A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of August 1-7.


Dole and Other Companies Sour on Delaware as Corporate Haven

Liz Hoffman | Wall Street Journal

Dole Food Co. has its pick of ports along the East Coast to drop off its bananas and pineapples from Costa Rica and Honduras. But since the 1980s, Wilmington, Del., has been a regular unloading point. In 2001, Dole went a step further, moving its legal home to Delaware from Hawaii. Like thousands of U.S. companies, Dole was attracted by the state’s business-friendly reputation: Managers enjoy broad latitude in day-to-day operations, from corporate spending to buyouts. Firms are shielded by tough antitakeover laws. And special business courts, widely considered the most sophisticated in the nation, have over the decades blessed new corporate defenses and set clear rules for the rough-and-tumble merger world.

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All Eyes on Veteran Jurist Mulling Proposed Exxon Deal

Michael Booth | New Jersey Law Journal

When retired New Jersey trial judges return to serve on recall, they are rarely in the spotlight. But the spotlight is now squarely on Burlington County Superior Court Judge Michael Hogan, who retired on New Year’s Day 2012 and who has been serving on a recall basis since January 2013, as he oversees one of the most polarizing lawsuits in the state: the proposed $225 million settlement between the Christie administration and ExxonMobil over contamination claims, a deal harshly criticized by Democrats and environmental activists.

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N.J. Judge Says Parents Can’t be Made to Pay for Kids’ Bullying

Associated Press

A New Jersey judge has ruled that the parents of alleged bullies cannot be held financially liable for their children’s actions. The ruling came Monday in a lawsuit against the Flemington-Raritan and Central Regional School Districts by the family of a boy who claims to have been bullied by others, saying the schools did not do enough to stop it despite years of complaints.

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Why Can Plaintiffs Only Remember Solvent Defendants In Asbestos Cases?

Kyle White | Abnormal Use

We here at Abnormal Use recently watched a TED talk by memory expert Elizabeth Loftus titled, “How Reliable Is Your Memory?” The fascinating talk provided an overview of research by cognitive scientists on why people remember some things but not others, why two people can remember the same event differently, and how people can even innocently recall an event falsely. Loftus provided several interesting examples of “false recollections” that she has come across in her research, including studies in which researchers planted the idea in the minds of subjects that the subjects had been victims of violent crimes in the past. The subjects were not intentionally lying; rather, they genuinely believed that the event occurred when it had not. Loftus explains in her paper “How To Tell If A Particular Memory Is True Or False,” that there are two types of lying that people engage in: intentional lying, and lying “without knowing they are lying.”

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Suit Revived Against Christie Allies Over GWB Lane Closings

Shawn Boburg | The Record

A class action lawsuit against several former officials from the Christie administration and the Port Authority was revived on Thursday seeking damages for drivers caught in the George Washington Bridge lane closures.

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NJ Cases To Watch In The 2nd Half Of 2015

Martin Bricketto | Law360

The New Jersey Supreme Court this year has protected watchdog employees and allowed Gov. Chris Christie’s pension funding cuts, but significant opinions are looming that could clarify a defrauded employer’s ability to recoup salary and the rights of medical malpractice victims when faced with a doctor’s insurance failings.

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Consumers Fight To Keep Alive ‘Fresh-Baked’ Bread Ad Claims

Brandon Lowrey | Law360

A group of plaintiffs urged a New Jersey federal judge Wednesday to keep alive its claims in a trio of lawsuits alleging Whole Foods Market Group Inc. and two other market chains falsely advertised “fresh-baked” bread, saying the court shouldn’t toss the class allegations so early in the case.

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Uber Lawyer Says Class Action Trial in California Could Set a Risky Precedent


A lawyer for ride service Uber, which has been sued by drivers who contend they should be considered employees and are seeking class action status, said it would be preferable to have a trial just on the three drivers who filed the complaint in order to avoid setting a risky precedent.

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Highest Cost Per Click For Search Keywords This Year

Laurie Sullivan | Search Marketing Daily

The cost per click (CPC) of search engine keywords provides insight into current events. Anyone who doubts the trend simply needs to follow the dollar. All of the Top 10 most expensive keywords during the first six months in 2015, were related to medical issues, lawsuits or insurance settlements. There were two keywords pertaining to selling structured settlements, without mention of mesothelioma. The selling structured settlements keywords could apply to any kind of lawsuit, not just those related to mesothelioma, the cancerous tumor at the center of numerous advertising campaigns focused on asbestos-related lawsuits, according to Jim Leichenko, director of marketing at AdGooroo, a Kantar Media company.

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