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VOL. 3, NO. 6 DECISIONS RELEASED JANUARY 10, 1995 TAXATION 35-5-4688 George V. Richardson v. Dir., Div. of Taxation, Tax Ct. (19 pp.) Where New Jersey resident, who miscalculated 1988 gross income tax, claimed that he should not be charged a penalty or interest under N.J.S.A. 54:49-11b, because he relied on alleged erroneous instructions, tax court held that the resident is not entitled to a refund, since N.J.S.A. 54:49-11b, which became operative in July 1, 1993, has no relevance to return instructions issued for the 1988 taxable year. (Approved for publication Jan. 9, 1994.) ATTORNEY/CLIENT – NEGLIGENCE 04-2-4689 Riki Dinter, et al. v. Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Bertram Siegel, and Siegel & Siegel, App. Div. (19 pp.) Where plaintiffs’ original counsel, who would not file an appeal unless plaintiffs paid the costs, would not turn the file over to plaintiffs’ new counsel even after numerous requests, trial court erred in awarding the original counsel a quantum meruit fee, since the attorney/client relationship terminated when he refused to handle the appeal.[Available online in N.J. Full-Text Decisions.] EDUCATION – PUBLIC EMPLOYEE 16-2-4690 Genevieve Cirasa v. State-Operated School Dist. of the City of Paterson, App. Div. (12 pp.) Where accounts supervisor challenged state superintendent’s decision not to rehire her, superintendent’s decision was proper, since her position was abolished after the state takeover, and she lacked the capability to provide clear direction. INSURANCE – AUTOMOBILES 23-2-4691 Roxanne Campione v. Joyce M. Chamberlain, et al., App. Div. (6 pp.) Where plaintiff injured her knee in a car accident, trial court erred in dismissing the complaint for failure to meet the verbal threshold, since the plaintiff, a nationally ranked gymnast, could no longer participate in competitive gymnastics. LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT 25-2-4692 Teresa A. Wehmann v. Bd. of Review, App. Div. (5 pp.) Where an operations manager was advised to take a separation package because her employer could not guarantee that there would be a local position for her, board erred in denying her unemployment benefits, since her fear of being laid off was supported by “definitive objective facts.” TORTS 36-2-4693 Laila Matar v. James Aguilar, et al. and Hackensack Medical Crt. et al., App. Div. (10 pp.) Where plaintiff was injured when a plastic cover for the light fixture fell striking her in the head, jury properly reached a no-cause verdict, since the hospital demonstrated that it took all reasonable efforts to provide a safe place. 36-2-4694 Paul Tessein v. Anchor Carting Corp., et al., App. Div. (16 pp.) Where a foreman was injured on the job when a garbage truck backed into him, and a jury found the plaintiff more negligent than the defendants, trial judge properly granted a new trial, since the judge in the jury charge failed to ask jurors to consider the truck’s failure to have backup warnings. 36-2-4695 Lauren Tomasso v. Roller Magic Roller Rink, et al., App. Div. (6 pp.) Where attorney for roller-skater, who fractured her spine and right leg, argued to the jury that the rink’s presentation of medical testimony was an admission of liability, trial judge erred in not providing a curative instruction, since this argument could produce an unjust verdict.[Available online in N.J. Full-Text Decisions.] TORTS – GOVERNMENT 36-2-4696 Tisha C. Burgess, et al. v. Pleasantville Bd. of Educ., et al., App. Div. (8 pp.) Where mother of student, who was hit by a car while leaving school, sued the principal for not transferring her daughter before the accident to another school, trial court erred in not dismissing the complaint against the school principal, who was immune from suit because the decision was within his discretion as a public officials. 36-2-4697 Josephine Kaplan v. Morristown Armory, et al., App. Div. (7 pp.) Where plaintiff slipped and hurt herself in a county armory parking lot, trial court properly dismissed a complaint for filing a late claim notice under the Tort Claims Act, since plaintiff waited until four months after the accident to retain counsel, even though she knew she had a viable cause of action. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE 14-2-4698 State v. Cornelius E. Carter, App. Div. (4 pp.) Where defendant was convicted of cocaine possession after the arresting officer found cocaine in a paper bag under a jacket on the front car seat, trial court erred in not granting a suppression motion, since the officer should have patted the bag down and only have opened it if he had probable cause to believe the bag contained a weapon or non-weapon contraband. 14-2-4699 State v. John De Giorgio, App. Div. (6 pp.) Where defendant was convicted of unlawful weapons possession, trial court erred in excluding evidence that defendant had a valid New York gun permit, since it was admissible on the issue of defendant’s knowledge that he possessed the weapon in New Jersey. 14-2-4700 State v. David Luna, App. Div. (6 pp.) Where defendant, a juvenile, pled guilty to cocaine distribution, trial court erred in sentencing defendant to an indeterminate sentence under the Young Adult Offenders statute, since the Comprehensive Drug Reform Act, which was enacted later, precludes imposing an indeterminate sentence in this case. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE – ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES 14-2-4701 State v. Judith Smith, App. Div. (4 pp.) Where, in municipal court, defendant was convicted of drunk driving, Superior Court judge erred in acquitting the defendant on grounds that the municipal court improperly limited the cross-examination of the state’s key witness, since the judge should have supplemented the record, but the state’s appeal is barred by the double jeopardy clauses of the state and federal constitutions.

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