Author Archives: Joe Lombardo

Gov. Christie Signs Bill to End Lifetime Alimony in New Jersey

This September has been full of legislative changes for the Garden State.  Last week, we wrote about the Christie administration approving sports betting in New Jersey.  This week, the Governor signed off on a bill to end lifetime alimony.  The new bill, which has won almost universal support, both limits payment duration and supplies new guidelines for judges to use when making alimony determinations.  The bill has been praised as a “fantastic new step” and “smart, realistic and balanced.”

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Chris Christie Approves Sports Betting in New Jersey

New Jersey is home to some of the most relaxed gambling laws in the country.  As recently as November of 2013, the Garden State legalized online gambling, while casino gambling famously drives much of Atlantic City’s economy.  But with that economy sliding into an apparently inexorable decline, drastic measures may be called for.  On Monday, Governor Chris Christie issued a directive to end New Jersey’s prohibition on sports betting in hopes that a gambling surge could help revitalize Atlantic City’s failing economy.  But will Christie’s legal maneuver survive a federal ban on sports wagering?

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Red Light Camera Update: Judiciary Calls for 17,000 Traffic Tickets to Be Dismissed

Back in May, we wrote about allegations that Redflex Traffic Systems had a history of bribing local officials to implement their red light cameras.  At the time, New Jersey State Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon called use of the cameras a “disgusting system that exists just to steal money,” adding that the cameras actually had “a history of increasing accidents.”  Now, both Redflex and competitor ATS (American Traffic Solutions) are in the spotlight again — this time, because the state Judiciary has asked that a whopping 17,000 traffic infractions be dismissed due to missed deadlines and equipment glitches.  If you live in New Jersey, your infraction could be among them.

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NJ Couple Suing Doctors in Wrongful Birth Case After Daughter Born with Genetic Disorder

Many people are familiar with the legal concept of wrongful death, where one party’s negligence results in the preventable death of another person: for example, a doctor who makes a terrible mistake during surgery.  It is far less common to hear about instances involving wrongful life. Perhaps because abortion is such a divisive topic in the United States, often resulting in gridlock between pro-life and pro-choice camps, wrongful birth and life legislature has been slow to develop and many states bar parents from having the option to sue.  New Jersey, however, is not among them.  What are the legalities surrounding these rare and emotionally devastating cases?

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Is Wal-Mart Liable for Tracy Morgan’s Turnpike Crash?

From his days on Saturday Night Live to his role on TV show 30 Rock, Tracy Morgan has always been loved as a comedian — but his current state of affairs is no laughing matter.  Morgan was hurt in a car crash on the New Jersey Turnpike in June, and now, over two months later, is reportedly still fighting to make a full recovery from his injuries.  In July the popular actor filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart for its involvement in the accident, and Morgan’s attorneys say their client continues to struggle with the medical fallout of his ordeal.  His ongoing story is a grim reminder of just how devastating auto accidents can be for their victims, and of how important it is to fight for accountability when the worst happens.  But why is it that Wal-Mart itself – and not just the actual driver – could be held liable for the crash?

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Atlantic City Police Forced to Hand Over Internal Documents in Excessive Force Lawsuit

Often when we hear stories about police brutality in the news, the stories point to the country’s largest and best-known departments: the NYPD, the LAPD, the Chicago PD.  But while America’s biggest cities tend to be the “stars” of such accounts, allegations of departmental misconduct are not restricted to New York and L.A.  In a civil lawsuit filed by plaintiff Matthew Groark, a federal judge is forcing the Atlantic City Police Department to hand over a “representative sampling” of nearly 2,000 Internal Affairs reports citing excessive force collected from 2003 to 2011.

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Philadelphia Woman Facing Felony Gun Charges in New Jersey

Guns have the power to maim and kill, and as a result, their purchase and ownership is heavily regulated.  However, those regulations can vary widely from one jurisdiction to the next, and what’s permissible in one state can create serious legal problems in another.  27-year-old Shaneen Allen of Philadelphia is now facing felony weapons charges in New Jersey for precisely that reason.

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Federal Lawsuit Filed Against Subaru in Camden Court Due to Dangerous Defect

Subaru is one of the most popular auto manufacturers in America, selling hundreds of thousands of cars in dealerships across the nation each year.  But now, a lawsuit is alleging that some of Subaru’s most popular models could be ticking time bombs.  The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Camden earlier this month, alleges that numerous Subaru models consume excessive oil and suffer from piston problems, and that these defects have the potential to cause injury or death to drivers.  The suit takes its allegations one step further by claiming that Subaru was well aware of these hazards, yet failed to warn its unknowing consumer base. Could your car be affected?

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New Jersey Sheriffs’ Association Announces Results of Child Support Enforcement Sweep

From July 15th to July 17th, 2014, a number of South New Jersey counties, including Salem County, Cumberland County, Gloucester County, Camden County, Cape May County, Burlington County, and Atlantic County, participated in a 3-day sweep for non-custodial parents who owed child support. Salem County Sheriff, Charles Miller, announced that 760 parents delinquent on their child support payments had been apprehended. The stated goal of the sweep was to round-up non-custodial parents who have avoided their court-ordered child support obligations. Additionally, parents who have failed to appear at hearings to establish support were also targeted by this sweep. From the 760 warrants served, approximately $130,995.95 was recovered. While in isolation this recovery seems to be impressive, it failed to recovery even 1% of the total amount owed. The total amount of money owed on the issued warrants was $14.8 million. However, despite the small percentage collected, every cent truly does count when it comes to the upbringing and well-being of children. Hopefully news of enforcement actions like this one will encourage more non-custodial parents to pay their child support obligations.

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Outrage Over Slain Officer Triggers Push to Reinstate Death Penalty in New Jersey

Capital punishment is a sensitive, controversial, and hotly-debated topic in America.  But whatever your personal stance on the matter may be, one fact remains objectively true: the death penalty vanished from New Jersey in 2007.  That year, then-Governor Jon Corzine abolished capital punishment in the Garden State, with Senate Bill 171 substituting the former death penalty with a sentence of life without parole.  Since then, other states have followed suit, including Maryland, Connecticut, and Illinois.  But now, some voices are calling for New Jersey to revert back to its old laws.  In the aftermath of Jersey City Officer Melvin Santiago’s tragic shooting death, Assemblyman Ronald Dancer (R-Jackson) is pushing New Jersey to bring capital punishment for “cop killers” back to the table.

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