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June 2016 Archives

Alimony and Retirement

Fotolia_79361597_M-768x513.jpgIn 2014, New Jersey amended its alimony statute to allow a party to modify or terminate his or her spousal support obligation based on actual or "prospective" retirement. N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(j)(1-3). Under the recently amended statute, a spouse wishing to retire prior to reaching full retirement age (when a person is eligible to receive Social Security) must demonstrate, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the prospective retirement is both reasonable and made in good faith.

Drivers May Get More Than a Ticket If Their Passengers Don't Click It.

policeman.jpgIt has long been the law in New Jersey that a driver must ensure that his or her passengers "buckle up." Thanks to a recent decision by our state's Supreme Court, that law may now serve as the basis for a conviction of a second degree crime in the right (or wrong) case.

In Which State is a Telecommuter Employed?

urban-205986_960_720-768x490.jpgPreeti Gundecha was employed by Deutsche Bank, first in its London office, then in its New York office and finally in its New Jersey office. After taking maternity leave, she moved to North Carolinia and thereafter returned to work, telecommuting to the New Jersey office from her home in North Carolina.

The Necessity of Following the Rules and the Repercussions When They're not Followed

Copy-of-Copy-of-Copy-of-criminal-defense.jpgJudges and lawyers are expected to follow the rules. When they do not, chaos ensues. Doris Armstrong had a stroke while she was at Crane's Mill Nursing Home. She sued, claiming malpractice against the nursing home and the physician who treated her, Dr. Patel. As required by law, she submitted an Affidavit of Merit ("AOM") from an expert stating that the care she received deviated from accepted standards. The doctor answered, and claimed that the AOM was deficient because he was Board certified in geriatrics and the plaintiff's expert was not. However, at the time he made this statement, Dr. Patel was not, in fact, Board certified, although he once had been.

To Warrant or Not to Warrant

Fotolia_52956667_M-768x503.jpgIn State v. Wright, Evangeline James and her three children were tenants in a two-family residence. Ricky Wright, Ms. James' boyfriend and the father of her youngest child, stayed at the apartment 3-4 nights per week. One evening water began leaking through the kitchen ceiling, so Ms. James called the landlord. The landlord brought a plumber to the apartment the next day, but no one was home. After calling Ms. James and waiting for a half hour, the landlord let them in, which he had done in the past. The plumber assessed the situation in the kitchen and followed the piping to a back bedroom to check for additional leaks. The plumber saw marijuana on a nightstand in the bedroom and what appeared to be cocaine in an open drawer. The plumber and the landlord then called the police.

Where Lies the Burden of Proof?

Copy-of-Fotolia_26659931_S-768x514.jpgThe United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit established standards that court will use in determining whether, under a claim based on a federal statute containing certain exceptions to its requirements, the plaintiff has the burden of proving the exemption does not apply or the defendant has the burden of proving it does. This case arose in the context of a claim under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") 15 U.S.C. §1692, et seq., which, among other things, makes a debt collector liable to a consumer for contacting third parties in an effort to collect the consumer's debt-except in certain specified circumstances. The exception relevant here is where the contact is "for the purposes of acquiring location information about the consumer." Even then, however, the FDCPA prohibits more than one contact "unless the debt collector reasonably believes the earlier response of such third person is erroneous or incomplete and that such person now has correct or complete location information." 15 U.S.C. §1692b. A violation of the statute subjects the debt collector to statutory as well as actual damages.

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