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Vol. 4 No. 42 Decisions Released March 4, 1996 STATE COURT CASES ADMINISTRATIVE LAW — HORSE RACING 01-2-8051 Jack Rice v. N.J. Racing Comm’n, App. Div. (3 pp.) The court affirms the racing commission’s decision to impose a 30-day suspension on a harness racing driver-trainer for an unsatisfactory drive and conduct detrimental to the sport, and driver-trainer’s allegations that the horse had serious health problems that affected the drive are unsupported. ATTORNEY/CLIENT 04-2-8052 Maria Conforti v. Ian Hirsch, et al., App. Div. (8 pp.) Collateral estoppel bars plaintiff’s complaint against her former matrimonial attorneys — claiming that they were negligent in drafting and advising her in a divorce settlment about a lease agreement’s first-refusal provision — where all of these issues had been adjudicated in a prior action seeking reformation of the lease. CIVIL PROCEDURE 07-2-8053 Angelo Donato v. Matthew J. Woods, et al., App. Div. (7 pp.) The trial judge abused his discretion in dismissing plaintiff’s complaint for failure to appear at trial since there were lesser sanctions that would have served as well under the circumstances, and plaintiff had advised his attorney that he would be out of state for a period of time. CONSUMER PROTECTION 09-2-8054 Nora Nicolaidis v. Good Year Twin City, App. Div. (2 pp.) The judge erred in awarding plaintiff treble damages for defendant’s deceptive practices, since the deceptive practices — failing to give a written estimate and failing to obtain authorization to perform the work — caused no ascertainable loss to plaintiff, which her came entirely from malfunctioning of her car, for which the judge determined the defendant was not responsible. ENVIRONMENT 17-2-8055 George F. Hutchinson Jr. v. Washington Twp., et al., App. Div. (6 pp.) Appeal of DEP’s approval of municipality’s wastewater management plan, as it affects appellant’s land, is dismissed as moot, since appellant is still in the process of pursuing administrative remedies. INSURANCE — VERBAL THRESHOLD 23-2-8056 Margaret Coy v. Stacey Bell, App. Div. (4 pp.) Plaintiff’s case was properly dismissed because her medical reports failed to make a differential diagnosis with respect to the two injuries plaintiff suffered in different accidents. LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT — AT WILL EMPLOYMENT 25-2-8057 Edwin Baumgartner v. Orologio Int’l Ltd., Inc., App. Div. (3 pp.) Judgment entered in favor of former employee as a result of his termination for suspected theft is reversed, and the issues regarding the theft are irrelevant, since the employee was at-will and could have been discharged at any time for no reason. TORTS — DEFAMATION 36-2-8058 Alene Ammond v. Kenneth Shuttleworth, et al., App. Div. (3 pp.) The trial judge correctly held that Democratic campaign coordinator’s remark that plaintiff was “an old political whore” does not constitute defamation per se, and is nothing more than political hyperbole, name-calling and rhetoric. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE 14-2-8059 State v. Richard Barone, App. Div. (26 pp.) Defendant’s state indictment for theft offenses must be dismissed where defendant, not facing any formal state charges, cooperated with a federal prosecutor in exchange for an agreement by that prosecutor that the defendant would not be prosecuted by “the government” for the crimes he disclosed, and then federal law enforcement officers breached that agreement in a manner which contributed to defendant’s state indictment. [Approved for publication March 4, 1996. Available online in N.J. Full-Text Decisions.] FEDERAL COURT CASES CONTRACTS — THIRD PARTY BENEFICIARIES — WARRANTIES 11-7-8060 Egyptian Metal Co. v. Novo-Plez, S.A., et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (11 pp.) (1) Since plaintiff was an incidental, and not an intended, third-party beneficiary of the agreements between the co-defendants, it cannot maintain a contract action against co-defendant that originally sold goods to co-defendant buyer, and plaintiff’s claims for breach of contract and tortious breach of contract are dismissed. (2) Since privity is not required for commercial buyer to sue co-defendant seller as a remote supplier for express and implied warranties or unjust enrichment, these claims will not be dismissed, but, since material issues of fact remain unresolved regarding these claims, summary judgment is not proper. CORRECTIONS 13-7-8061 C.P.M. v. Victor D’Ilio, etc., U.S. Dist. Ct. (19 pp.) The court grants parolee’s motion for a preliminary injunction — stopping parole bureau from now notifying parolee’s employer, after three years of employment — of his parole status and the nature of his conviction — since the bureau did not comply with its own procedures requiring employer contact within 30 days of employment commencing and has shown no evidence that parolee is a risk to society, and since parolee has been substantially rehabilitated and would suffer irreparable harm from such disclosure. [For publication. Available on line in 3rd Circuit - District Court.] FAMILY LAW — CRIMINAL ACTS — WARRANTLESS SEARCHES 20-8-8062 Charles Parkhurst v. Officer Edward Trapp, et al., Third Cir. (10 pp.) When police officers arrived at defendant father’s home — on mother’s call that she believed father and his mother had abducted child — and the police did a protective sweep of father’s home and took father into custody, they erred in returning to search the home further without a warrant, since exigent circumstances were not present after the officers had already determined that the child was not in the home.

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