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Vol. 4 No. 145 – JULY 30, 1996 STATE COURT CASES ATTORNEY/CLIENT 04-2-9724 Family Fidelity Ins. Ltd., et al. v. Schwartz, Tobia & Stanziale, P.A., et al., App. Div. (5 pp.) Judge erred in staying legal malpractice matter until plaintiffs allegations of unethical conduct by defendant attorneys were resolved through the attorney disciplinary process, since actions for malpractice and disciplinary actions serve different functions and plaintiffs should not be forced to pursue the disciplinary route before being allowed to pursue a malpractice claim. BANKRUPTCY — ACCOUNTING MALPRACTICE — ENTIRE CONTROVERSY 42-2-9725 Richard C. Wolffe v. Ernst & Young, App. Div. (7 pp.) The trial court incorrectly dismissed plaintiff s accounting malpractice complaint on entire controversy grounds — for plaintiff s failure to seek joinder of his claims during the pendency of certain related bankruptcy proceedings — since the court did not consider whether the federal bankruptcy court had subject matter jurisdiction to consider such claims. EDUCATION — EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION 16-2-9726 Ruby J. Dorough v. Cherry Hill Bd. of Educ., et al., App. Div. (13 pp.) The trial court properly granted summary judgment to all defendants in this racial discrimination case, since the plaintiff — a black former second grade teacher with a history of unsatisfactory performance — did not raise a genuine factual issue regarding either the level of her job performance or her separation from the school system. ENVIRONMENT 17-2-9727 Dept. of Envt’l Protection, etc. v. Chad Lennon, etc., et al., App. Div. (28 pp.) The court affirms a DEP commissioner order that debars appellants from owning, operating, managing, controlling or having any interest in any New Jersey solid waste or recycling business until they are granted the necessary approvals and permits, and although the federal District Court recently decided that New Jersey waste-flow regulations were unconstitutional, this finding has no impact on the penalties assessed in this case, and under the circumstances of the case, appellants cannot shield themselves from liability for the deliberate regulations violations by raising the unconstitutionality defense. FAMILY LAW 20-2-9728 Beth Sengson Viapiano v. Richard D. Viapiano, App. Div. (8 pp.) Order permitting defendant to buy out plaintiff s interest in the former marital residence and determining the method for fixing the amount to be paid is affirmed, with one modification. LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT 25-2-9729 Christine Baliko, et al. v. Joseph P. Stecker, et al., App. Div. (8 pp.) The Law Division erred in granting summary judgment to defendants in a case brought by female construction workers — alleging a sexually hostile work environment due to vulgarity when they crossed a picket line — since many factors would be relevant to a court s evaluation of the severity and pervasiveness of the defendants conduct, and matter is remanded for a full evidentiary hearing. LANDLORD/TENANT 27-2-9730 Louis Fisher, et al. v. Discount Furniture of Bricktown, etc., et al., App. Div. (7 pp.) Summary judgment was properly granted to defendants other than actual tenant in breach of lease and rent collection action brought by landlord, since there was no assignment of the entire lease by virtue of which subtenant could be liable beyond its sublease, and the trial judge properly found that neither of the other partner defendants was obligated for the balance of the lease. REAL ESTATE — FRAUD 34-2-9731 Kathleen Dagiau v. Joel Cooper, et al., App. Div. (12 pp.) Where defendant became intimate with broker plaintiff, and later induced her to enter into real estate transactions with him and later reneged on promises made, molded judgment awarding plaintiff compensatory and punitive damages against him is affirmed. TAXATION Now on Counsel 35-1-9732 The R.C. Maxwell Co., et al. v. Galloway Twp., et al., Supreme Ct. (28 pp.) Wooden billboards are not taxable or subject to assessment for local property taxes as real property because they fall under the tax exemption of N.J.S.A. 54:4-1(a). FEDERAL COURT CASES CONTRACTS 11-8-9733 Ideal Dairy Farms Inc. v. John Labatt, Ltd., et al.; Tuscan Dairy Farms Inc. v. Ideal Dairy Farms Inc., et al., Third Cir. (40 pp. – includes dissent) The district court properly granted summary judgment on plaintiff s fraud, antitrust and RICO claims because there simply was not enough concrete evidence in the record to support these claims, however, the court improperly granted summary judgment dismissing plaintiff s contract claims because genuine issues of material fact exist. [Filed July 24, 1996.] INSURANCE — ABSTENTION 23-7-9734 M.A. Aziz Agency, et al. v. Atl. Mut. Ins. Co., et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (5 pp.) Plaintiff s motion for reconsideration of order dismissing plaintiff s complaint — alleging wrongful termination of insurance agency contract — is denied, since plaintiff has presented no new evidence, and the fact that the Appellate Division has ruled on a related matter does not change the basis on which this court chose to abstain. [Filed July 24, 1996.] LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT — AGE DISCRIMINATION 25-7-9735 Richard Sperling, et al. v. Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc., etc., U.S. Dist. Ct. (8 pp.) In putative age discrimination class action brought by former employees of defendant, the court denies plaintiffs application to certify various issues for interlocutory appeal, since the questions are not controlling questions of law, there is no substantial ground for difference of opinion and immediate appeal of the court s decision for the defense on plaintiff s pattern- or-practice claim would not materially advance the ultimate termination of the litigation. [Filed July 18, 1996.] PENSIONS — ERISA 56-7-9736 Joseph Padellaro, et al. v. Charles Giordano, et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (12 pp.) In a case involving losses to plaintiffs by former pension trustees — as a result of allegedly improper accounting and investments — where current trustees seek to set-off the former trustees pension accounts in order to recoup the losses, one former trustee s motion to dismiss on the basis of ERISA s anti-alienation provision is denied, since he has failed to prove that he is in an ERISA- protected class and there is a lack of legislative intent to provide an implied cause of action under ERISA. [Filed July 23, 1996.] A Daily Reporter of New Jersey Court Decisions THIS WEEK IN THE : The dockets in New Jersey hold more than 200,000 judgments for past-due child support, but several newly amended court rules may reduce the size and quantity of the outstanding debts. The changes are aimed at helping judgment creditors — generally custodial parents and their children — collect more money sooner. See page 3 of the July 29 Law Journal.

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