I’ve Been Ordered to Contribute to Our Child’s Out-of-Pocket College Costs—How Do I Maximize Their Financial Aid?

Under New Jersey law, parents can be ordered to contribute to a child’s out-of-pocket college costs or expenses for a child enrolled full time in a college or university. Given that out-of-pocket expenses can be extremely steep depending upon the specific college or university the child attends, many parents want to know how they can maximize their child’s financial aid in order to lower out-of-pocket costs that must be paid.

Author: Brian McFadden-DiNicola | Practice Area: Family Law, Child Support

Retainage

Our previous blog in the Contractor Blog Series covered the topic of Change Orders. In this third installment of the series, we take a look at “Retainage”.

Author: Joseph Petrillo | Practice Area: Construction Law

I’m Interviewing Attorneys for My Divorce Case—What Questions Should I Ask?

When you make the decision to file for divorce in New Jersey or need representation after your spouse has filed for divorce, finding the right attorney can feel like a daunting process. While you may have a friend or a family member who recently got divorced and can recommend a family law attorney for your case, it is still extremely important to arrange initial consultations to find the lawyer you want to represent you.

Author: Brian McFadden-DiNicola | Practice Area: Family Law

Automatic Expungement of Criminal Records in New Jersey: Will It Happen?

Numerous lawmakers in New Jersey have been working to establish a system for people with criminal records to have their records expunged. Indeed, Senate Bill 3205 proposed numerous changes to New Jersey state law designed to wipe criminal convictions from records for more offenses, including a number of drug-related offenses. Yet Governor Phil Murphy recently vetoed the bill.

Author: William McGuinn, Joseph Leone | Practice Area: Criminal Defense

Change Orders

Change Orders happen on many construction projects. A Change Order is work that is added or deleted from the original work of the Contract which impacts either the original contract amount or the time for completion. Contractors should be aware of how to address Change Orders to get them paid and to avoid a future issue with the Owner.

Author: Joseph Petrillo | Practice Area: Construction Law

Changes to New Jersey DWI Laws

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy recently signed into law a series of changes to New Jersey DWI laws. The legislation (S824) makes several changes to New Jersey law, including revising drunk driving penalties, expanding the use of ignition interlock devices, and reducing the length of license suspension and forfeitures.

Author: William McGuinn, Joseph Leone | Practice Area: Criminal Defense, DWI-DUI

Back to School Tips for Divorced Parents

If you are recently divorced or separated and have children, as your kids are getting ready to go back to school, you may be thinking about the complications of co-parenting. Now that school is starting, you will need to navigate drop-offs and pick-ups for extracurricular activities, sick days, snow days, and a complex after-school calendar. We want to provide you with some key tips for navigating the back-to-school days after your divorce.

Author: Jessica Mazur | Practice Area: Family Law, Child Custody & Parenting Time, Child Support, Separation

Governor Murphy Signs Law Expanding Public Entity Liability for Sexual Abuse and Assault

In New Jersey, public entities and their employees are offered numerous protections and immunities from civil liability for tort actions by the State’s Tort Claims Act, N.J.S.A. 59:1-1, et seq. New Jersey’s Governor, Phillip Murphy, recently signed a bill into law that will eliminate some of those protections in cases involving allegations of sexual abuse or assault.

Author: Aron Mandel | Practice Area: Labor & Employment Law, Harassment in the Workplace, Public Employers and Employees

Contracts – The Basics

The word “Contractor” is defined as “one who enters into a Contract to provide work, services, or goods.” Undoubtedly, the Contract is the most important document on a project as it will guide a parties’ relationship as it will outline each party’s scope of duties, rights, and remedies.

Author: Joseph Petrillo | Practice Area: Construction Law

Governor Murphy Signs Bills into Law Re-Opening the Doors to Excess Medical Expenses at the Time of Trial with Some Limitations

On August 15, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Senate Bill S2432, which overrules the New Jersey Supreme Court opinion in the consolidated matters of Haines v. Taft/Little v. Nishimura, in which the Court held that plaintiffs could not seek to board medical expenses at trial as part of their damages for amounts less than the the standard PIP limit of $250,000, even if they selected a minimum PIP limit of $15,000.

Author: Frank Caruso | Practice Area: General Liability

Haines v. Taft/Little v. Nishimura: A Spotlight on New Legislation Seeking to Undo the Supreme Court’s Holding on Admissibility and Recovery of Unpaid Medical Expenses

Earlier this year, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued an opinion in the consolidated matters of Haines v. Taft/Little v. Nishimura and held that plaintiffs could not seek to board medical expenses at trial as part of their damages between their selected PIP limit and the standard PIP limit of $250,000.

Author: Frank Caruso | Practice Area: Automobile Liability, General Liability

Law Firm Liability Under HIPPA

Recent surveys demonstrate that the large majority of law firms, large and small, are unaware of their potential exposure pursuant to HIPAA and its most recent iteration, HITECH. While there is a sensitivity among firms regarding the need for HIPAA authorizations and protections of private health information, the full panoply of requirements and liabilities that may befall them are less understood.

Author: Thomas Leyhane | Practice Area: Health Care Law, HIPAA Privacy & Security

Best Practices for Separated or Divorced Parents As Children Head Into Summer Vacation

Whether you have been separated for years or you are recently divorced, it is important to consider best practices for divorced parents during summer vacation. The first summer vacation in particular can be difficult to navigate for newly separated or divorced parents in New Jersey. You and your kids deserve to enjoy your summer – hopefully out by a pool, at the beach, or outside soaking up the sun – not be fighting with your ex over the details. | Practice Area: Family Law, Child Custody & Parenting Time

Court Says Frugal Spouse Must Continue to Pay Alimony Despite Being 79 Years Old

A New Jersey appellate court recently heard a case concerning termination of alimony upon retirement. In Imposimato v. Imposimato (2019), the spouse who had been making alimony payments according to the terms of the divorce property settlement—the defendant—sought to modify the amount of alimony he would pay to the other spouse—the plaintiff—due to a change in his income.

