New Jersey Appellate Law Blog

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Jan 22, 2021 by Bruce D. Greenberg

Revised Children in Court Standards are Issued, But Without Change to Appeal-Related Items

The Supreme Court announced Directive # 03-21, available here. That Directive supersedes Directive # 18-17. The new Directive “promulgates a revised set of Children in Court (CIC) standards as approved by the Supreme Court.” The standards themselves have been revised in various ways, as described in the Directive. Three appeal-related documents– the Acknowledgement of Appeal…

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Jan 21, 2021 by Bruce D. Greenberg

Use in Summation of a Picture From “The Shining” Takes the Shine Off a Robbery Conviction

State v. Williams, ___ N.J. ___ (2021). In this case, defendant, accused of robbing a bank, was convicted of second degree robbery. That crime requires force or the threat of force, putting a victim in fear of immediate bodily injury. Third degree theft, which does not have that same requirement and carries a lesser sentence,…

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Jan 20, 2021 by Bruce D. Greenberg

An OPRA Case for the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court announced that it has granted certification in Libertarians for Transparent Government v. Cumberland County. The question presented, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s office, is “Is a settlement agreement between a county government and a former employee resolving an internal disciplinary action against the employee a government record under section 10…

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Jan 15, 2021 by Bruce D. Greenberg

The Supreme Court Will Decide the Constitutional Validity of an Indictment Returned by a Virtual Grand Jury

The Supreme Court announced that it has granted review in State v. Vega-Larregui. Pursuant to Rule 2:12-1, the Court granted direct certification of a portion of defendant’s motion to dismiss the indictment that was pending in the Law Division, Mercer County. The certification is limited to “defendant’s constitutional challenge to the indictment returned by a…

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Jan 14, 2021 by Bruce D. Greenberg

An Anniversary in Damages Law

On this date in 1957, the Supreme Court decided Tessmar v. Grossner, 23 N.J. 193 (1957). The case involved a dispute over patient records from a dermatology practice in Westwood, NJ. Plaintiff’s decedent, Dr. Kadisch, became ill and was unable to practice. He entered into a written contract with defendant under which defendant would “take…

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Jan 13, 2021 by Bruce D. Greenberg

The Supreme Court Follows Plain Statutory Language and Limits the “Good Faith Defense” Under the Wage and Hour Law

Branch v. Cream-O-Land Dairy, ___ N.J. ___ (2021). As summarized here, the Appellate Division in this overtime Wage and Hour Law (“WHL”) class action case reversed a summary judgment ruling for the defense, holding that the statute’s “good faith defense” was not available to defendant. Today, in a unanimous opinion by Justice Patterson, the Supreme…

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Jan 12, 2021 by Bruce D. Greenberg

Former Rutgers Graduate Student Can Obtain His Own Student Records Under OPRA

Doe v. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2021). Today, the Appellate Division, speaking through Judge Sumners, issued a decision under the Open Public Records Act, N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq. (“OPRA”). Plaintiff, formerly a student at the university’s Graduate School of Business, made several OPRA requests. The first…

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Jan 11, 2021 by Bruce D. Greenberg

Gubernatorial Pardon Dissolves Statutory Bar on Expungement of Convictions

In re Petition for Expungement of the Criminal Record Belonging to T.O., ___ N.J. ___ (2021). The first Supreme Court opinion of 2021, issued this morning, was authored by Chief Justice Rabner. The issue, as stated in the first sentence of the opinion, was “the effect of a gubernatorial pardon on request to expunge a…

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Jan 6, 2021 by Bruce D. Greenberg

The Appellate Division Declines to Follow an Outmoded Errors and Appeals Decision About Age-Related Lay Opinion Testimony

State v. Gerena, ___ N.J. Super. ___ (App. Div. 2021). Defendant was convicted of fourth degree lewdness. A statutory grading element of that offense is that one or more of the children whom witnesses testified were near defendant were under the age of thirteen. To address the age issue, the State offered testimony of witnesses…

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Jan 4, 2021 by Bruce D. Greenberg

The Passaic River Was Navigable at the Route 3 Bridge, Entitling an Injured Maritime Worker to Benefits

Wilson v. Director, Office of Workers Compensation Programs, United States Dep’t of Labor, ___ F.3d ___ (3d Cir. 2020). The final published opinion of the Third Circuit in 2020 was a case in which plaintiff, a maritime construction worker on a project to replace a Route 3 bridge spanning the Passaic River between Clifton and…

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