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.
License plates dub New Jersey the “Garden State,” and while this densely populated state is known for growing eggplant, blueberries, and cranberries, it is also known for growing litigation. New Jersey is fertile land for plaintiffs’ lawyers, who use the state’s consumer protection laws and the court system’s easy access for out-of-state plaintiffs to bring frivolous lawsuits and score big payouts.
New Jersey’s rules regarding the admissibility and review of expert testimony have remained unchanged since 1991. In this same period, the Federal Rules of Evidence, the Uniform Rules of Evidence, numerous state evidence rules, and our own jurisprudence have all changed to reflect the increased importance and use of expert testimony. The disconnect between the rules on the books and the realities of practice were on full display at the New Jersey Supreme Court’s May 19, 2015 hearing on the Committee on the Rules of Evidence’s latest report.
This morning, the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute urged the New Jersey Supreme Court to update the state’s out of date rules on the admissibility of expert opinion testimony during the court’s current rulemaking cycle. 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.