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Kenneth Vercammen is a Middlesex County trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications on litigation topics. He was awarded the NJ State State Bar Municipal Court Practitioner of the Year. He lectures for the Bar and handles litigation matters. He is Past Chair of the ABA Tort & Insurance Committee,GP on Personal Injury and was a speaker at the ABA Annual Meeting attended by 10,000 attorneys and professionals. To schedule a confidential consultation, email us at VercammenAppointments@NJlaws.com, call or

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

6/26/2014 BERG, ET AL. VS. HON. CHRISTOPHER J. CHRISTIE,ET AL./MICHAEL DELUCIA, ET AL. VS. STATE OF NEW JERSEY, DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, DIVISION OF PENSIONS AND BENEFITS A-5973-11T4/A-6002-11T4/ A-0632-12T1(CONSOLIDATED)


6/26/2014
BERG, ET AL. VS. HON. CHRISTOPHER J.
CHRISTIE,ET AL./MICHAEL DELUCIA, ET AL. VS. STATE
OF NEW JERSEY, DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY,
DIVISION OF PENSIONS AND BENEFITS
A-5973-11T4/A-6002-11T4/ A-0632-12T1(CONSOLIDATED)
Our opinion decides two appeals, Berg and DeLucia. In Berg, construing 1997 pension legislation, we conclude that the Legislature intended to create a contractual right to receive pension benefits, including cost of living adjustments. We find that plaintiffs' claims for payment of benefits from the pension funds is not barred by the Debt Limitation and Appropriations Clauses of the StateConstitution. We reverse the trial court's grant of summary judgment to the State, and remand to allow the parties to create an evidentiary record on whether the State can satisfy the constitutional standard it must meet to justify impairing the obligation of a contract. In DeLucia, plaintiffs raised separate arguments that we find without merit, and we affirm the trial court's decision granting summary judgment.

06/24/14 COMANDO V. NUGIEL A-2403-13T3


06/24/14 COMANDO V. NUGIEL
A-2403-13T3
We conclude RPC 1.7, addressing concurrent conflicts of interests, equally prohibits the representation of opposing parties in transactional matters. Accordingly, a concurrent conflict of interest arises when "the representation of one client will be directly adverse to another client," RPC 1.7(a)(1), such as the instant matter where counsel provided legal representation to both a corporate landlord, and its principals, as well as the corporate tenant and its principal.

06/20/14 MANATA VS. PEREIRA, ET AL. A-0506-12T4


06/20/14 MANATA VS. PEREIRA, ET AL.
A-0506-12T4
We reverse the liability finding in this verbal threshold case, because plaintiff's counsel improperly cross-examined defendant. Defendant-driver and plaintiff- pedestrian disputed whether plaintiff was walking in the cross-walk, or the middle of the block, when she was struck. Police did not investigate, but prepared a report after-the-fact. It included only plaintiff's version, although defendant said he spoke to the police, too. Without offering the report into evidence, plaintiff's counsel repeatedly used it in cross-examination and closing, to impeach defendant with his alleged omission of the version of events that he later asserted at trial. It was unclear whether the report would have been admissible under N.J.R.E. 803(c)(6), (7), (8) or (10), as it did not reflect any statement from defendant, and it apparently was prepared contrary to N.J. Motor Vehicle Commission report preparation guidelines. Cross-examination was improper since plaintiff's counsel conveyed through his questioning the substance of the unadmitted report, as evidence of defendant's alleged omission.

06/19/14 RODRIGUEZ VS. RAYMOURS FURNITURE COMPANY, INC. A-4329-12T3

06/19/14 RODRIGUEZ VS. RAYMOURS FURNITURE COMPANY,
INC.
A-4329-12T3
Plaintiff's application for employment with defendant contained a provision requiring him to file any claim or lawsuit relating to the employment within six months of the act underlying the action, and waiving any statute of limitations to the contrary. Plaintiff filed suit nine months after his alleged wrongful termination. We rejected plaintiff's unconscionability argument and enforced the provision. We therefore affirmed summary judgment in favor of defendant dismissing the complaint as time-barred.

6/30/2014 Gormley v. Wood-El (A-101/106-11; 069717)


Gormley v. Wood-El (A-101/106-11;
069717)
Under the facts of this case, a lawyer assigned to represent a client civilly committed to a state psychiatric hospital had a substantive-due-process right to be free from state-created dangers. Because that right was clearly established at the time the lawyer was attacked, the state official defendants are not entitled to qualified immunity.

6/25/14 In re: Princeton Office Park v. Plymouth Park Tax Services, LLC (A-107-11; 069521)

6/25/14
In re: Princeton Office Park v. Plymouth Park Tax
Services, LLC (A-107-11; 069521)
The Court answers the Third Circuit’s certified question in the affirmative: The purchaser of a tax sale certificate possesses a tax lien on the encumbered property.