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Vol. 4 No. 141 – JULY 24, 1996 STATE COURT CASES ATTORNEYS FEES — LODESTAR ANALYSIS 04-3-9684 Furey v. County of Ocean, Law. Div. (8 pp.) On this counsel fees application, the judge analyzes the number of hours reasonably expended to determine the lodestar under N.J.S.A. 59:9-5, a fee-shifting statute, and reduces the requested $189,298 fee to $101,783, then considers the contingency enhancement – - an increase in the fee to reflect the risk of a contingency case — but declines to enhance the fee. NEGLIGENCE — ROLLER SKATING RINKS Now on Counsel Connect 31-2-9685 Manuel Calhanas, et al. v. S. Amboy Roller Rink, etc., et al., App. Div. (18 pp.) In a case for personal injuries implicating the New Jersey Roller Skating Rink Safety and Fair Liability Act, N.J.S.A. 5:14-1 to 7, the judge improvidently granted summary judgment to the rink, since the evidence was not so one-sided that the rink was entitled to prevail as a matter of law. [Approved for publication July 24, 1996.] WORKERS COMPENSATION 39-2-9686 Guy M. Kelly v. Supermarkets Gen. Corp., et al., App. Div. (6 pp.) Compensation judge did not err in assigning disability liability to movant and the Second Injury Fund — refusing to assign liability to petitioner s subsequent two employers — since there was no evidence, despite petitioner s injury claims at the subsequent positions, that there was any traumatic injury or even medical treatment during those employments. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE Now on Counsel Connect 14-1-9687 State v. Kristina Burris, etc., Supreme Ct. (52 pp. – includes concurring opinion) The state may use statements obtained in violation of a defendant s right to counsel and the privilege against self- incrimination for impeachment purposes so long as the statements were voluntary and are trustworthy. Now on Counsel Connect 14-1-9688 State v. G.S., Supreme Ct. (24 pp.) Although the trial court s instructions failed to indicate the specific purposes for which other-crime evidence could be considered, an examination of all of the testimony and evidence, defense counsel s use of the other-crime evidence, and the trial court s cautionary instruction indicates that the jury was not misled into using the other-crime evidence as demonstrating defendant s criminal propensity, and therefore the trial court s instructions did not result in reversible error. FEDERAL COURT CASES INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 53-7-9689 Melvin L. Levinson v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., U.S. Dist. Ct. (7 pp.) (1) To the extent that counts of plaintiff s pro se patent infringement complaint are redundant, they are dismissed. (2) Claims against defendant s attorneys are dismissed since the attorneys are not parties. (3) Plaintiff has no standing to assert the interests of defendant s customers who also may become liable for patent infringement, and the claim is dismissed. (4) Since defendant has breached no legal duty, plaintiff s claim that defendant improperly uses the court to bully and overpower weak, old and poor claimants is dismissed. (5) Plaintiff s conclusory allegations of conspiracy are dismissed. [Filed July 16, 1996.] JURISDICTION — AMOUNT IN CONTROVERSY — REMAND 24-7-9690 Nicholas F. Merlucci v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., U.S. Dist. Ct. (11 pp.) Since plaintiff s breach of contract claim is indisputably valued at $9,500, his second claim for interference with prospective economic advantage must exceed $40,500 to satisfy the jurisdictional minimum, and, since there is no realistic possibility that this can occur because punitive damages are unavailable in a breach of contract case, matter will be remanded to state court. [Filed July 17, 1996.] LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT 25-7-9691 William A. Pascarell, etc. v. Candler Coffee Corp., U.S. Dist. Ct. (12 pp.) Petitioner s application under Section 10(j) of the National Labor Relations Act for interim injunctive relief is granted to the extent that respondent cease and desist from future act violations, continue to recognize the union as its employees exclusive collective bargaining representative, and continue to bargain in good faith, however, petitioner s request that discharged employees be reinstated will be denied since it is inconsistent with the purposes of Sec. 10(j) relief. [Filed July 17, 1996.] 25-7-9692 William Failla v. City of Passaic, et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (12 pp.) Defendants motions for judgment as a matter of law are denied, since (1) the fact that plaintiff could perform all the essential functions of his job on the night shift is not the basis for granting the defendant judgment as a matter of law on failure to accommodate claim, since employers have a duty to make reasonable accommodations that enable disabled employees to work in reasonable physical comfort, and (2) there is clearly a legally sufficient evidentiary basis for a reasonable jury to find that, because of his back condition, plaintiff needed to be transferred to the day shift so that he could work in reasonable physical comfort. [Filed July 16, 1996.] 25-7-9693 Joseph Rucci v. AT&T, et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. (10 pp.) Magistrate judge properly denied (1) plaintiff s motion to amend his complaint to add an age discrimination claim because of an extraordinary delay in bringing the motion and the resultant prejudice to the defendant, (2) plaintiff s request to re-depose certain parties based upon a supposed waiver of attorney-client privilege, since the judge found no intent to waive the privilege, and (3) plaintiff s request to depose additional parties, since discovery was closed. [Filed July 16, 1996.] A Daily Reporter of New Jersey Court Decisions

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