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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Moper Transportation, Inc., et al. v. Norbet Trucking

03-27-08 A-0992-06T2

Under New Jersey choice-of-law principles, New Jersey law
controls the dispute between two insurance carriers as to
coverage when the policies covering a New Jersey vehicle and its
tractor are issued to New Jersey corporations in New Jersey,
even though the accident occurred in New York and the drivers
lived there. The settlement of the underlying personal injury
action in New York distinguishes this case from others pointing
to New York's governmental interest, and New Jersey law controls
as to the allocation of loss between carriers.

Linda Lavin Gotlib v. Jonathan Gotlib

03-27-08 A-5679-05T1

In this matrimonial appeal, we hold that the non-custodial
parent's obligation to reimburse the custodial parent for
medical expenses not covered by insurance, should be deemed by a
court reviewing a motion to enforce litigant's rights as an
essential benefit to the parties’ children. The right to
receive these payments belongs to the children, and is therefore
not subject to waiver by the inactions of the custodial parent.
However, the non-custodial parent, from whom reimbursement is
sought, retains the right to question the reasonableness of any
individual medical expense.
On the question of the children's college education, we
remand for the trial court to make factual findings, after
conducting a plenary hearing, guided by the factors outlined in
Gac v. Gac, 186 N.J. 535 (2006) and Newburgh v. Arrigo, 88 N.J.
529 (1982).
We also hold that a mortgage on the former marital
residence, held by one spouse as mortgagee to secure his
equitable distribution interest, may be assigned to a third
party. However, we decline to decide whether the assignee is a
holder in due course, because he was not a named party in the
proceedings before the Family Part.

Spring Creek Holding Company, Inc. v. Shinnihon U.S.A. Co., Ltd.

03-27-08 A-4606-05T2

Applying the Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 251, we
held that a seller of real estate acted within its rights in
terminating the agreement of sale because of a series of events
that led the seller to reasonably believe that a protracted
internal shareholder dispute over control of the buyer
corporation would prevent the buyer from performing, primarily
with respect to prosecuting zoning approvals. The seller
demanded adequate assurance of performance. The documentary
record supported the Chancery Division judge's finding in
granting summary judgment in the seller's favor that no rational
factfinder could find that the buyer provided adequate assurance
of performance. We further held that the apparent resolution of
the shareholder dispute through a federal lawsuit more than
three years after the seller terminated the agreement did not
affect the outcome of this litigation.

Nieschmidt Law Office v. Deborah Leamann

03-24-08 A-5272-06T3

We affirmed the dismissal of a law firm's complaint for
unpaid legal fees for failure to give thirty-day Pre-Action
Notice pursuant to Rule 1:20A-6, holding that a defendant's
intention to defend against the complaint rather than
participate in fee arbitration does not absolve a plaintiff's
failure to give the required notice. We also noted that the
imminent running of the six-year statute of limitations
preventing plaintiff from filing the required thirty-day Pre-
Action Notice did not absolve plaintiff under the circumstances
because plaintiff waited until the Notice could not be filed in
a timely manner.

IMO Petition of S.D. of Removal for the Voluntary Self-Exclusion List

03-20-08 A-3427-06T2

The Casino Control Commission promulgated regulations for
voluntary self-exclusion of problem gamblers from New Jersey
gaming activities. S.D. signed up for the lifetime SEL. Though
acknowledging he voluntarily requested, with full knowledge and
intent, the direct statutory consequences of his placement on
the SEL, namely a lifetime ban from New Jersey casinos, S.D.
sought removal upon becoming aware that some out-of-state
casinos affiliated with those in New Jersey would also exclude
him from their gaming facilities.
The Commission denied the application, concluding the
potential extra-territorial consequences of placement on New
Jersey's SEL are collateral and do not negate the applicant's
voluntary actions, the harm is minimal when balanced against the
statutory aims of the SEL, and the agency's revision of its form
to include reference to this potential consequence after being
informed of it by S.D. do not demonstrate an acknowledgement of
a duty to disclose this information or the insufficiency of the
prior form signed by S.D.
We discern no basis to second-guess the agency's decision.

Kathleen v. Bauer, et al. v. Frederick Nesbitt, III

03-20-08 A-2343-06T2

In this opinion we discuss the potential liability of a
bar/restaurant under the New Jersey Licensed Alcoholic Beverage
Server Fair Liability Act and the common law when a visibly
intoxicated patron who has been served liquor by the bar is
driven from the premises by an intoxicated underage patron who
was not served liquor, and a fatal automobile accident results.

