Right now there are five common sense legal reform bills with bipartisan sponsorship under consideration in the legislature. Several of these bills have been languishing in committee for years without action. Meanwhile, all of us are shouldering the burden of New Jersey’s excessively expensive and inefficient tort liability system through higher prices, lower wages, decreased returns on investments in capital and land, restricted access to health care, and less innovation. It is time for the legislature get serious about legal reform so the citizens and businesses of this state can get some relief.
On January 20, the New Jersey Supreme Court heard oral arguments in one of its biggest cases of 2015, Lippman v. Ethicon, Inc. The court will decide if an employee performing activities as part of his or her core job functions, on that basis alone and without further conduct by the employee, can seek whistleblower protection under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) if they are fired. The day after the case was heard, NJCJI hosted a policy teleforum on the case featuring Adam Saravay, a partner at McCarter & English, who co-authored NJCJI & NJBIA's joint amicus brief and participated on the organizations' behalf in the high court's oral arguments on the case. During the call, Saravay provided an overview of the case and its implications before sharing his insights on how oral arguments in the case went.
On Tuesday, January 13, 2015, Gov. Chris Christie delivered his fifth State of the State Address. One of the main points of the speech was a call for a “New Jersey renewal.” The New Jersey Civil Justice Institute shares this sentiment.
David Tykulsker’s recent opinion piece in the Star-Ledger, “N.J. Supreme Court should protect workplace whistleblowers,” paints a very one-sided, doom-and-gloom picture of the soon-to-be-argued employment law case Lippman v. Ethicon, Inc. Whistle-blowing under Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) has long been understood to mean something different than doing your job if you are tasked with being an in-house watchdog. Efforts by the plaintiff’s bar to upend this area of law to allow for more lawsuits should be dismissed.
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