A new Ohio law substantially changes the landscape for real property tax valuation challenges in the state. In general, it substantially curtails school districts’ rights to initiate and appeal property tax valuation challenges. Governor DeWine signed the bill on April 21, 2022. It will become effective on July 19, 2022, and will affect valuation complaints that relate to tax year 2022 valuations.

Continue Reading Ohio Significantly Changes Real Property Tax Valuation Procedures, Curtailing Local Governments’ Abilities to Initiate, Appeal, and Settle Tax Valuation Cases

On April 26, 2022 the Supreme Court of New Jersey heard arguments about whether New Jersey should retain the judicially created “new business rule”. Since 1936 the rule has held that in the context of calculating damages “prospective profits of a new business are considered too remote and speculative to meet the legal standard of reasonable certainty.” RSB Lab. Servs., Inc. v. BSI, Corp. This case is interesting for aggrieved business litigants as well as interested observers of the appellate process.

Continue Reading An Outlier No More?: New Jersey Supreme Court Considers Overturning “New Business Rule”

Recently I was going back and forth with a colleague about training programs for our developing lawyers. This colleague, a respected friend, looked at the list I proudly provided of the various advocacy, writing, presentation and positioning lessons filling the educational schedule, and responded with the pith of perception “Not a word about listening.” I immediately saw the gap absent in my perception only moments before. And, I knew the truth of which Oliver Wendell Holmes (not the judge, but the judge’s father) wrote in Chapter X of The Poet At The Breakfast Table (1872), when he said “It is the province of knowledge to speak. And it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” What a great lesson for lawyers, especially trial lawyers, to remember.

Continue Reading It Is the Privilege of Wisdom to Listen: Remembering an Underappreciated Legal Skill

Interesting question: Can someone trademark another person’s name without that person’s consent? The answer to that is usually “no,” but, hey, we would not be the first people to say that we live in interesting times. And if we said that, we would not be infringing on anyone’s rights. That aside, the answer to the first question this week is “yes,” at least when the person is a public figure, and the trademark is viewed as an exercise of free speech critical of that public figure.

Continue Reading Does TRUMP Trademark Ruling Create First Amendment Exception That Is TOO BIG or TOO SMALL?

Former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin recently lost the trial of her defamation case against The New York Times. Given the complexity of the legal issues and the unusual events at trial, a messy appeal is sure to follow. But if the appellate courts can see past the procedural novelties, Palin’s case could become a vehicle for revisiting the seminal case of New York Times v. Sullivan.

Continue Reading The Sarah Palin v. New York Times Appeal Will Be a Hot Mess

Appellate aficionados have undoubtedly heard the news that the distinctively Jerseyan Courier New 12-point font may be on its way out of New Jersey appellate practice. On January 28, 2022, the Supreme Court Rules Committees published proposed amendments to the New Jersey Court Rules, including a number of appellate rules (such as required font). Appellate practitioners should be aware of these potential changes that may be adopted for the New Jersey Appellate Division and Supreme Court.

Continue Reading Proposed NJ Appellate Rule Changes Signal the Death Knell for Courier New 12

Breathless headlines warn of the “Great Resignation” or a “Resignation Apocalypse” that will soon empty cubicles all around the nation. Exaggerated as these reports may be, there is a kernel of truth to these warnings, and they should impact the way lawyers and their clients view depositions.

For decades, the median number of years that a salaried employee stayed with a single employer remained relatively stable at about four years. But this number is expected to decline in the years ahead.

Continue Reading Depose Like There’s No Tomorrow: Deposition Practice Needs to Adjust to the Realities of Today’s Workforce

On September 30, 2021, the federal Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services issued “Requirements Related to Surprise Billing; Part II,” the second in a series of interim final regulations (the “Second NSA Rules”) implementing the No Surprises Act (“NSA”). This new federal law became effective for services on or after January 1, 2022.

Continue Reading Hotly Contested Dispute Resolution Rules in Second Federal No Surprises Act Interim Final Regulations Are Being Challenged in Court

We recently participated in what the New Jersey Law Journal called the “first complex civil jury trial to be conducted in person since the COVID-19 pandemic.” Although the case settled shortly after opening statements, this experience taught us that New Jersey courts are ready to try complex civil cases safely and responsibly with new COVID protocols that may force trial attorneys to depart from their usual practices. We published an article in the New Jersey Law Journal about this experience that may be of interest to our readers.

Continue Reading What an In-Person Trial Looks Like in a Socially Distanced New Jersey Court