Adamar of New Jersey, Inc. v. David Mason

03-19-08 A-2021-06T3

The Legislature established a twenty-year term for New
Jersey judgments, which can be extended for an additional
twenty-year term under N.J.S.A. 2A:14-5, provided the creditor
files a motion or other action to revive within twenty years
after the judgment was entered, and satisfies the elements of
Kronstadt v. Kronstadt, 238 N.J. Super. 614, 616-18 (App. Div.
l990) that: (1) the judgment is valid and subsisting; (2) it
remains unpaid in full or in part; and (3) there is no
outstanding impediment to its judicial enforcement, e.g., a
stay, a pending bankruptcy proceeding, an outstanding injunctive
order, or the like.

New Jersey Citizens Underwriting Reciprocal Exchange v. Kieran Collins, D.C., LLC.

03-18-08 A-3705-06T1

Exercising its limited supervisory jurisdiction to review a
trial judge's review of an arbitration award rendered pursuant
to the New Jersey Alternative Procedure for Dispute Resolution
Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:23A-1 to -30 (APDRA), the court concluded that
the trial judge acted within his statutory jurisdiction in
finding the arbitrator's failure to consolidate two related
arbitrations, which resulted in inconsistent awards, constituted
"prejudicial error" as defined by N.J.S.A. 2A:23A-13(c)(5), thus
permitting the trial judge's intervention. And, since the trial
judge acted within his jurisdiction, the Appellate Division was
precluded by N.J.S.A. 2A:23A-18(b), which declares that "[t]here
shall be no further appeal or review" of a trial court's review
of an ADPRA award, from examining the correctness of the trial
judge's determination.

Michael Boyle v. Ford Motor Company

03-18-08 A-0889-06T3

In this product liability appeal, we hold that Ford Motor
Company is not legally liable for the injuries plaintiff
suffered when his car collided and burrowed under the rear of a
truck which had been substantially modified by its owner after
leaving Ford's custody and control. This type of accident was
caused by the failure of a rear bumper safety device that was
installed on the chassis cab by the vehicle's final stage
The chassis cab sold by Ford here was a component product,
intended as a generic platform, to be modified and retrofitted
to meet the needs of the vehicle's end-user. As such, it is
neither feasible nor practical to impose upon Ford the legal
responsibility for installing or providing the safety device at
issue here. Consistent with industry practices and federal
regulatory safety standards, the legal responsibility for
installing the rear bumper guard must lie with the truck's
final-stage manufacturer, because this entity is in the best
position to determine the type of safety device needed.
In reaching this conclusion, we adhere to the "feasibility
and practicality" standard articulated by our Supreme Court in
Zaza v. Marquess & Nell, Inc., 144 N.J. 34 (1996). Our analysis
is also informed by Restatement (Third) of Torts: Products
Liability § 5 (1998).

In the Matter of the Application of E.F.G. to Assume a New Name

03-17-08 A-5975-06T1

Plaintiff, a domestic violence victim, appealed from a
trial court's order denying her application to assume a new
name, her request to waive the requirement to publish notice,
and her request that the matter be placed under seal and not be
entered in any data base accessible by the public. We found
that adhering to the rule requiring publication of an
application to change a name would result in an injustice, and,
because we find that good cause exists to seal the court record,
we reversed the trial court pursuant to Rule 1:1-2 and 1:2-1.

SWH Funding Corp. v. Walden Printing Co., Inc,

03-17-08 A-0207-06T5

Under R. 4:21A-4(f), a party seeking to vacate a civil
arbitration award entered by default must establish both "good
cause" and a "meritorious defense." Although defense counsel's
neglect in failing to appear at the arbitration, and in failing
to be diligent in ascertaining the outcome of the proceeding,
constituted "good cause" under R. 4:21A-4(f), defendants failed,
to demonstrate a "meritorious defense." Rule 4:50-1(a) relief
is not available because inadvertence of counsel alone is
insufficient, as a matter of law, to establish "excusable
In the context of adjudicating plaintiff's motion to
confirm the arbitration award, the trial court erroneously
increased the damage award entered by the arbitrator by
considering evidence not presented by plaintiff in the original
arbitration hearing. Under R. 4:21A-6(b)(3), the court's
authority in adjudicating a motion to confirm an arbitration
award is limited to reducing to judgment the amount of damages
found by the arbitrator, supplemented only by prejudgment
interest provided in R. 4:42-11(b).

