A New Jersey appeals court ruling suggests that trial judges shouldn’t be too eager to let the ax fall on a plaintiff’s case when civil best practices aren’t followed to a tee.

Given the choice of a mistrial or a dismissal with prejudice when a last-minute-substitute witness’s testimony corrupted the case, a judge should have opted for the measure less extreme, the Appellate Division held on Nov. 9 in Brun v. Cordoso, A-0306-05.

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