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by: Peter J. Gallagher (LinkedIn) In the final scene of the movie Scent of a Woman, Al Pacino’s character defends Chris O’Donnell’s character, who is about to be expelled from the (fictional) prestigious Baird School. Among many other things, Pacino’s character exclaims: “I don’t know who went to this place. William Howard Taft. William Jennings Bryant. William Tell, whoever. Their spirit is dead, if they ever had one.” Similarly, although…
by: Peter J. Gallagher (LinkedIn) I don’t usually write about personal jurisdiction because it is . . . well . . . a little boring. But I do enjoy creative legal arguments (including creative arguments about jurisdiction), so I am going to make an exception here. The Third Circuit recently issued its decision in in Robinson v. Section 23 Property Owner’s Association, Inc., which is the latest in what appears to…
by: Peter J. Gallagher (LinkedIn) If you thought this would be a salacious post, prepare to be underwhelmed. It is about what it means to “consummate” a contract. In Fed Cetera, LLC v. National Credit Services, Inc., defendant was a debt collection agency seeking opportunities to contract with the federal government. To do so, defendant had to follow a “convoluted but – within the industry – well-known path.” Defendant first had to…
by: Peter J. Gallagher (@pjsgallagher) (LinkedIn) Every now and again I read a decision that leaves me with lots of unanswered, and perhaps unanswerable, questions. Asphalt Paving Systems, Inc. v. Associated Asphalt Partners, LLC is one of those cases. In Asphalt Paving, plaintiff and defendants settled their lawsuit shortly after plaintiff filed its complaint. They agreed that any disputes over the terms of the settlement agreement would be resolved through arbitration, and…
by: Peter J. Gallagher (@pjsgallagher) (LinkedIn) If ever a lawyer should have been awarded points for creativity, Diaco Construction, Inc. v. Ohio Security Ins. Co. is the case where it should have happened. It is an insurance coverage dispute, but don’t stop reading just because of that. The underlying facts are interesting and the insured’s lawyer’s arguments, though ultimately unsuccessful, were creative. The facts in Diaco were summarized succinctly by the Appellate…
by: Peter J. Gallagher (@pjsgallagher) (LinkedIn) As any Seinfeld fan knows, you cannot “yada yada” over the best part of a story. But in a recent decision, a New Jersey court did just that. In Barry v. Melmed Construction Company, Inc., the court spent eleven pages discussing a relatively routine case where defendant waived the right to enforce the arbitration provision in its contract with plaintiffs – defendant waited too…
by: Peter J. Gallagher (@pjsgallagher) (LinkedIn) Unfortunately, New Jersey still has the highest foreclosure rate in the country. Most weeks, the Appellate Division issues several decisions related to residential foreclosure, and most follow a predictable pattern – a lender forecloses and obtains final judgement of foreclosure, the borrower appeals, claiming that the bank lacked standing to foreclose, and the Appellate Division affirms entry of final judgment of foreclosure. But every now…
by: Peter J. Gallagher (@pjsgallagher) (LinkedIn) My children’s school has a nice tradition for the fifth grade students. Towards the end of the year, the fifth graders play a basketball game against a group of teachers and parents. It is a fun event. I have played in it twice, once against my daughter and once against my oldest son. In each game, I was called for a foul. In each game, best…
by: Peter J. Gallagher (@pjsgallagher) (LinkedIn) That is the take home message from the Appellate Division’s recent decision in Goldfarb v. Solimine. In Goldfarb, defendant promised to hire plaintiff to manage defendant’s family’s assets. Before getting written confirmation of defendant’s offer, plaintiff quit his job with an investment firm. Defendant then reneged on the promise, and plaintiff sued. At trial, the jury sided with plaintiff and awarded him damages based on…
Some of the best parts of the movie “My Cousin Vinny” are the interactions between Vinny, played by Joe Pesci, and Judge Haller, played by the late Fred Gwynne. In one scene, Judge Haller admonishes Vinny for failing to dress appropriately for court. When Vinny comes to court the next day wearing exactly the same thing he had on the day before, the following exchange occurs: Judge Haller: Mr. Gambini, didn’t…