Rosalie Bacon v. New Jersey State Department of Education

03-14-08 A-2460-05T1

Eight rural and poor school districts appeal from a
decision of the New Jersey State Board of Education (Board)
which, although finding their circumstances mirrored those of
the Abbott urban school districts presently receiving remedial
relief in accordance with a series of Supreme Court decisions,
nevertheless declined to require the same relief for appellants.
holding the Board lacked jurisdiction to do so. The Board
instead directed the Commissioner, Department of Education, to
design and conduct a needs assessment of each appellant
district, which the Commissioner failed to do, opting to await
the fate of pending legislative proposals, since enacted into
Recognizing the judiciary's stated preference for
legislative and executive solutions to remedy constitutional
violations, especially where, as here, legislation promising
comprehensive and systemic relief has just been enacted, we
found no warrant to interfere at this time with the approach
ordered by the Board. We also found no inconsistency in
ordering the Commissioner to promptly proceed with a
particularized needs assessment of appellant districts as a
integral step in the Board's ultimate determination, on remand,
whether the needs so identified by the Department, in light of
proven educational deficits already found by the Board, will be
met by the Act's new funding formula, so as to afford students
in the Bacon districts the thorough and efficient education to
which they are constitutionally entitled.

High Point Insurance Company v. J.M. (a minor), K.M. (aminor) by their G/A/L G.M. and C.M., G.M. and C.M. individually, and George Van Dyke

03-12-08 A-0829-06T5

In a coverage action, we develop the public policy issues
considered in J.C. v. N.B., 335 N.J. Super. 503 (App. Div.
2000), certif. denied, 168 N.J. 294 (2001), and conclude that
the public policy providing for vigilance of spouse to protect
child sexual abuse victims precludes coverage under homeowner's
policy for spouse as well as the abuser.

Nicole Hager v. Tammy M. Gonsalves// High Point Insurance Company v. Rutgers Casualty Insurance Company

03-07-08 A-4293-06T1

The failure of both the operator and the owner of a motor
vehicle to cooperate with the vehicle's insurer, thus preventing
the insurer from ascertaining whether the operator was a
permissive user at the time of the subject accident, may provide
sufficient grounds for the insurer to disclaim coverage

Helen Gazzillo v. Robert Grieb v. South Hunterdon Regional Board of Education

03-05-08 A-4346-06T2

Plaintiff sued defendant based upon his having sexually
assaulted her. Both parties were employees of a regional board
of education, and defendant contended he was not subject to suit
because plaintiff had not filed a notice of claim. We disagreed
because there was no nexus between his public employment and the
alleged tort.

Montee Saunders v. Capital Health System at Mercer

03-05-08 A-3087-06T3

We reversed the Law Division's dismissal of plaintiffs'
complaint against a certified nurse midwife and held that an
Affidavit of Merit is not required in a personal injury suit for
alleged professional malpractice against a licensed midwife. We
also reversed the Law Division's dismissal of plaintiffs'
complaint against a health care facility because the court
failed to hold an accelerated case management conference, which
is required in professional malpractice cases.

Ric Malik v. A. Fred Ruttenberg, Esq.

03-03-08 A-6615-06T3

During a recess in a multi-day arbitration to resolve
claims under a residential construction contract, one of the
attorneys for the homeowner and the builder were involved in a
physical altercation during a recess. We held that N.J.S.A.
2A:23B-14a confers immunity on arbitrators and arbitral
organizations from civil liability to the same extent as a judge
acting in a judicial capacity, and this immunity bars
plaintiff's claim of negligence founded on the failure of the
arbitrator to admonish or remove one of the homeowners'
attorneys from the proceedings.

Daniel Fackelman v. Lac d'Amiante du Quebec

03-03-08 A-4636-05T1

We hold that a workers' compensation insurer, which
performed industrial hygiene studies for plaintiff's employer at
plaintiff's place of employment, had no duty to warn the
employees of workplace risks or educate them about the nature of
the risks or means to minimize risk, when there was no evidence
that the insurer negligently performed the studies or that the
insurer had assumed any duty to oversee workplace safety.

