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Vol. 4, No. 154 – August 12, 1996 STATE COURT CASE CONTRACTS — CONSTRUCTION — INDEMNIFICATION 11-2-9835 Jose Mendoca, et al. v. Jean C. Jean- Baptiste, et al. v. Onorato Constr. Inc., App. Div. (9 pp.) In an action concerning a construction worker’s accident on a roadway construction site, since the hold-harmless clause of an agreement between the county and contractor unquestionably provided indemnification for the county and its agents, and since the project engineer was an independent contractor providing construction oversight services to the county, and in that capacity served as the county s on-site representative and agent, the motion judge erred in holding that contractor was not obligated to indemnify project engineer. FEDERAL COURT CASES BANKRUPTCY 42-8-9836 In re R.M.L. Inc., etc., Debtor; Mellon Bank, N.A. v. Official Comm. of Unsecured Creditors of R.M.L. Inc., etc., Third Cir. (31 pp.) In an adversary proceeding filed against bank to recover, as constructively fraudulent transfers, over half a million dollars in commitment fees paid to bank by debtor, the district court correctly held that the loan commitment given to debtor was so conditional when issued that the chances of the loan closing were minimal, and it conferred virtually no indirect economic benefit on the debtor; therefore, the court correctly ordered the bank to return all but its out- of-pocket expenses to the debtor s estate. [Filed Aug. 1, 1996.] EDUCATION — CIVIL RIGHTS 16-7-9837 Judith Schanzer v. Rutgers Univ., et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (25 pp.) In assistant professor s action alleging racial, sexual and religious discrimination — culminating with two separate decisions to deny her tenure — (1) defendants motion to dismiss those allegations of a second amended complaint occurring subsequent to the first denial of tenure as improperly exhausted is denied, since the allegations found in the second, unresolved, EEOC complaint are merely an extension of those found in the first; (2) since an employer s agent may not be held individually liable under Title VII, those counts must be dismissed; and (3) the court grants defendants motion to dismiss the claim alleging whistleblowing as contrary to public policy — seeking a remedy under the Pierce doctrine — as the New Jersey LAD provides an appropriate remedy under state law. [Filed July 16, 1996.][For publication July 31, 1996.] LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT 25-7-9838 Shante Dennis v. Gil Neely, etc., et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (10 pp.) Since the plaintiff has not alleged that she is subject to any of the recognized exceptions to the general New Jersey employee-at-will rule, her wrongful termination suit is dismissed, and her motion to amend her complaint to allege racial discrimination is denied for failure to exhaust administrative remedies with the EEOC. [Filed Aug. 1, 1996.] LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT — ERISA 25-7-9839 Teresa Kowalski v. L&F Prods., U.S. Dist. Ct. (9 pp.) In a case where plaintiff was terminated because she had fraudulently obtained medical leave by receiving disability benefits for incapacitation while at the same time she was working as a cleaning woman, where plaintiff alleged that she was terminated in an attempt to interfere with her entitlement to plan benefits, plaintiff s motion to amend to add a wrongful termination claim based on the employee manual is denied, since such claim is preempted by ERISA. [Filed July 31, 1996.] CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE — FREEDOM OF INFORMATION 14-7-9840 Wayne Pray v. Internal Revenue Serv., U.S. Dist. Ct. (6 pp.) Since the affidavits of the Internal Revenue Service personnel demonstrate a diligent inquiry for the documents responsive to plaintiff s FOIA request — for information related to his seized jewelry — defendant s motion for summary judgment on plaintiff s complaint seeking to compel the IRS to provide additional information is granted. [Filed July 31, 1996.] A Daily Reporter of New Jersey Court Decisions THIS WEEK IN THE … Conventional wisdom suggests that small law firms should not give associates a percentage of the fees generated by business they bring in. But firms that do it say it is the best way to teach young lawyers how to generate business. See page 29 of this week’s Law Journal.

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