A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of September 24-30.


Let Them Yelp? NJ Congressman Doesn’t Want You Sued For Giving Negative Reviews

Dino Flammia | NJ 101.5

Type a bad review of a company online and get sued for thousands or millions of dollars. Cases like these have been popping up throughout the country, and they caught the attention of a New Jersey congressman who wants to put an end to the practice.

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Justice Barry Albin Has Made A Career Of Dissent

Salvador Rizzo | The Record

It was a sign of things to come when Associate Justice Barry Albin joined the state Supreme Court 14 years ago and his first opinion was a cutting dissent. Seventy-seven dissents later, Albin’s rebel streak is as strong as ever. He even gave a speech last year about the importance of standing up to wrongheaded majorities everywhere.

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Daily Number | NJ Spotlight

According to a recent survey conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal reform —as reported by the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute — New Jersey’s legal climate ranks 38th in the country, a drop of six points since a prior survey in 2012. That isn’t bad news, it’s bad business: 75 percent of attorneys U.S. companies indicated that a state’s legal environment affects important business decisions, like where to relocate or expand.

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TCCWNATCCWNA Basics and the Supreme Court’s Constitutional Limits on Punitive Damages

David R. Kott, Edward J. Fanning, Jr., Zane Riester & Elizabeth Monahan of McCarter & English | Published in the New Jersey Law Journal

Over the past year, there has been a steady rise in class action lawsuits filed by plaintiffs under New Jersey’s Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act (“TCCWNA”). While the statute has been in existence for over 30 years, it has only recently become fodder for class action plaintiffs who are attracted to TCCWNA’s limited elements and automatic statutory penalty.

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U.S. Just Made It a Lot Less Difficult to Sue Nursing Homes

Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Michael Corkery | New York Times

The federal agency that controls more than $1 trillion in Medicare and Medicaid funding has moved to prevent nursing homes from forcing claims of elder abuse, sexual harassment and even wrongful death into the private system of justice known as arbitration.

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You Can’t Always Rely On Physician Testimony In Malpractice Cases, Says Doc Who Admits He Lied

Debra Cassens Weiss | ABA Journal

You can’t always trust testimony by doctors on behalf of colleagues being sued for malpractice, according to retired South Dakota physician Lars Aanning. Aanning knows from experience: He says he lied on behalf of a medical-clinic colleague in a malpractice trial about 15 years ago. Aanning wrote a “belated confession” for his local newspaper that has been posted to the ProPublica Patient Safety group on Facebook.

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TCCWNAThe Surge of “TCCWNA” Class Actions in New Jersey

Daniel Mee, David S. Osterman and Leah A. Brndjar | Goldberg Segalla

Until recently, the New Jersey Truth-In-Consumer Contract Warranty and Notice Act (TCCWNA or the Act) was a relatively obscure consumer protection statute that sat dormant on New Jersey’s books for almost three decades. That all changed when a series of cases opened the floodgates to consumer class action litigation. In April, the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute issued a staggering prediction that the wave of TCCWNA lawsuits against retailers and other defendants could double in size over the next two years.

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