Daniel Fackelman v. Lac d'Amiante du Quebec

03-03-08 A-4636-05T1

We hold that a workers' compensation insurer, which
performed industrial hygiene studies for plaintiff's employer at
plaintiff's place of employment, had no duty to warn the
employees of workplace risks or educate them about the nature of
the risks or means to minimize risk, when there was no evidence
that the insurer negligently performed the studies or that the
insurer had assumed any duty to oversee workplace safety.

Dugan Construction Company, Inc. v. New Jersey Turnpike Authority

02-29-08 A-3576-06T1

In a case involving a public contract for remediating
polluted groundwater, we examined the doctrines of patent
ambiguity and reformation. The contractor claimed $9.5 million
for disposing of approximately 200,000 gallons of non-hazardous
wastewater, although its bid of fifty dollars per gallon was
based on the New Jersey Turnpike Authority's estimate that the
project would produce only fifty-five gallons of wastewater.
The trial judge dismissed the contractor's complaint based on
the doctrine of patent ambiguity. We concluded that the
contract estimate was a mistake, rather than an ambiguity, and
that reformation was the appropriate remedy. Based on undisputed
evidence concerning the reasonable per-gallon price of the work,
we concluded that the contract should be reformed to provide the
contractor compensation of about $50,000.

Richard Leidy v. County of Ocean

02-28-08 A-4127-06T2

In dismissing plaintiff's personal injury action against a
public entity (County of Monmouth), we held that where the
actual tortfeasor's identity has not been actively obscured and
plaintiff has not been thwarted in his or her own diligent
efforts to determine the responsible party, then plaintiff's
misidentification does not constitute an "extraordinary
circumstance" warranting relaxation of the Tort Claims Act 90-
day time constraint, N.J.S.A. 59:8-8.
Prompt inspection of the area within a reasonable time
following plaintiff's motorcycle accident would have led to
identification of the County of Monmouth as the party
responsible for maintaining the portion of the roadway,
bordering Ocean County, where the incident occurred. Moreover,
the delay in notice, occasioned by the lack of any reasonable
efforts by plaintiff in the interim 90 days to ascertain
ownership of the roadway, likely prejudiced defendant in its
efforts to investigate the accident scene which, due to time and
weather, may have changed.

Dale Scott v. Foodarama Supermarkets

02-27-08 A-3936-06T3

We held that the exception to the going-and-coming rule in
the Workers' Compensation Act, N.J.S.A. 34:15-36, which provides
that an employee be paid for travel time in order to bring such
time within the course of employment for compensation purposes,
does not extend to cover a salaried worker required to work a
minimum of forty-eight hours per week where travel time to and
from work is not included in the minimum workweek.

Circus Liquors, Inc. v. Governing Body of Middletown Township

02-27-08 A-2294-06T3

In this appeal, the court considered whether the Director
of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control was authorized to
allow the holders of a third liquor license -- possessed in
violation of the two-license limitation contained in N.J.S.A.
33:1-12.31 -- to retain the third license long enough to
transfer it. The court concluded that because, among other
things, the three licenses were held for six years in violation
of the statute, the Director should not have granted the
equitable remedy of permitting the holder to continue to hold
the license in order to sell it.

Century Indemnity Company v. Mine Safety Appliances Company

02-26-08 A-1664-06T5

In this decision, we applied the comity principles set
forth by the Supreme Court in its recent decision in Sensient
Colors, Inc. v. Allstate Ins. Co. as a framework to analyze
whether a preemptive coverage action instituted in New Jersey by
Century Indemnity Company against Mine Safety Appliances Company
(MSA), a manufacturer of allegedly defective respiratory
protective devices, and its carriers should be dismissed in
favor of a more limited second-filed Pennsylvania action, when
that State was the state of residence of both Century and MSA
and Pennsylvania law applying joint and several liability
principles to the allocation of coverage among triggered
carriers was likely applicable to the dispute. As the result of
our analysis, we affirmed the dismissal of the New Jersey
action, without prejudice.

New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services v. M.W.


In the Matter of the Guardianship of R.W., F.W. and T.H.
New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services v. T.H. //
In the Matter of the Guardianship of T.H.
A-5756-05T4; A-6485-05T4

DYFS filed an action to terminate parental rights of two
children against mother who abused and abandoned them. A third
child also abused and neglected by the mother died as the result
of abuse by the person to whom mother abandoned her children.
Mother sued DYFS for wrongful death of third child and received
$1 million settlement from the State. Trial court permitted
amendment of guardianship action to include third child and
terminated mother's parental rights to all three children. Held
in these unusual circumstances that parental rights to child
could be terminated posthumously on principle that equity will
not permit wrongdoer to profit by wrongdoing.

