A new survey from the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform ranks New Jersey’s legal climate as one of the worst in the nation. 41st in fact. This is a drop of three spots since this survey was last conducted, and it is the lowest our state has ever ranked since the Chamber started doing this survey in 2002.
Our court system shouldn’t have to deal with suits over [...]
The American Tort Reform Association has released its annual “Judicial Hellholes” report, and New Jersey is near the top of its list. ATRA notes that our state’s consumer protection laws are far from mainstream, and our court system is becoming hostile to arbitration agreements, in direct contravention of federal law.
Since New Jersey is a state where a lot of asbestos-related work was done, the citizens and businesses of our state have a keen interest in ensuring that the system that has been set up to compensate asbestos victims is not undermined by fraud and abuse. To that end, the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute is supporting Congressional efforts to rein in fraud in the existing system via H.R. 526, the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2015.
The court has announced that certain civil cases filed in the Camden and Ocean Vicinages on or after November 30, 2015 will be assigned to a new pilot program designed to speed their resolution.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform has released its latest survey of state legal climates. Unfortunately, New Jersey’s ranking fell to 38 this year, down from 32 in 2012 when the survey was last released. This is cause for anxiety in a state that is struggling to grow its economy since the survey also found that “75 percent of attorneys at U.S. companies say a state's lawsuit environment is likely to impact important business decisions at their company, including where to locate or expand.” That is an 18 percent increase from eight years ago, and an all-time high.
The judicial system was not designed with business regulation in mind. Nevertheless, over the past few years New Jersey businesses have faced an increasing number of regulatory-based lawsuits, many of them quite frivolous in nature. These lawsuits are not being brought by the government, but by private attorneys empowered to enforce obscure business regulations on the government’s behalf.
A number of New Jersey’s state regulatory provisions specify statutory penalties for violations. Having a defined penalty enhances predictability and reduces inconsistent application of the law. When the statutes provide for enforcement actions by individual consumers, the statutory penalty model has the potential to provide the individual with a straightforward means of redress, often without need to even hire an attorney. Attorneys are getting involved though, and it is leading us toward a system where businesses are being regulated one jury at a time.
The deadline to file a claim for economic loss resulting from the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill is next Monday - June 8th. The Fort Myers, FL, News-Press made a point to note in its story on the impending deadline that “[b]usinesses in Southwest Florida that haven't filed a claim could be eligible for economic loss compensation, even though the oil rig explosion and resulting spill never marred area beaches.”
A white paper recapping important legal developments in the civil justice movement that occurred in 2014 has been published by the Federalist Society. Part I of the paper focuses on broad trends, Part II provides an overview of new legislation, and Part III highlights court cases from across the country that either strike down previously adopted reforms or adopt novel legal theories of interest to reformers. The paper was authored by NJCJI’s Emily Kelchen.