Blank Rome Partner Stephen M. Orlofsky will speak at the upcoming New Jersey State Bar Association (“NJSBA”) CLE, “2017 Legal Malpractice Update,” on March 25, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., at the New Jersey Law Center. This program is presented in cooperation with the NJSBA Senior Lawyers Special Committee
The panels will discuss the statute of limitations for legal malpractice claims, ethical issues when an attorney changes firms, lost opportunity cases, tips for taking the deposition of an attorney as a witness, and the program will culminate with a legal malpractice court room demonstration. Continue reading “2017 Legal Malpractice Update”
Jaret N. Gronczewski
The New Jersey Supreme Court has adopted Section 142 of the Restatement (Second) of Conflicts of Law (1971) as the test going forward to determine which State’s statute of limitations applies when there is a conflict between those laws. The Court’s opinion in McCarrell v. Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc., No. A-28-15 (Jan. 24, 2017), authored by Justice Albin, “completes the conversion from governmental-interest standard to the Second Restatement” for tort cases. The Court began that conversion in its opinion in P.V. ex rel. T.V. v. Camp Jaycee, 197 N.J. 132 (2008). The Court believes that its holding will “guide judicial discretion toward more predictable and just outcomes.” Continue reading “NJ Supreme Court Adopts Restatement Second Section 142 to Determine Applicable Statute of Limitations”
The recent decision of the New Jersey Appellate Division in Lopez-Montes v. Final Kote, LLC, Docket No. A-1592-14 (App. Div. Dec. 16, 2016) is instructive on the issue of how building codes and other regulations affect the liability of parties for construction site injuries. In Lopez-Montes, the plaintiff was a drywall subcontractor who was engaged to perform taping and spackling work on a construction project. The subcontractor responsible for installation of the sheetrock had previously supplied scaffolding at the job site, but no scaffolding was available when plaintiff was performing the taping and spackling work. Plaintiff stated that he objected to using a ladder due to safety concerns, but was told to use the ladder anyway. Continue reading “Appellate Division Holds OSHA Regulations Relevant in Negligence Case”
Less than a week after President Donald J. Trump took the oath of office, a public interest group brought suit against him in federal court. In Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington v. Trump, No. 17-458 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 23, 2017), Plaintiff “CREW,” a nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation committed to “reducing the influence of money in politics,” alleged that President Trump’s business ties create conflicts of interest that violate the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.
President Trump’s business dealings have been the subject of intense debate since he announced his candidacy for President in June 2015. Some have questioned how President Trump can oversee and implement policy when many decisions central to that policy could directly impact—or be impacted by—his financial interests. CREW is one organization concerned with conflicts of interest that could arise as a result of the President’s role in foreign relations. In its lawsuit, CREW seeks declaratory and injunctive relief against any current and future violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause. Continue reading “A Standing Hurdle in the Emoluments Clause Suit against President Trump”
Anna D. Stockman
The Third Circuit’s January 10, 2017 decision regarding an employer’s age-based liability under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) should serve as a call to action to employers to evaluate and review their policies to ensure that they do not inadvertently violate the ADEA by discriminating against individuals who are in “subgroups” over 40 years old.
Most employers know that the plain language of the ADEA protects “individuals who are at least 40 years of age,” and its disparate impact provision prohibits an employer from “adversely affect[ing an employee’s] status . . . because of such individual’s age.” But in Karlo v. Pittsburgh Glass Works, the Third Circuit made employers’ lives a little more complicated by holding that “‘subgroup’ disparate-impact claims are cognizable under the ADEA.” In other words, the Third Circuit held that under the ADEA, employees in a subgroup older than 40 years old—in Karlo, the subgroup of employees was 50-and-older—can bring disparate impact claims against their employer alleging that they were “disfavored relative to younger employees,” even if the younger employees were 40 years old or older. Continue reading “Third Circuit Recognizes “Subgroup” ADEA Disparate-Impact Claims”
New Jersey is home to numerous subsidiaries of foreign corporations, especially in the pharmaceutical and technology industries. In a decision, which will be welcomed by those corporations, the New Jersey Appellate Division recently reaffirmed that the foreign parent company of a wholly-owned New Jersey subsidiary is not subject to the general jurisdiction of New Jersey courts unless the plaintiff can meet the elements of piercing the corporate veil. FDASmart, Inc. v. Dishman Pharm. & Chems. Ltd., No. A-2800-15T3 (Dec. 29, 2016).
In FDASmart, the defendant Dishman Pharm. & Chems. Ltd (“DCPL”) was an Indian corporation with a principal place of business in India. In 2013, PKM, an Indian company, set up a meeting between FDASmart and DCPL to discuss the sale of a facility owned by a Chinese subsidiary of DCPL. A memorandum of understanding was entered into between PKM, FDASmart, and “Dishman Group” regarding the development of a sales strategy and ultimate sale of the facility. The name “Dishman Group” is a marketing term for DCPL and its subsidiaries. Eventually, the sale fell apart and FDASmart sued DCPL and DCPL’s wholly-owned New Jersey subsidiary, Dishman USA, in New Jersey state court. DCPL challenged that the court lacked personal jurisdiction over it but FDASmart asserted that DCPL had sufficient contacts with New Jersey because Dishman USA was a New Jersey corporation. Continue reading “Appellate Division Denies Jurisdiction over Indian Corporation with New Jersey Subsidiary”
Jaret N. Gronczewski
The New Jersey Appellate Division in Garmeaux v. DNV Concepts, Inc. t/a The Bright Acre, No. A-1400-14T1, held that a prevailing plaintiff in a Consumer Fraud Act (“CFA”) case is entitled to recover attorneys’ fees expended to defend an intertwined counterclaim. The opinion, which addressed an issue of first impression for the court, has been approved for publication. The court also reaffirmed that New Jersey law does not impose a proportionality requirement on fee awards.
The plaintiffs in Garmeaux sued Bright Acre in connection with services rendered to replace their gas fireplace in 2010. According to the plaintiffs’ testimony, Bright Acre introduced them to co-defendant James Risa, who was slated to perform the installation services for the new fireplace. At the time, Risa had worked at Bright Acre for approximately 20 years. Risa, however, also owned and operated his own independent company called Professional Fireplace Services. In March 2010, Risa provided a $3,700 estimate to the plaintiffs for installation services. And Bright Acre provided a sales order for $2,450 in August 2010. In September 2010, the plaintiffs made a payment to Professional Fireplace Services toward the $3,700 installation fee. Work began in late October 2010. Continue reading “Appellate Division Holds That Consumer Fraud Act Plaintiffs Can Recover Attorneys’ Fees Expended in Defense of Counterclaim”