Harrison Redevelopment Agency v. Anthony J. DeRose v. Town of Harrison and Planning Board of the Town of Harrison

02-25-08 A-0958-06T2; A-0382-07T2

These consolidated appeals address legal issues that have
been the subject of several conflicting unpublished opinions in
the Appellate Division and the Law Division. Appellant, a
property owner in Harrison who was sued in condemnation by the
Town's redevelopment agency, wishes to contest the blight
designation of his property under the Local Redevelopment and
Housing Law ("LRHL"), N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1 to -49, and the
criteria of Gallenthin Realty Dev., Inc. v. Borough of
Paulsboro, 191 N.J. 344 (2007).
The trial judge ruled that the condemnee's defense was
time-barred, because he had not filed a timely action in lieu of
prerogative writs under R. 4:69-6 after the Town's governing
body had designated his property for redevelopment. Although
appellant had received notice by mail of the local planning
board's "preliminary investigation" of the proposed blight
designation under N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-6, he and others in the
proposed redevelopment zone were not individually notified when
the Town's Mayor and Council later adopted a resolution
approving that designation. Appellant contends that the notice
provisions of the LRHL unconstitutionally violate Federal and
State norms of due process, as well as the State Judiciary's
paramount authority over matters of practice and procedure.
We reverse, and hold that, unless a municipality provides
contemporaneous written notice that fairly alerts an owner that
(1) his or her property has been designated by its governing
body for redevelopment, (2) the designation operates as a
finding of public purpose and authorizes the taking of the
property against the owner's will, and (3) informs the owner of
the time limits within which the owner may take legal action to
challenge that designation, an owner constitutionally preserves
the right to contest the designation, by way of affirmative
defense to an ensuing condemnation action. Absent such adequate
notice, the owner's right to raise such defenses is preserved,
even beyond forty-five days after the designation is adopted.
In reaching this result, we save the LRHL from a finding of
unconstitutionality. We also harmonize the LRHL's notice
provisions with the terms of Eminent Domain Act, which in
N.J.S.A. 20:3-5 confers jurisdiction in condemnation actions
over "all matters" incidental to the condemnation, specifically
including the condemnor's "authority to exercise the power of
eminent domain."
We also apply this holding today in two companion
unpublished decisions, Harrison Redevelopment Agency v. Harrison
Eagle, LLP, et al., A-4474-06T2, and Harrison Redevelopment
Agency v. Amaral Auto Center, Inc., et al., A-3862-06T2.

Estate of F.W. v. State of New Jersey

02-22-08 A-0376-06T1

In this appeal, we reviewed the standard to be applied by
the trial court when determining a reasonable attorney fee on a
personal injury recovery in excess of $2,000,000 pursuant to
Rule 1:21-7(c)(5). We held that on an application for a
reasonable fee on that part of a personal injury recovery, no
burden of proof is placed on the moving attorney to show the
inadequacy of the fee recovered on the first $2,000,000. We
concluded that although the rule directs an attorney to make an
application for a reasonable fee pursuant to Rule 1:21-7(f), the
rule's intent is only to require that the application complies
with the procedural requirements of notice and of a hearing as
stated in subsection (f).

Division of Youth and Family Services v. D.H. and J.V. // IMO the Guardianship of A.H.

02-21-08 A-4889-06T4

Kinship Legal Guardianship pursuant to the Kinship Legal
Guardianship Act, N.J.S.A. 3B:12A-1 to -7, is deemed to be a
permanent placement option in the appropriate circumstances
specified in the statute.

Paul Dolan. v. Sea Transfer Corp.

02-20-08 A-1279-06T1

We reviewed in detail the choice-of-law principles
applicable to vehicular accidents that have connections to both
New Jersey and New York. The primary act of negligence occurred
in New York, when a New York truck driver failed to properly
secure a Hapag-Lloyd (H-L) container to a chassis attached to
his tractor-trailer, before setting out from a Staten Island
terminal to deliver H-L's container to the Bronx. The driver
traveled through New Jersey to avoid New York traffic, and the
accident occurred when the container fell off the truck in North
Jersey, a few miles from the New York-New Jersey border. The
accident severely injured a New York employee heading toward his
New Jersey home after leaving work in upper Manhattan.
We concluded that New York's interest in fully compensating
accident victims and promoting traffic safety predominated over
New Jersey's interest in limiting the liability of non-negligent
vehicle owners, and mandated application of New York's law
imposing vicarious liability on a vehicle owner (including, as
here, the owner of a component of a tractor-trailer) for the
negligence of the vehicle's driver.

