On June 30, the New Jersey Senate voted 23-12 to pass S374. This legislation, which is being sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chair Scutari (D-22) and Sen. Beck (R-11), seeks to amend the formula for calculating attorneys’ fees to be awarded in workers compensation cases in a manner that discourages settlement and encourages parties to take cases that could be resolved outside the already overburdened judicial system to trial. NJCJI, therefore, opposes this legislation. Continue reading
Last week we cautioned that because patent law is exclusively a federal matter under the Constitution, the structural incentives triggering the explosion of patent litigation must be addressed at the federal level. As if on cue, the U.S. Supreme Court this week released a pair of opinions that could reduce the growing number of abusive patent claims. Together, these decisions expand the availability of attorney’s fees for prevailing parties and increase federal district courts’ discretion in awarding fees.
Fee-shifting provisions are showing up in proposed legislation in New Jersey with increasing frequency. These provisions, which allow prevailing plaintiffs to recover attorney’s fees and court costs, encourage frivolous litigation, discourage settlement, and drive up the cost of lawsuits. Continue reading