A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of June 4-10.


Ex-Judge Who Sued Dry Cleaners Over Lost Pants Faces Ethics Charges

Zoe Tillman | National Law Journal

Remember the administrative law judge so steamed over a missing pair of pants that he pressed a million-dollar suit against his dry cleaner? A decade later, Roy Pearson Jr. is facing legal ethics charges over his conduct in the case that came to symbolize litigation overreach.

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He Sold a $40 Printer. Then He Was Sued in Indiana for $30,000.

Kristine Guerra | IndyStar

Selling a used, black-and-white printer through Craigslist seemed simple and straightforward to Doug Costello. It wasn’t.

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Creative Lawyers Give New Meaning To The Term ‘Warranty Claim’

Daniel Fisher | Forbes

Most companies use warranties to try and protect themselves against lawsuits. But now those very warranties are becoming a source of litigation, as entrepreneurial lawyers use a New Jersey statute to sue companies over nothing more than the terms and conditions on their websites.

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Your Company’s Online “Terms of Use” May Be the Target of a Class Action

Gavin J. Rooney of Lowenstein Sandler | Inside Counsel

Companies that maintain an online presence typically include “terms of use” to govern the public’s access to their websites and limit potential liability. In what is swiftly becoming the class action “flavor of the day,” aggressive plaintiffs’ lawyers are filing complaints alleging that such website terms of use violate an obscure New Jersey consumer protection statute, the Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Notice and Warranty Act (“TCCWNA”). In the first few months of 2016, more than twenty-five companies have been sued in TCCWNA class actions challenging their websites’ terms of use—including clothing retailers (Saks Fifth Avenue, J. Crew, Victoria’s Secret), automobile manufacturers (Ferrari and Nissan North America), tax preparation services (Jackson Hewitt Tax Service and Intuit, the maker of TurboTax), and purveyors of consumer goods (Hoover, Toys R Us, and Bed Bath and Beyond). Many more companies have received demand letters from plaintiff’s lawyers seeking nuisance value settlements as the price of avoiding litigation.

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Senate Panel Approves Re-Appointment of Judge Reprimanded for Crude Comments

Katherine Landergan | Politico NJ

A Senate committee on Thursday approved the re-appointment of a judge who was reprimanded by the state Supreme Court for making crude comments at work. Superior Court Judge Joseph Portelli told the Senate Judiciary Committee he felt both humbled and remorseful.

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Pensioners’ Suit Defeated; Public Retirees Not Entitled to State Cost-of-Living Raises

Salvador Rizzo | The Record

New Jersey public workers do not have the right to yearly pension increases upon retirement, the state’s highest court ruled Thursday in a closely watched case affecting thousands of retirees and billions of dollars.

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