Thomas Malick v. Seaview Lincoln Mercury

02-20-08 A-4631-06T3

In the middle of a personal injury trial, prior to which
plaintiff had made an offer of judgment, the parties entered
into a $1 million/$175,000 high-low agreement in which plaintiff
waived "prejudgment interest," but did not waive "attorneys fees
and costs" under the offer of judgment rule. When the jury
returned a $5 million verdict, thus entitling plaintiff to a $1
million judgment under the high-low agreement, plaintiff sought
counsel fees, costs and prejudgment interest under the offer of
judgment rule, Rule 4:58-2, contending that the term "costs"
included prejudgment interest under that Rule. Because Rule
4:42-11 and Rule 4:58-2 now both refer to awards of "prejudgment
interest," we concluded that the agreement was ambiguous. The
trial judge should not have summarily awarded plaintiff interest
but should have held a plenary hearing to resolve the ambiguity;
we remanded the case for that purpose. We also held that under
R. 4:58-2, if prejudgment interest was to be awarded, it should
be calculated on the $1 million judgment rather than the $5
million verdict.

Capital Finance Company of Delaware Valley, Inc. v. Maureen Bell Asterbadi

02-19-08 A-0243-06T1

The opinion of the Chancery Division was published prior to
the appeal being argued and decided. Although our opinion does
not state any new principles of law, we publish because we
affirmed in part and reversed in part.
At a judicial sale, plaintiff purchased a debtor husband's
interest in a single-family dwelling previously owned by the
husband and his wife as tenants by the entirety, thereby,
converting the interests of plaintiff and wife to that of
tenants in common, as measured by the lives of the husband and
wife. After plaintiff acquired its interest in the property,
the wife remained in exclusive possession of the property and
the Chancery Division denied partition. We reviewed the
principles governing the obligation of an ousted cotenant to
account to the cotenant in possession for payments made against
a pre-existing purchase money mortgage.

Emily Marshall, et al. v. Raritan Valley Disposal v. Illinois National Insurance Company

02-14-08 A-1611-06T5

An insured that has had all costs of defense and settlement
of a claim paid by an insurer lacks standing to pursue a
coverage action against another insurer for those same costs.
Such a coverage action may be maintained by the insurer that has
paid the insured's costs in order to obtain contribution from
the other insurer.

Czar, Inc. v. Jo Anne Heath and Thomas J. Heath, Sr.

02-06-08 A-4360-06T2

We hold that where the owner of a newly constructed home
dealt directly with a custom cabinetmaker and contracted
directly for the installation and construction of cabinets,
doors, and certain woodwork, and where the custom cabinetmaker
did not construct the new home, the cabinetmaker's services fall
within the definition of "home improvement" contained within
N.J.A.C. 13:45A-16.1A.

DEG, LLC v. Township of Fairfield

01-31-08 A-5181-06T2

A governmental body has authority to enter into a
settlement of a case challenging the constitutionality of a
statute under which it agrees to an injunction against
enforcement of the statute if it reasonably concludes there is a
substantial question concerning the statute's constitutionality
and the costs of the statute's defense are not justifiable. The
governmental body may seek to vacate or modify the judgment
memorializing such a settlement if it can show that enforcement
of the judgment would no longer be equitable due to changes in
the law or facts.

Carol Tarr v. Bob Ciasulli’s Mack Auto Mall, Inc.

3-27-08 (A-19-07)

The Court agrees with the Appellate Division’s analysis of the
application of the Punitive Damages Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:15-5.9 to –
5.17, to the facts of this matter. It affirms substantially on
the basis of the thorough and thoughtful majority opinion
crafted by Judge Lefelt.

Julie Greely v. Sean Greely

3-19-08 (A-54-07)

Voluntary dismissals in the Family Part of the Chancery Division
are governed by Rule 4:37-1 and plaintiff’s stipulation of
dismissal failed to follow the dictates of that Rule. In
addition, under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and
Enforcement Act, a motion to dismiss a child custody matter on
inconvenient forum grounds may be made by any party, by the
court on its own motion, or by another state’s court.

