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Supreme Court Year in Review
New Jersey Law Journal
Modern Communications in the Workplace: Court Establishes Bright-line Test for Attorney-Client Privileged E-mail
The Court’s employment decisions this term kept it in the vanguard, addressing novel issues surrounding the use of electronic communications in the workplace, confirming the scope of the continuing violation doctrine and the discovery rule, and adopting a limited interpretation of an exception to the Law Against Discrimination.
By Rosemary Alito
Legal Ethics & Malpractice
Settle and Sue Is Here to Stay
New Jersey has now been made clear on the parameters of “settle and sue” malpractice litigation and has been warned about the malpractice trap for not adhering to the statutory time limits for furnishing affidavits of merit.
By Bennett J. Wasserman & Krishna J. Shah
Justice Wallace Leaves His Mark: School Searches Subjected to a Standard Lower Than Probable Cause
Though the Governor’s decision to not reappoint Wallace was enmeshed in controversy, the decisions of Justice Wallace, this term as in prior ones, hardly reflect a jurist run amok. In one of the Court’s milestone decisions this past term, he decided that a high school assistant principal’s decision to search a student’s automobile parked on school property was subject to a lower standard than probable cause.
By Alan Zegas
Court Vindicates Citizens’ Rights
From the right to the sanctity of the polling places to the right to speak out at a public meeting, from the right to review confidential governmental settlements of litigation to the right to challenge local legislation through referendum, from the right to challenge governmental takings years after the governmental action had been initiated to preventing the abuse of expenditures from campaign funds, the Supreme Court sided unanimously with the citizens’ position
By Edward J. Buzak
Court at a Crossroad
The High Court refused to expand the responsibilities of real estate brokers toward their customers. The Justices also handed down a decision restricting the right to sue under a statute passed during tort reform. On the other hand, the Supreme Court continued its efforts to control the impact of the Affidavit of Merit Statute. The Supreme Court also focused its attention on long-arm jurisdiction, evidential questions and the scope of insurance coverage.
By Ronald Grayzel
Spoliation Limits Plaintiff’s Claims
In an important case for commercial construction litigation, the Court described the remedies available for spoliation of evidence and how to determine when to utilize them. The Court also analyzed distinct issues in a variety of areas of commercial law. The Supreme Court also expanded the reach of personal jurisdiction and analyzed the role of a title company in a real estate transaction tainted by fraud.
By Arthur L. Raynes
Guidance Rendered on Conflict Issues, Consequences of Hiding Facts and the Scope Of the Corporate Business Tax Authority
The New Jersey Supreme Court’s recent term featured several significant opinions that have an impact on tax practitioners regarding out-of-state corporate taxpayers, and municipal tax assessments.
By Robert Alter
Environmental Law Continues to Evolve
The Court’s docket this year included four decisions that will have significant implications for environmental and real estate attorneys. The rulings concerned taking, funding, highlands and water utilities issues.
By Lewis Goldshore
Court Looks to Public Policy and Equitable Considerations In Evaluating Its Light Load of Family Law Decisions
The matrimonial bar was treated to only two significant decisions, neither of which was particularly earth shattering, one on the constitutionality of the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, and the other on distribution of assets after the death of a party to a divorce action.
By Edward S. Snyder