersey Lawyer newspaper on the subject of the impact of the Class Action Fairness Act on New Jersey class action cases.
Bruce D. Greenberg presented a seminar for the Insurance Society of Philadelphia entitled "Class Actions in New Jersey Courts." The seminar was approved for continuing legal education credit in Pennsylvania.
Bruce D. Greenberg was a panelist at the New Jersey State Bar Association's Appellate Bench-Bar Conference in Atlantic City. Other panelists were Supreme Court of New Jersey Associate Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto, Appellate Division Presiding Judge Mary Catherine Cuff, and Appellate Division Judges Michael Winkelstein and Anthony J. Parrillo.
Allyn Z. Lite was the moderator and Bruce D. Greenberg was a panelist on the subject of "Hot Topics in Class Action Litigation" at the New Jersey State Bar Association annual convention. Other panelists included Superior Court Judges Jonathan N. Harris and Marina Corodemus, J.S.C. (retired).
Bruce D. Greenberg was a featured speaker at the New Jersey Association of Justice's Meadowlands Seminar. His topic was "Consumer Class Action Caselaw Updates."
¹The Super Lawyers List is issued by Thompson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process_detail.html. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
March 29, 2018
CAN GOVERNMENT AGENCIES OBJECT TO CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENTS?
The so-called Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 ("so-called" since it is heavily weighted in favor of class action defendants, though that's a subject for another post), known as CAFA, requires that when a settlement of a class action is proposed, defendants must give notice of that settlement to "appropriate state and federal officials." 28 U.S.C. §1715. In general, the "appropriate" officials are those who have "regulatory or supervisory responsibility with respect to the defendant."
March 8, 2018
DON'T SAY "F**K YOURSELF" TO AN ETHICS OFFICIAL
Non-lawyers don't always believe that there are Rules of Professional Conduct by which attorneys must abide. One of those Rules is RPC 3.2, which states that "[a] lawyer … shall treat with courtesy and consideration all persons involved in the legal process." Recently, in a case where the facts are truly unbelievable, though undisputed, the Supreme Court of New Jersey reprimanded an attorney who had egregiously violated that rule in dealing with the Office of Attorney Ethics ("OAE").
January 25, 2018
Some Notes About Footnotes In Appellate Briefs
Footnotes are a subject about which there are differing and, in some instances, surprisingly strong views. A militant anti-footnote jurist was Justice Robert Clifford of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, who sought to abolish footnotes from the Court's opinions. He once wrote (quoting John Barrymore) that having to read footnotes was "like having to run downstairs to answer the doorbell during the first night of the honeymoon." In re Opinion 662 of the Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics, 133 N.J. 22, 32 (1993) (Clifford, J., concurring).
December 7, 2017
How Can I Get My Case, Or My Company's Case, To The New Jersey Supreme Court?
Every client, and every attorney, thinks that his or her case is the most important case in the judicial system. (We are right, of course). If the result at the trial level or the Appellate Division is not what we wanted, we then think about going to the New Jersey Supreme Court. It is not easy to get there. But here are some tips about how to do it.
November 22, 2017
Misstatements on Law School Applications: A Pitfall in the Committee on Character Process
It is always a good idea to be candid in completing an application to law school. Applicants are seeking admission to a school that will lead to a career in a profession where candor is one of the highest values. And if the law school discovers a misrepresentation, that could result in denial or revocation of admission, or some sort of discipline if the applicant is already enrolled at the law school.
November 2, 2017
"Does Anybody Really Care About Time?" As Lawyers, We Must
When the pop group Chicago sang "Does anybody really care about time?" their response was "If so, I can't imagine why." As lawyers, we must care about time. There are deadlines for everything. And while some deadlines can be adjusted, either on consent of an opposing party or with the approval of a court, others cannot be changed, or can be altered only on certain conditions. We must know which deadlines fall into which categories.
July 6, 2017
More Appellate Courts Reject the Third Circuit's "Ascertainability" Doctrine
In 2015, my colleague Kyle A. Shamberg wrote this post about the Third Circuit Court of Appeals's doctrine of "ascertainability." That doctrine prevents the certification of a class unless all members of that class can be precisely identified. In consumer cases, involving purchases such as aspirin or weight-loss pills, where consumers do not register their purchases, it is often impossible to identify all the purchasers. The Third Circuit's approach mistakenly blocks class certification in such cases, meaning (as a practical matter) that no one can recover for a defendant seller's wrongdoing.
