Monthly Archives: August 2011
[11/09/11 – 12:32 pm] This morning, in a case captioned State v. Zeikel, the Appellate Divisiosn ruled that New York’s “driving while ability impaired: statute is substantially similar to New Jersey DWI statute as reflected in NJSA 39:4-50. As a result, a prior conviction under the New York statute may be used to enhance a subsequent New jersey conviction. In Zeikel, the Court reasoned that because New Jersey has interpreted “intoxication” to include any degree of impairment in driving ability, defendant’s convictions in 1981 and 1984 were of a substantially similar nature as a DWI conviction in New Jersey. Without clear and convincing proof from defendant that they were based exclusively on a BAC of less than 0.08%, a New York conviction can enhance the sentence associated with a subsequent New Jersey DWI conviction.
Download a copy of State v. Zeikel – click on this link:
[08/14/11 – 5:43 pm] On Friday, the Appellate Division ruled that the decision of the secretary of a local District Ethics Committee (DEC) as to whether to docket an inquiry from a member of the public is exclusive and not subject to review or type of appellate review. In O’Boyle v. District I Ethics Committee, the plaintiff sought to have his complaint against a local attorney docketed. Following an investigation, the DEC secretary determined that the conduct alleged did not constitute a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Rules of Court do not provide a procedure to appeal this type of determination and a law suit followed.
The Appellate Division ruled that the Supreme Court is well-aware of this power vested in the local DEC secretaries. Moreover, the procedure does not violate the state constitution or other New Jersey law.
The case is of critical importance to the bar in that it demonstrates that if the local DEC secretary can be persuaded following an inquiry from a disgruntled member of the public of a disaffected client that the allegations do not constitute an a violations of the RPC’s, the case will be dismissed forever early on the in the process.
Download a copy of O’Boyle v. District Ethics Committee
[07/31/11 9:52pm] The New Jersey Supreme Court has released the amendments to the Rules of Court that will become effective on September 1, 2011. For municipal courts, only four rule changes are in play. They include discovery, scheduling, sentencing and the use of acting judges. Among the major changes is a procedure where a defense attorney can challenge in municipal court the reasonableness of the cost for discovery that has been ordered by the court. The section relating to the four municipal court rule amendments begins at page 99 of the report.
Download the report of the new Rules of Court effective September 1, 2011.
[07/30/11 11:13 pm] The New Jersey Supreme Court has authorized trial certification in the area of municipal court practice. The new trial certification will become available on September 1, 2011. Attached are the Rule amendments and regulations that implement this change. The regulations begin on Appendix page 9.
Download the Regulations and Amended Court Rule.