Hajrie Hisenaj v. Amanda L. Kuehner

3-6-08 (A-86-06)

Based on the record and arguments presented to the trial court,
and applying the abuse-of-discretion standard, the trial court’s
evidential ruling on the admissibility of scientific evidence
pursuant to N.J.R.E. 702 was within the range of sustainable
trial determinations that the reviewing court should have

Robert Oberhand v. Director, Division of Taxation

2-27-08 (A-106-06)

The July 2002 Amendment to N.J.S.A. 54:38-1 applies to the
estates, but under the circumstances presented, the doctrine of
manifest injustice bars retroactive application of the Amendment
to plaintiffs.

U.S. v. Barbara Scurry

2-21-08 (A-14-07)

In the circumstances presented in this case, the doctrine of
laches cannot serve to bar relief to this homeowner.

In re Opinion 710 of the Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics

2-6-08 (A-130-06)

Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics Opinion 710 provides
that fraudulent transactions by attorneys in connection with
real estate closings will violate the Rules of Professional
Conduct. The opinion does not suggest that disclosed seller’s
concessions are, in and of themselves, fraudulent or unethical.

Ronald W. Sahli, Esq. v. Woodbine Board of Education

1-30-08 (A-92-06)

N.J.S.A. 18A:16-6, which provides for indemnification in defense
of a civil action for “any person holding any office, position
or employment” with a board of education, does not mandate that
the Board of Education indemnify its attorney for actions taken
in his capacity as Board solicitor but does not entitle him to
indemnification for his conduct as secretary pro tem to the
Board. Similarly, the insurance policy at issue in this case
provides coverage to the attorney volunteering to act as
secretary, but does not provide coverage for the Board

Patricia Morella v. Grand Union Company

1-30-08 (A-10-07)

The judgment of the Appellate Division is affirmed substantially
for the reasons expressed in Judge Gilroy’s opinion.

Sensient Colors, Inc. v. Allstate Insurance Company

1-29-08 (A-99/100/101-06)

Despite New Jersey’s strong adherence to principles of comity,
the special equities in this case heavily favor New Jersey
courts exercising jurisdiction. Because of its dominant
interests, New Jersey is the natural forum for resolving
insurance coverage issues concerning hazardous-waste-infested
property located within its borders.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Middlesex County Bar Association 3rd Annual Awards Dinner

Middlesex County Bar Association 3rd Annual Awards Dinner
On March 19, 2008, the Middlesex County Bar Association will hold its third annual awards dinner at Sunny Palace Restaurant on Route 18 South in East Brunswick. Awards will be given to bar members in the following areas: Pro Bono; Non-Litigation; Civil Trial Practice; Criminal Trial Practice; and Municipal Court Practice.

The guest speaker will be Hon. Travis L. Francis, AJSC.
The MCBA will pay tribute to these bar members for their significant contributions to their respective practice areas.
The following awards will be given:

-Pro Bono Attorney-of-the Year Henry Gurshman
-Civil Trial Practitioner-of-the-Year John Gorman
-Criminal Trial Attorney-of-the-Year Jim Nolan & Nicole Albert
-Municipal Court Practitioner-of-the-Year Kenneth Vercammen
-Young Lawyer of the Year Kimberly Yonta Aronow
-Transactional Attorney of the Year Michael Schaff

The purpose of the Awards is to recognize attorneys practicing in Middlesex County and adjacent municipalities who devote a significant portion of their law practice to their respective practice areas and exhibit one or more of the following:

- Leadership in the potential candidate’s field of practice;
- Significant, tangible contributions to the Bar, such as participation in educational panels, Bar committees, etc, pertaining to non-litigation issues;
- Contributions to the community and/or charitable endeavors;
- A record promoting participation and involvement in the MCBA and collegiality within the Association; and
- A reputation for personal and professional integrity.

The evening will commence with a cocktail hour (cash bar) at 6:00 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7:00 p.m. The cost to attend is $35 for MCBA Young Lawyers, $40 for MCBA Members and $45 for all others, in advance.
For additional information, contact the Bar Office at (732) 828-3433, ext. 102.
More details at

Sunny Palace
1069 Route 18 South
East Brunswick, NJ 08816