Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey’

“NJ public works employee with phobia of public places gets $400K in lawsuit”

“A borough public works employee who claimed a hostile work environment while struggling with an anxiety disorder has settled his lawsuit against the borough [of Tenafly]. Aaron Perelli will receive $400,000 and will be on paid leave until his retirement date of June 30, according to the settlement agreement reached Jan. 24. In his lawsuit, Perelli said he suffered from agoraphobia, which he said did not allow him to drive long distances to unfamiliar towns or to drive by himself.” Perelli said the borough accommodated him at first, but then the relationship went downhill. [Adam Hochron, WKXW]

Can Congress compel states to ban things?

The Supreme Court’s “anti-commandeering” doctrine holds that the federal government lacks authority under the Constitution simply to order state governments to implement federal programs or act affirmatively in other ways. Did Congress overstep this bound when it enacted the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), a federal statute that with some exceptions forbids states to “authorize” sports gambling “by law”? That question has come up in a case in which New Jersey sought to repeal some of its old gambling laws. [Ilya Shapiro and David McDonald on Cato’s amicus brief participation supporting New Jersey’s petition for Supreme Court review in Christie v. NCAA et al.]

Prosecutors: N.J. lawyer used extortion to develop practice

“The New Jersey Supreme Court has disbarred a lawyer who is currently serving a 27-month stretch in prison for trying to scare real estate investors into hiring him with a bogus claim of a pending criminal tax investigation…. The indictment accused [former Metuchen solo practitioner Thomas] Frey of extorting money from real estate investors by fabricating a story about impending criminal charges against them.” [New Jersey Law Journal]

Litigation roundup

  • Settlement insurance, a new litigation-finance mechanism, can have the unintended result of casting light on just how little benefit some class actions provide to consumers [Ted Frank, CEI] Yet another new litigation finance mechanism: trial-expense insurance purchased by lawyers [Bloomberg/Insurance Journal]
  • South Carolina law firm sues 185 different defendants in the average asbestos case it files, and it’s still far from tops in that department [Palmetto Business Daily]
  • “Those terms and conditions (that nobody reads) could cost New Jersey retailers” [Tim Darragh, NJ.com on class actions under pre-Internet-era state consumer protection law]
  • Some federal courts, while paying lip service to the important Rule 26 discovery reforms that took effect Dec. 1, continue in their old ways, “effectively applying the old standard” [James Beck]
  • “Can Pokémon Go and Product Liability Coexist?” [Julie Steinberg, BNA/Product Safety & Liability Reporter, earlier]
  • “How does privatization affect liability?” [Sasha Volokh]

August 3 roundup

Labor roundup

  • Huffington Post writer lauds alleged Boston city hall union extortion scheme as in “pursuit of progressive social goals”. More: Peter Ubertaccio on U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz;
  • As NLRB continues leftward march, new ruling will corral more temporary workers into unions [Industry Week]
  • “Bloated, Broke, and Bullied: Mired in debt and strong-armed by its unions, the Port Authority [of NY and NJ] lavishes outlandish pay and benefits on its workforce.” [Steve Malanga, City Journal]
  • “Blistering” 13-page dissent in Schwan’s Home Service: “NLRB Member Philip Miscimarra is mad as hell about the Board’s current position on employee-handbook policies and protected concerted activity” [Jon Hyman]
  • For decades, until the Reagan administration, federal labor law banned home knitting as an organized commercial activity. During much of the same period Great Britain was proud of its equivalent [1947 Home Industries Exposition via Jot101]
  • They’ll be watching you: more on Philadelphia union drones [Connor Wolf/Daily Caller, earlier]

Nanny state roundup

  • No flavored milk for 5-year-olds: feds prescribe what day care centers may serve to 3 million kids [final rule via Elizabeth Harrington, Free Beacon]
  • Andrew Jackson and alcohol access: “…whereas Whigs insisted that regulating morality was a proper function of government, Democrats warned that government intrusion into areas of private choice would violate republican liberties.” [John M. Murrin et al, Liberty, Equality, Power on Massachusetts “Fifteen-Gallon Law” of 1838, via historian Richard Samuelson on Twitter, and more]
  • Eric Schneiderman takes his toll of fun: “Daily Fantasy Sports Stop Operations in New York” [Scott Shackford]
  • Wyoming happy with results of food freedom legislation [Baylen Linnekin]
  • Priors didn’t help, but yes, New Jersey’s gun control laws are such that the state will prosecute an actor over a prop gun used in filming a movie [AP/San Jose Mercury News; Carlo Goias]
  • Hadn’t remembered the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919, one of America’s strangest industrial disasters, had a Prohibition angle [Dylan Thuras, Atlas Obscura]

What it took to introduce competition in alcohol retailing

Bethesda Magazine profiles David Trone, whose Total Wine and More chain has helped introduce or reintroduce price-cutting, the negotiating of quantity discounts from vendors, and other advances in the business model for alcohol sales. Along the way, after infuriating competitors who were protected by existing state regulatory arrangements, Trone has been arrested three times, targeted by a Pennsylvania attorney general who was himself later sentenced to prison, subjected to grand jury proceedings at which allied merchants were urged to sever ties with him, and much more, which culminated in getting most of the charges thrown out and paying money to settle others. He spent millions on legal fees. After bad regulatory and legal experiences in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Trone shifted to a new strategy, part of which has involved generous campaign contributions: “So generally what we do now when we enter a new state is hire a lobbyist, hire a great legal team, and go meet the regulators. It’s preemptive, 100 percent.” Now he’s running for Congress.

“N.J. lawmaker wants fines for ‘distracted walking’”

A bad idea, seen previously in proposals in New York and elsewhere, won’t go away: “The measure recently introduced by General Assembly member Pamela Lampitt (D) would ban walking while texting and bar pedestrians on public roads from using electronic communication devices that are not hands-free. Violators would face fines of up to $50, 15 days imprisonment or both, which is the same penalty as jaywalking.” While no states appear to have passed such enactments yet, New Jersey isn’t the only state where they’re being floated: “For instance, a bill pending in Hawaii would fine someone $250 for crossing the street with an electronic device.” [Bruce Shipkowski, AP/Washington Post]

March 30 roundup