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Vol. 4 No. 130 – JULY 9, 1996 FEDERAL COURT CASES ATTORNEYS — FEES 04-7-9512 Tony Gomes Construction Co., Inc. v. J.P. Horan, Inc., et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (10 pp.) On plaintiff s counsel s motion for a pro rata distribution of settlement funds deposited with the court — arising out of a business tort and contract action — (1) the court finds that a 30% fee on a gross recovery of over $370,000 is reasonable for plaintiff s primary attorney, (2) the court awards almost $46,000 to additional counsel, finding his invoices and $125 per hour rate reasonable, and plaintiff s objections to the fee awards are without merit. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 53-7-9513 Securacom Consulting, Inc. v. Securacom, Inc. v. Ronald S. Libengood, U.S. Dist. Ct. (12 pp.) On plaintiff s application to add additional parties and a claim for libel to underlying infringement suit, and defendant s cross motion for summary judgment on these issues, (1) where the individual party to be added issued an allegedly libelous letter on letterhead of the corporate party to be added, since there are genuine issues of material fact with respect to the status of these parties as litigants in the original suit, summary judgment cannot be granted on their claim of absolute immunity, (2) the motion to add the individual party would not be futile and is granted, since he could be liable for his personal participation in using the corporate form to perpetrate wrongful acts, and (3) since the corporation could be vicariously liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior, the motion to add it as a party is also granted. LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT 25-7-9514 Adil Hiramanek v. Datascope Corp., et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (32 pp.) In a case where plaintiff alleges employment discrimination and wrongful termination based upon his Indian heritage, inter alia, (1) plaintiff s constitutional allegations are dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, (2) plaintiff s LAD claim is dismissed because he filed suit in state court well before he even attempted to withdraw his administrative discrimination claim, (3) plaintiff s retaliation claims under Title VII are dismissed because he has failed to show that the employer s reasons for firing him were not merely a pretext for discrimination, and because the termination came long after his filing of his discrimination claim, however (4) the court denies the employer s motion to dismiss the Title VII discrimination claims since there is a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether employer s reasons for the adverse employment actions against plaintiff were pretextual. PENSIONS 56-8-9515 John M. Hein, et al. v. F.D.I.C., et al., Third Cir. (42 pp.) The district court erred in ruling that, under ERISA section 204(g) and the same desk rule enunciated in Gillis v. Hoechst Celanese Corp., the failed bank s pension plan was required to credit bank employee with time served with the successor corporation, and that decision is reversed and remanded to the district court to enter judgment for the defendants. TAXATION 35-8-9516 U.S.A. v. Fred A. Avila, et al.; Frances Sylvester v. Ticor Title Ins. Co., et al., Third Cir. (31 pp.) In a case involving a tax lien against a husband, but not wife, where the husband conveyed real estate subject to the lien to his wife, who, after they divorced, later sold it to third parties, (1) the government s tax lien in real property is not limited to a taxpayer s equity when he conveyed the property subject to the lien to his wife, but attaches to the appreciation in the value of the property after the conveyance, and the district court erred in holding otherwise. (2) The determination of the property interest to which the lien attaches will depend on the relative longevities of the husband and wife. (3) The second purchasers of the property subject to the lien properly can claim the benefits of equitable subrogation to encumbrances against the property with priority over the government lien. TORTS — LIBEL — FAIR REPORT PRIVILEGE 36-7-9517 National League for Nursing, et al. v. Elizabeth Jaffe, U.S. Dist. Ct. (15 pp.) Where defendant had been an employee of plaintiffs, and commenced an action for intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault and battery against plaintiffs after she resigned, and where defendant took a court opinion issued in that case, which republished certain of her allegations against plaintiffs — which they allege to be defamatory — and sent this opinion to various nursing publications, defendant s motion to dismiss the libel suit against her on the basis of fair report privilege is denied, since the privilege does not protect defendant if she acted with malice, and plaintiff s complaint clearly contains allegations which, if proved, would defeat the fair report privilege. A Daily Reporter of New Jersey Court Decisions

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