Author: Jessica Mazur | Practice Area: Family Law, Alimony, Spousal Support, and Separate Maintenance

Expansion of Ongoing Snow Storm Defense

While there is longstanding precedent that commercial property owners have a duty to use reasonable care to maintain abutting sidewalks in a reasonably safe condition, including the removal of ice and snow, the Appellate Division held in Quiles that such a duty does not require sidewalks to be free of ice and snow while the snow storm is ongoing as it is unreasonable, as a matter of law. | Practice Area: General Liability, Premises Liability

New York Court of Appeals Affirms Higher Causation Standard in Asbestos Cases

It has often seemed that when defending asbestos lawsuits, courts come to the conclusion that contact with an asbestos product automatically makes the product hazardous and Plaintiffs’ experts merely have to opine that each and every contact with that product could cause disease. New York Supreme Court Judge Barbara Jaffe’s decision to preclude Plaintiffs’ experts in the Juni matter changed the landscape of New York asbestos litigation.

Author: Elizabeth Lautenbach | Practice Area: Environmental & Toxic Tort

Don’t Delay: Top 5 Reasons to File for Divorce

When you are thinking about filing for divorce in New Jersey, you may be unsure about whether you are making the right decision. For most people considering a divorce, the possibility of dissolving the marriage has been imminent for quite some time. However, it can be difficult to make the final decision to actually move forward with the divorce process.

Author: Jessica Mazur | Practice Area: Family Law, Alimony, Spousal Support, and Separate Maintenance, Child Custody & Parenting Time, Child Support, Equitable Distribution of Assets and Liabilities

Top 5 Biggest Divorce Mistakes

Getting a divorce is a life changing event for all parties involved. Unlike other types of legal proceedings, divorce cases at times involve raw emotion, anger, betrayal, and even denial. Such emotions often lead individuals into taking actions that not only hurt their divorce case from a legal standpoint, but also exacerbate the overall emotional trauma for both sides.

Author: Jessica Mazur | Practice Area: Family Law, Mediation, Arbitration, and Alternatives to Litigation

NJ Governor Signs Law Banning Some Employment Non-Disclosure Agreements

In 2018, New Jersey legislators introduced companion bills S121 and A1242. The legislation was proposed in the wake of the #MeToo movement and sought to ban non-disclosure agreements arising from sexual harassment allegations. The bills met with substantial approval by New Jersey lawmakers, and this March, Governor Phil Murphy signed the legislation into law as an amendment to New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination.

Author: Jennifer Passannante | Practice Area: Labor & Employment Law

New Jersey Supreme Court Issues its Written Decision in the Consolidated Matters of Haines and Little and Reverses the Appellate Division

Haines v. Taft/Little v. Nishimura: The New Jersey Supreme Court Rules Motor Vehicle Accident Personal Injury Claimants Who Play the Name Your Own Price Insurance Option Get What They Pay For—No Ability to Sue the Tortfeasor for Medical Expenses amounting to less than $250,000.

Author: Frank Caruso | Practice Area: Automobile Liability, General Liability

5 Tips and Tricks on Being Deposed

So, your deposition has been noticed. Even if you have nerves of steel, being deposed can still be an incredibly stressful and nerve-wracking experience. Here are some tips on how to keep your cool and get through your deposition without breaking (too much of) a sweat.

Author: Andrea Mackaronis

The “Faker Defense” Revisited: The New Jersey Supreme Court Weighs In

In June 2018, I wrote, “The Erosion of the Faker Defense,” about the New Jersey Appellate Division’s decision in Rodriguez v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 449 N.J. Super. 577 (App. Div. 2017). That blog focused on the issue of defense experts’ use of certain terms of art to relate a plaintiff’s medical condition to something other than the accident in question.

Author: Frank Kontely | Practice Area: General Liability

Be a Boy Scout! 5 Steps to Take to Prepare for Separation or Divorce

I was never a boy scout (or a girl scout, for that matter). But I wish that I had been! They learn how to be self-sufficient, how to care for the environment, and how to be of service. But most of all, boy scouts are renowned for their preparedness. This preparation allows them to think ahead, be cool under pressure, and adapt in times of adversity. These are the same attributes that you want to have when contemplating a divorce.

Author: Andrea Mackaronis | Practice Area: Family Law, Separation

New Jersey Attorney General’s Office Will Now Investigate All Police Shootings that Result in the Suspect’s Death

On January 30, 2019, Governor Murphy signed a new law into effect (S1036), which was originally introduced into our New Jersey Senate on January 16, 2018. This law requires the Attorney General’s Office to handle the investigation and prosecution of crimes involving the deaths of individuals by law enforcement officers while acting in their official capacity.

Author: Michael Colacci | Practice Area: Civil Rights Litigation, Municipal Litigation, Municipal Practice

Scope of Employment: Driving to and from Work in the Modern Era

Generally, an employee who is “going to” or “coming from" his or her place of employment is not considered to be acting within the scope of employment. Most jurisdictions apply this general rule that an employee who is driving his or her personal vehicle to and from their workplace is not within the scope of employment for the purpose of imposing vicarious liability on the employer. | Practice Area: General Liability