Earlier this month, the New Jersey Supreme Court released two opinions that should alarm New Jersey’s business community. In both cases, the high court refused to honor private contracts because they felt the terms were unfair. The opinion in each of these cases is disappointing, but when viewed together, they suggest our court system has developed a dangerous disrespect for private contracts.
On June 14, the New Jersey Supreme Court released its highly anticipated opinion in Morgan v. Sanford Brown Inst. The case has been closely watched because it is the first time the court has taken up an arbitration-related case since it began experimenting with reining in arbitration during the 2013-14 court term. Despite NJCJI’s best effort, namely an amicus curie brief arguing New Jersey must conform to federal law, the court affirmed that it intends to carve out special rules for how our state will treat arbitration agreements. Continue reading →
The New Jersey Supreme Court issued another disappointing decision this week, over-turning an employment contract in the name of creating better public policy. At issue was an employment contract that set its own time limit for bringing lawsuits against the employer instead of relying on the default rules in the statutes as a limit. The high court decided to ignore the contract and allow the employee to bring a lawsuit well after the time limit he had agreed to when he was hired. Continue reading →
This week we learned that the judge who filed the famous $54 million lawsuit over a missing pair of pants is finally getting his comeuppance. But something is missing from the stories following up on this crazy story. We wanted to know what happened to the defendants in the case. The last news we could find on the owners of the dry cleaning business Roy Pearson sued, Soo and Jin Chung, is not the happy ending you might expect.
New Jersey’s Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act (TCCWNA) has been turned into an instrument through which the plaintiff’s bar plays “gotcha,” turning harmless technical regulatory violations into cases which generate huge attorneys’ fees, but no real benefit for the consumers supposedly “harmed.” NJCJI is counting down the 6 most absurd TCCWNA lawsuits we’ve seen so far. Know of another lawsuit you think should make our list? Let us know!Continue reading →
Each day seems to bring additional news confirming what we already know: New Jersey needs economic growth to create jobs and much needed tax revenue. The state took a tremendous hit during the recession, and has yet to fully recover. The state’s unemployment rate remains high, and the budget gap continues to widen as revenue collections miss their targets.
New Jersey has little room to maneuver with already high rates of taxation and slow revenue growth. In order to attract business investment government must look at innovative policies that spur investment without depleting needed revenue. If New Jersey wants to completely and quickly escape the recession, legal reform must become part of the state’s economic development plan.
On Monday, two important bills working their way through the legislature, the paid sick leave bill and the equal pay bill, will be voted on. If enacted, these bills would presume employers are guilty when a lawsuit is brought against them unless they can prove their innocence. This is an unprecedented change to our legal system.