A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for May 6-18.
Anthony G. Attrino | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
A Carlstadt man is suing two drinking establishments for serving him alcoholic beverages in the hours before he crashed his motorcycle and was seriously hurt.
Ronald Mann | SCOTUS Blog
For anybody who thought that the Supreme Court’s protective attitude toward arbitration agreements would differ in the absence of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, the decision this morning in Kindred Nursing Centers Limited Partnership v. Clark will come as a surprise. By a 7-1 margin, the court firmly rejected a Kentucky decision that adopted a clear-statement rule under which a general power of attorney, valid to authorize the execution of contracts generally, would not validly authorize execution of an arbitration agreement unless the power of attorney explicitly addressed that topic.
James R. Copland | Manhattan Institute
In the second half of the 20th century, the U.S. experienced a “litigation explosion” that enriched some lawyers but cost American businesses and consumers dearly. The cost of lawsuits in America remains uncommonly high; but the growth rate in liability costs has fallen below that in the broader U.S. economy in recent years. The slower growth of U.S. litigation costs is largely attributable to alternative dispute resolution mechanisms like arbitration—essentially, private parties opting out of the courts, in advance, through binding contractual language.
When the American Tort Reform Association released its latest “Judicial Hellholes” report, New Jersey was branded the fifth worst legal jurisdiction in the country thanks in large part to our court system’s hostility toward arbitration agreements.
“The arbitration-related decisions the report highlights are really concerning. The New Jersey Supreme Court has weakened the right to arbitrate in New Jersey, in direct violation of federal law, despite the fact that arbitration is faster, cheaper, and just as fair as going to court. This is especially true when you consider the alternative to arbitration is often class action litigation, where the biggest beneficiary is the attorney bringing the case,” said NJCJI President Marcus Rayner.