A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of March 29-April 4, 2014.


Credit Card Receipt Spawns Class Action

“There was no foul. No one had a problem until a lawyer saw this and he filed a suit against us,” Friedman said. “But if we fight it, we’re not going to win.” This is becoming a common refrain from small business owners in New Jersey thanks to an increasing number of state laws that encourage regulation by litigation.

Full Story.



Ex-Judges: Judicial Independence Threatened in N.J.

Associated Press

The independence of New Jersey judges is under attack by Gov. Chris Christie and lawmakers, retired judges and lawyers told a state bar association task force Tuesday.

Full Story.



NJ’s Judiciary Needs Reform, Bar Association Task Force is Told

Michael Phillis | The Record

New Jersey’s judicial branch is under attack and in need of reform and protection, leaders in the state’s legal community told a task force studying the court system’s independence Tuesday.

Full Story.



NJ Task Force Considers Judicial Independence Fixes

Martin Bricketto | Law 360

A New Jersey task force crafting recommendations to protect judicial independence heard calls on Tuesday to guarantee the reappointment of judges unless they are unfit for the job, raise the mandatory retirement age for judges and end state senators’ ability to indefinitely hold up nominees.

Full Story.



Behavior of Plaintiffs’ Lawyers in Food “Misbranding” Class Actions Called into Question

Glenn Lammi | The Legal Pulse

Over the last two years at The Legal Pulse, we’ve expended a lot of digital ink on food labeling class action lawsuit rulings from the Northern District of California (aka “The Food Court”). Our focus here shifts to similar suits from the Central District of California. Two recent decisions from that jurisdiction spotlight some questionable behavior by plaintiffs’ lawyers.

Full Story.



With Plane Still Missing, Legal Moves for Payouts Start

Edward Wong and Kirk Semple | New York Times

For 10 days, Monica R. Kelly and her American law firm’s aviation lawyers have stalked the dim hallways of the Lido Hotel here to make their pitches to relatives of passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Full Story.



Proposed Evidence Rule Would Align Privileges on Health Communications

David Gialanella | New Jersey Law Journal

A new rule being proposed in New Jersey would create a “unified mental health service provider evidentiary privilege”—an effort to reorganize the present patchwork of privileges that offer varying degrees of protection to different professionals.

 Full Story.



NJ High Court Restricts Employer Workers’ Comp Liability

Kelly Knaub | Law 360

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a Morris County employee who was injured while walking to work from a parking garage was not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, saying the accident occurred on a public street and was not controlled by her employer.

Full Story.



Subway Reaches Tentative Deal With Plaintiffs Over ‘Footlong’ Claims

Jacob Gershman | Wall Street Journal

The Subway sandwich chain is within inches of reaching a settlement with customers who accused the Doctor’s Associates Inc.-owned restaurant of misrepresenting the size of its “Footlong” sub, according to court papers.


Last year, one of the biggest, sandwich-related stories since sliced bread erupted when reports surfaced that the restaurant’s fabled “Footlong” didn’t measure up to its name.


Shortly afterward, plaintiffs’ law firms across the country sued the chain, filing lawsuits seeking class action status alleging that Subway deceived customers by promoting a 12-inch sub that was really more like 11 inches.

Full Story.