A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of April 9-15.


How Much is a Pet Dog Worth? A Court Will Soon Decide.

Karin Brulliard | Washington Post

Americans spent $60 billion on their companion animals last year. A majority of pet owners share their beds with furry friends. People take their dogs to work, create Instagram accounts for them and help them complete bucket lists. People, it’s clear, increasingly think of pets as family — or fellow people. The law, however, sees pets very differently: They are property, like a car or a toaster.

Full story.


Christie Nominates Timpone to NJ Supreme Court

This week, Governor Chris Christie, joined by Senate President Stephen Sweeney, announced that he will nominate former federal prosecutor Walter Timpone to the New Jersey Supreme Court. Click here to see a round-up of news coverage and commentary on the nomination. 


A (Law)suit is Not a Good Fit for Small Business

Steve Strauss | USA Today

There were a lot of things I liked about practicing law, but suing people sure was not one of them. My experience as a lawyer for over 20 years now is that lawsuits are an expensive, exasperating, exhausting, time-consuming way to “settle” disputes.

Full story.


State Sen. Peter Barnes to be Nominated as Superior Court Judge

Tom Haydon | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

State Sen. Peter Barnes III (D-Middlesex) will be nominated to become a Superior Court judge, ending months of speculation that he was in line for a seat on the bench.

Full story.


Lowering Health Care Costs By Eliminating Defensive Medicine

Bob Dorigo Jones | Let’s Be Fair

According to a nationwide survey of doctors conducted by Gallup, as much as one quarter of all the money spent on health care in the United States can be attributed to defensive medicine. Defensive medicine happens when doctors order tests not to diagnose a medical problem but to protect themselves from lawsuits. So, when doctors say 25% of the money Americans spend on health care is spent on tests that are only needed because of litigation concerns, we should pay attention.

Full story.


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