A matrimonial judge in New Jersey was out of line when he capped legal fees at $50,000 for each side in a divorce case because he was offended by the sums charged, a state appeals court ruled Nov. 30.

Essex County Superior Court Judge Thomas Zampino imposed the limit sua sponte after remarking that $148,606 in fees for the plaintiff and $81,394 for the defendant were “shocking” in a “cut and dry” case.

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