April 13, 2017
Two-Judge Panels in the Appellate Division: What's Up With That?
We all generally assume that appellate courts consist of an odd number of judges. That way, there is no risk of an evenly divided court. Thus, the Supreme Court of the United States has nine Justices. The Supreme Court of New Jersey has seven Justices. And panels of the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and other Circuit Courts of Appeals, consist of three judges.
January 19, 2017
Addiction Issues and The Supreme Court Committee On Character
Issues such as alcoholism or drug addiction present potential impediments to admission to the New Jersey Bar. Those issues are frequently the subject of hearings before the Supreme Court of New Jersey Committee on Character. But candidates who can show that they have dealt with their addictions can still be admitted, as the case of In re Strait, 120 N.J. 477 (1990), shows.
December 22, 2016
Oral Arguments In Appellate Courts: Some Do's And Don'ts
In over 30 years of doing appellate work, I've learned some things do, and not to do, regarding oral arguments on appeal. Here are three of each, in no particular order:
October 13, 2016
Leapfrog: Direct Certification of Cases By The Supreme Court
Sometimes, parties who are going into the appellate process would love to skip the Appellate Division and go right to the Supreme Court. There's not "an app for that," but there are two Court Rules, Rule 2:12-1 and 2:12-2, that offer ways to leapfrog the Appellate Division and get to the Supreme Court.
August 18, 2016
A Legal Fiction: The "Unpublished" Appellate Division Opinion
When New Jersey's Appellate Division issues an opinion, it is designated as either "published" or "unpublished." Under Rule 1:36-2(a), "[o]pinions of the Appellate Division shall be published only upon the direction of the panel issuing the opinion."
June 9, 2016
What Happens When Two Appellate Panels Disagree?
When two trial level judges disagree about the same legal issue, that is not a big problem. A decision by one trial level judge does not bind another trial judge, and a different judge is free to reach a different result. Any dispute between trial level decisions can be sorted out by an appellate court. That is the rule in both the New Jersey and federal systems
March 3, 2016
To Win on Appeal, Know the Standard of Review
Parties who lose at the trial level take comfort in knowing that they can go to a higher court for review. But not all appellate review is created equal. Both the party who appeals (the "appellant") and the party who opposes the appeal (in New Jersey state court, the "respondent," and in federal court, the "appellee") need to know what level of review is implicated by any particular appeal.
December 17, 2015
Perpetrators of Consumer Fraud Can No Longer Blame Their Victims
We often hear the phrase "caveat emptor," which means "let the buyer beware." But New Jersey courts at all levels, including the Supreme Court, have said that caveat emptor "no longer prevails in New Jersey." As far back as the 1960's, beginning with cases involving the sale of automobiles and real property, our Supreme Court began to repudiate caveat emptor. That trend continued in succeeding decades. Thus, the time is long past when a seller who commits a consumer fraud can hide behind caveat emptor.
October 8, 2015
The Final Hurdle for New Lawyers: The New Jersey Supreme Court's Committee On Character
Before being able to practice law, aspiring lawyers must go through at least nineteen years of education (twelve years through high school, four years of college, and three years of law school). Then they must pass one or more bar examinations. But no one can become an attorney unless the Committee on Character in their state clears them to practice.
September 17, 2015
Simple Language and Clear Principles: The Maxims of Equity
Complex litigation is often fraught with legalese. Frequently, complex litigation seems more concerned with technicalities than what is fair and reasonable. But there is a refreshing body of law that expresses itself in plain English and focuses on what is right and just. That body of law is known as the "maxims of equity."
April 30, 2015
Getting The Other Side to Pay Your Attorneys' Fees
It's all well and good to win your case, but most of the time you still have to pay your attorneys. Our courts follow what is known as the "American Rule." Under that rule, a party, even one who wins the case, generally cannot shift its attorneys' fees to the other side. The reason for this is the policy decision that adopting a "loser pays" regime would deter all but the wealthy from having access to the courts, since even a party with a valid claim might be afraid to sue given the risk, no matter how small, of having to pay the other side's attorneys' fees.
April 2, 2015
I Want to Appeal That Terrible Decision Right Away. Can I?
When a judge makes a bad decision, whether on a motion or at trial, a disappointed party's first reaction is "Appeal at once!" But there are special rules about how quickly an appeal can be brought, and it's important to know when an immediate appeal is or is not allowed. The rules about appealability differ between state and federal courts.