Our court system shouldn’t have to deal with suits over the length of sandwiches, amusement park rides that make kids too dizzy, and gassy co-workers. But it does.
Why? Because numerous state laws explicitly encourage litigation when other means of dispute resolution would be quicker and more cost effective; poorly drafted statutes invite endless lawsuits over their interpretation; and antiquated policies limit the ability of our state to improve its legal climate.
Things have gotten so far off track, New Jersey has been named one of the nation’s worst “judicial hellholes.” At this point, there is nowhere to go but up, and the time is right to make changes, both legislatively and via judicial action.
Click here to read our 2017 agenda, which is focused on bringing some common sense reform to our legal system.
$115 million dollars. That’s how much money a jury in Florida thinks the internet media company Gawker should have to pay Hulk Hogan to compensate the former WWE Superstar for the damage he suffered when the company posted a video of the Hulkster having sex with his then-best friend’s wife on their website. The jury also tacked on $15 million in punitive damages just for good measure. Gawker has announced it will appeal, but can it afford to? If this lawsuit was based in New Jersey, the answer might be no. Continue reading
Did you know New Jersey is one of only eleven states where the court system is required to give tobacco companies a benefit that other defendants are denied? It’s true. As part of the Master Settlement Agreement reached in 1998, New Jersey agreed to put a cap on the amount of money tobacco companies must post as bond in order to appeal adverse verdicts in exchange for money and other concessions from the 5 tobacco companies involved in the litigation. To this day, tobacco companies are the only defendants in New Jersey that get the benefit of an appeal bond cap. Continue reading
In this era of increased governmental regulations, lawyers are flush with potential causes for action. Even the most diligent businesses can find themselves on the wrong side of civil litigation. A key protection against an unfair civil verdict is the ability to seek recourse through an appeal. Continue reading
Putting a limit on the amount of money a businesses has to post as a bond before appealing a decision they disagree with is an issue the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute has been working on for many years. While our legislature fails to act, other states are moving forward on this issue, putting New Jersey at a further disadvantage when it comes to economic development and business growth. Continue reading
NERA Economic Consulting has released a new study on consumer class action settlements that indicates the number of such cases is steadily growing. The data also indicates that New Jersey is one of the most popular jurisdictions for filing consumer class actions.
S-3030, the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013 II, advanced from the Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday, November 14th. Part of a larger economic growth package, Section 3 would cap appeal bonds at $50 million.
New Jersey law requires a defendant to post an appeal bond at least equal to the full amount of the judgment. However, in 2003 the Legislature approved a $50 million cap on appeal bonds for tobacco companies that participated in the Master Settlement Agreement.
This bill would extend that cap to all defendants. Under the bill, a court would have discretion, after notice and hearing and for good cause shown, to reduce the appeal bond to an amount lower than the judgment.
The bill is sponsored by Senator Raymond Lesniak (D-Union). It now heads to the Senate Budget Committee for additional review.