A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of Aug. 23-29.


Fla. Lawyers Driving Boom in N.J. Disabled-Access Suits

Charles Toutant | New Jersey Law Journal

A trio of lawyers from Florida are driving an upsurge in the number of suits charging New Jersey property owners with violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Full Story.


Judge Balks at $48 Million For Lawyers in H-P Suit

Shira Ovide | Wall Street Journal

Lawyers in some high-profile suits involving technology companies have hit a rough patch.

A judge on Monday delayed a proposed settlement in litigation over Hewlett-Packard’s controversial 2011 acquisition of U.K. software firm Autonomy, in part citing what he said were up to $48 million in potential financial windfalls for attorneys representing the shareholder plaintiffs.

Full Story.


No Basis for Million-Dollar Jury Verdict for “Incivility in the Workplace”

Bruce D. Greenberg | New Jersey Appellate Law Blog

Plaintiffs, all “highly-regarded OB/GYN specialists,” had independent contractor agreements (“ICA’s”) with St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson.  Under those ICA’s, plaintiffs served as attending physicians in St. Joseph’s; OB/GYN department, handling patients who came in without their own doctors, supervising residents and other medical students, and performing other duties.  Plaintiffs were paid hourly under the ICA’s, and the ICA’s were terminable “without cause, reason or justification” by either party on 60 days’ notice.

Full Story.


Report: 3.7 Million Use Legal Self-Help Centers

Jennifer Smith | Wall Street Journal Law Blog

Despite the glut of newly-minted lawyers, millions of Americans end up representing themselves in court because they can’t afford to pay $150 to $300 an hour for an attorney.

Full Story.


L.A. to Pay $26 Million for Ban on Naps by Garbage-Truck Drivers

David Zahnister | LA Times

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday finalized a $26-million legal settlement to end a lawsuit over a ban on lunchtime naps by trash-truck drivers. The expenditure, approved on a 9-2 vote, resolves a class-action lawsuit involving nearly 1,100 sanitation workers who said they were improperly barred from sleeping and engaging in other activities during their meal breaks.

Full Story.


Judge Again Slashes $4M Civil Rights Verdict

Mary Pat Gallagher | New Jersey Law Journal

A woman who twice won multimillion-dollar jury verdicts in a federal civil rights suit only to see them significantly reduced by the judge had it happen again on Aug. 22, when the most recent verdict, for $4 million, was reduced to $1.25 million.

Full Story.


New Mass Torts Judge Preparing to Tackle Largest N.J. Docket

Mary Pat Gallagher | New Jersey Law Journal

Judge Nelson Johnson, who took charge of Atlantic County’s 20,000-case mass tort docket a month ago, said he is excited about the new job and working hard to meet its challenges as he prepares for his first pharmaceutical trial, in which jury selection is scheduled to begin Sept. 2.

Full Story.


Seton Hall Law School Dean to Step Down, but Will Remain Christie Adviser

Salvador Rizzo | The Star-Ledger

The longtime dean of Seton Hall University’s law school is stepping down at the end of the year.

Full Story.