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Vol. 4, No. 160 – August 19, 1996 STATE COURT CASES ATTORNEY/CLIENT 04-2-9877 Blume, Vazquez, et al. v. Dobrila Rector, App. Div. (5 pp.) The judge erred in conducting neither a bench trial nor a jury trial, but a “hybrid preliminary conference, although under oath and on the record, to ascertain the various fee and malpractice claims presented by the parties, and, although the procedure was seemingly equivalent to consideration of a motion for summary judgment, it was improper because no such motion had been made, and judgment entered in favor of plaintiff law firm is reversed. DEBTOR/CREDITOR — PARTNERSHIPS 15-2-9878 United Jersey Bank, etc. v. Peter C. Dautel, et al., App. Div. (13 pp.) Analyzing the pertinent conveyance and cross-collateralization and cross-default agreements executed between the parties surrounding a failed real estate development, the court reverses summary judgment dismissing defendants counterclaim, since the release contained therein is ambiguous, and there are factual questions regarding the authority of the individual defendant to waive rights held by the partnership and his partner in signing the release. FAMILY LAW 20-2-9879 Francine L. Garbut v. Arnold Garbut, App. Div. (14 pp.) Since there was substantial evidence of an ongoing dialogue between the parties and recognition by each of them of their additional responsibilities towards certain necessary expenses for the children, the judge s decision ordering the husband to pay certain of these expenses was not a modification of the divorce agreement, requiring a plenary hearing, but a recognition and enforcement of the parties practice, supported by certifications, and susceptible to a decision on the papers, therefore, with respect to contributions toward the costs of religious instruction, tutoring, college expenses and child support arrears, the decision is affirmed, however, the trial court s order that the husband reimburse wife for amounts she expended on son s car loan is reversed as “unnecessary. FAMILY LAW — DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 20-2-9880 D.A. v. S.A., App. Div. (5 pp.) (1) Deciding that defendant s testimony was more credible, the trial judge found that plaintiff was guilty of domestic violence against defendant, and therefore dismissed plaintiff s domestic violence claim against defendant and awarded counsel fees to defendant; and (2) the judge properly amended the charge and conformed the proofs in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2, since there was evidence of criminal sexual contact to support such amendment. HEALTH 22-2-9881 Beverly Enterprises-New Jersey, Inc., etc. v. Leonard Fishman, Esq., etc., App. Div. (11 pp.) Applicant for a certificate of need must disclose licensure performance information regarding its out- of-state corporate parent, however, before a CON can be denied based on licensure standard deficiencies at out-of-state facilities owned and operated by the applicant, the applicant is entitled to a fair and meaningful hearing, and the denial without such a hearing is reversed as arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable. MUNICIPAL LAW 30-2-9882 Midway East, Inc., etc., et al. v. Twp. of Berkeley, etc., et al., App. Div. (7 pp.) Municipal decision to terminate garbage collection within plaintiffs private residential seaside community, although constitutional, was discriminatory as applied to plaintiffs, since the Township had failed to implement its permissive authority to deny garbage collection in a uniform fashion, and the decision was properly reversed by the trial judge. PHYSICIAN/PATIENT 29-2-9883 Muhja Samo, etc., et al. v. Jane A. Colfax, M.D., et al., App. Div. (18 pp.) (1) The trial judge erred by not granting a mistrial during jury selection and choosing, instead, to overrule the peremptory challenge to the remaining minority juror on the panel, since the judge s remarks suggest that he did find an impermissible pattern of discrimination in the challenges exercised by defendants, and the entire venire should have been quashed. (2) The trial judge improperly refused to ask the jury array if its members were biased against Muslims, as plaintiff appeared throughout the trial in traditional Arab dress. (3) The jury instructions were poorly worded and gave the jury little guidance on crucial matters. FEDERAL COURT CASES LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT — TITLE VII — DISABILITIES 25-2-9884 Annie James, Pro Se v. Woodbridge Developmental Center, U.S. Dist. Ct. (6 pp.) In case alleging that plaintiff was discriminated against based upon her weight, (1) plaintiff s motion for appointment of counsel is denied, since the court finds that plaintiff has failed to present facts sufficient to support a prima facie case of discrimination, and defendant has set forth arguably non-discriminatory reasons for the plaintiff s termination. (2) Because no prejudice will attach to plaintiff as a result of defendant s request for an extension of time within which to answer, this request is granted. PRODUCT LIABILITY — INTERLOCUTORY APPEALS 32-7-9885 Robert T. Hulmes, et al. v. Honda Motor Co., Ltd., et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (17 pp.) Court denies plaintiff s request for an interlocutory order for certification under 28 U.S.C. 1292(b) — of court order denying his motion to bar evidence of plaintiff s alcohol consumption immediately prior to the tragic accident giving rise to this case — since he has failed to prove that the case contains the requisite controlling question of law or substantial ground for difference of opinion — the court having properly applied and followed N.J. s “unfitness to drive” rule. [Filed Aug. 12, 1996.][For publication.] —END— A Daily Reporter of New Jersey Court Decisions THIS WEEK IN THE … In a set of cases that speak volumes about the dangers lurking in New Jersey for out-of-state firms, Blue Bell, Pa.’s Kimmel & Silverman — which specializes in lemon-law suits — and its Haddonfield branch has discovered how tough the state’s conflict-of-interest rules can be on lawyers who switch firms. On Aug. 8, U.S. District Judge Stephen Orlofsky affirmed a magistrate’s decision to disqualify Kimmel & Silverman from lemon law suits against General Motors Corp. in New Jersey because the firm hired a lawyer who had defended GM in similar cases, often against Kimmel & Silverman. By contrast, a judge in Pennsylvania permitted the firm to continue suing GM. See page 29 of this week’s Law Journal.

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