Procedural Overhaul in New York’s Trial Courts

Effective on February 1, 2021, New York’s Uniform Rules for the Supreme Court and the County Court were revised, by order of Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks. The changes incorporate certain rules that the Commercial Division of New York’s Supreme Court had earlier adopted, in an effort to streamline litigation. These rule changes will now apply to all civil cases in the Supreme Court and County Court, including tort actions. As these rules are interpreted by trial courts across the state, MKCI’s attorneys will continue to monitor and advise our clients of any impact these changes will have on their pending legal matters.
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“Omissions and Half-Truths” Before Grand Jury Insufficient to Establish Liability Under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act

In a recent published decision in the matter of Cruz v. Dougherty, A-1276-19T3 (App. Div. Jan. 11, 2021), New Jersey’s Appellate Division affirmed a trial court’s dismissal of a New Jersey Civil Rights Act lawsuit against a detective employed by the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office. The basis of the claim was the arrest and subsequent acquittal of the Plaintiff on murder charges, after he spent two years in jail awaiting and during trial. Plaintiff had filed suit as to the investigating detective, focusing his claims primarily on the detective’s grand jury testimony. Plaintiff alleged that the detective omitted testimony, particularly concerning the witness who had identified Plaintiff out of a photo array. The witness was fourteen years old, had only seen the side of the shooter’s face, and her identification was not always confident.
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McGivney, Kluger, Clark & Intoccia, P.C. Welcomes Jose M. Jara

Jose M. Jara is a Partner in MKCI’s New York City and Florham Park, NJ offices and Director of the firm’s ERISA Department. His practice focuses on ERISA and employment litigation and counseling and includes representing clients under investigation by the Department of Labor (“DOL”) and Employee Benefits Security Administration (“EBSA”), and defending clients from lawsuits filed by the DOL’s Office of the Solicitor regarding civil and/or criminal violations of ERISA. Jose has defended plan fiduciaries and boards of directors against ERISA litigation alleging breach of fiduciary duty in connection with imprudent investments, excessive fees, and delinquent employee contributions.
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MKCI Welcomes Richard Fennelly as a Partner

It is our privilege to name Richard Fennelly as a Partner at McGivney, Kluger, Clark & Intoccia Richard has been with MKCI since 2017 and has been a pivotal part of the growth and success of the Hartford office.
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Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress Claim Requires Expert Proof in New Jersey

In the recent decision of Francis Ross Clark v. David Nenna, M.D., New Jersey’s Appellate Division reiterated the jurisdiction’s well-established rule that a plaintiff alleging that she has sustained emotional distress due to another’s negligence must support that claim with expert evidence. In Clark, the Court was confronted with a plaintiff who had undergone an orthopedic surgery to remove orthopedic screws. During the procedure, the physician removed the screws, but left washers within the Plaintiff’s body, finding that they were embedded in scar tissue. The physician failed to tell Plaintiff of this decision.
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NJ Begins Virtual Civil Jury Trials

In a January 7, 2021 Order, Chief Justice Rabner of New Jersey’s Supreme Court made clear that civil jury trials will be proceeding virtually in New Jersey in the immediate future. The courts will resume jury trials through a two-phase process. The first phase, beginning on February 1, 2021, will only allow jury trials in eight counties throughout New Jersey: Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem, Monmouth, Passaic, and Union. During this first phase, consent of the parties to participate in a remote jury trial will be required.
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HarrisMartin’s Webinar Series: NJ Asbestos Litigation

Joel R. Clark will be presenting at the Harris Maratin Webinar Seminar, “New Jersey Asbestos Litigation”. This Webinar Series will be a special virtual event taking place on Thursday, February 11th 2021 and registration can be accessed in the attached link.
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New Jersey Upholds Comparative Fault as Fatal to Application of Res Ipsa Loquitur

In a precedential decision, New Jersey’s Appellate Division upheld the common law test for applying the doctrine of “res ipsa loquitur” in a negligence action. In Pannucci v. Edgewood Park Senior Housing – Phase 1, LLC, A-4735-17T3 (App. Div. Nov. 30, 2020), the Appellate Division was asked to reverse a trial court’s dismissal of a personal injury lawsuit, arising from the plaintiff’s claim that she had been injured while boarding an elevator in her own apartment building.
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