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New Jersey Supreme Court Year in Review
New Jersey Law Journal
Municipal Law: Trees, Trash and Terrain
The limits of municipal power and authority were tested in the Supreme Court this term. From a municipality's ability to preserve open space and trees to their ability to control trash collection and rats (albeit inflatable ones), the Supreme Court analyzed the source of municipal power to address a variety of topics.
By Edward J. Buzak
Environmental Law: Land Use Issues Dominate Environmental Agenda
This year’s docket included four decisions that have significant implications for environmental and real estate attorneys. The rulings concerned highlands, tree removal, open space/recreation, and solid waste issues.
By Lewis Goldshore
Commercial Law: Consumer Fraud Act Expands
The overriding theme of the past term with respect to commercial law has to do with the expansiveness of the Consumer Fraud Act. In three separate cases the Court eschewed opportunities to limit the scope of the CFA, and instead broadly interpreted that act to allow for its application.
By Arthur L. Raynes
Legal Ethics & Malpractice: At the Crossroads of Constitutionally Protected Free Speech and the Rules Of Professional Conduct
This past term we saw our Supreme Court hand down a major decision in the area of attorney advertising, which recognizes the benefit of permitting prospective clients to have access to more information about the lawyers they seek to retain so long as that information is truthful and not misleading.
By Bennett J. Wasserman and Krishna J. Shah
Tort Law: Court Firmly Establishes a Moderate Course in Tort Law
The Supreme Court has firmly established a moderate course in tort law. The Court fashioned tight standards of proof for plaintiffs in automobile cases and for the use of res ipsa in medical malpractice litigation. Where the court perceived a legislative intent for expansive liability like consumer fraud and child sex abuse, the Court interpreted the statutes liberally.
By Ronald Grayzel
Employment Law: Court Refines and Recasts Essentials of Employment Law Claims
The Court refined and recast the elements of a claim for discharge in violation of public policy, it clarified the interplay between spoliation as an evidence issue and as a substantive claim of fraudulent concealment; it addressed what constitutes protected activity under the LAD; and it clarified the limits of fair comment in summation.
By Rosemary Alito
Criminal Law: Court Expresses Displeasure for Plea Agreements Based on Faulty Advice and for The Polygraph
There was no single area of focus for the Court, but several cases this term dealt with defendants seeking to retract plea agreements based upon the alleged faulty advice of counsel. In one instance, a defendant claimed to have turned down a plea agreement because he received faulty sentencing advice from counsel.
By Alan L. Zegas
Family Law: Supreme Court Sends The Signal: CDR Is Here to Stay
A combination of cited rules and the single family decision of the Court this past year should resolve any doubt that the Court desires to remove from litigation within the system as many family connected matters as possible.
By Edward S. Snyder
Supreme Court Year in Review: Case Index