Monthly Archives: January 2010

“Trust, but Verify”: Mandatory CLE Regs for NJ Released

[1/31/10 – 11:30 am] On Friday, the New Jersey Supreme Court released the official regulations that will control the implementation of the mandatory continuing legal education requirement under Rule 1:42 that went into effect on December 18th. The regulations provide for voluntary compliance and recordkeeping. However, all attorneys are required to report their compliance on the annual attorney registration form. The CLE requirement calls for completion of 24 credits over a 2-year period, 12 of which may be earned via distance learning (DVD, internet, etc.). Four of the credits must be related to ethics or professionalism. A failure to comply with the mandatory CLE reporting requirements may subject the offending attorney to an indefinite administrative suspension from the practice of law.

Download a copy of the mandatory CLE regulations adopted by the Supreme Court.

Category: Muni-Mail Archive

Improper to truncate to three places on Alcotest – State v. Rivera

[1/28/10 – 11:17 am] In this morning’s Appellate Division decision captioned State v. Rivera, the Court ruled that it is improper to truncate calculations to three places when attempting to determine if a set of Alcotest readings are within the necessary tolerance as defined in State v. Chun, 194 N.J. 54 (2008). The Court went on to hold that calculations taken to four place is the accepted procedure and that a truncation of three places would result in a falsely increased number of Alcotest readings that would appear to be outside the permissible range.

Download a copy of State v. Rivera.

Category: Muni-Mail Archive

Muni Judges Must Recuse When Counsel is an Adversary – State v. McCabe

[1/25/10 – 11:27 am] In this morning’s Supreme Court decision captioned State v. McCabe, the Justices established a new, bright-line rule that requires municipal court judges to recuse themselves whenever one of the attorneys in the case before them in municipal court is also an adversary to the judge in unrelated civil litigation. In those instances where the judge and the attorney were former adversaries, the provisions of Rule 1:12-1 should control whether the judge should recuse himself, with special emphasis on whether any animosity existed between the judge and the attorney and how long it has been since the civil litigation was resolved.

Download a copy of State v. McCabe.

Category: Muni-Mail Archive

Attempted Murder Not Domestic Violence – State v. Lee

[01/19/10 – 8:14 pm] In an opinion released this morning, the Appellate Division ruled that attempted murder is not one of the predicate acts that constitute an act of domestic violence. The defendant, who was serving a long state prison sentence for attempting to murder the victim, challenged the assessment of the $100 domestic violence penalty imposed at sentencing, claiming that attempted murder has not been included by the Legislature among those criminal offenses that are predicate acts of domestic violence. The Appellate Division agreed, holding that although murder and other homicide crimes are predicate offenses, attempts in general and attempted murder in particular have not been specifically included as acts constituting domestic violence when perpetrated upon a protected victim.

Download a copy of State v. Lee.

Category: Muni-Mail Archive

Interlock Now required for 1st Offenders/Refusals – N.J.S.A. 39:4-50

[01/15/10 – 9:49 am] Yesterday, the acting-governor signed into law the provisions of “Ricci’s Law”, a series of amendments to the state’s drunk driving laws that will require that first offenders and people who have been convicted of a refusal offense be subject to the Ignition Interlock Device statute (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.16). The statute permits a judge to order either the use of an interlock device or the suspension of the defendant’s registration privileges. Use of the device on vehicles principally driven by the offender will be mandatory for violations for all refusal statute (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4a) and for those defendants with a blood alcohol level of 0.15% or greater.

Download a copy of the amended statutes.

Category: Muni-Mail Archive

More Offenses – Shorter Wait – New Expungement Law Signed – Amendment to NJSA 2C:52-2

[1/13/10 – 10:20 am] Yesterday, the governor signed into law a series of amendments to NJSA 2C:52-2 which will reduce the time limitations necessary to file for an expungement for a crime. More significantly, the amended statute vastly broadens the number of people who can now apply for an expungement following a drug conviction of the third of fourth degree, a disposition that was not previously available under the prior law.

Download a copy of amended version of the expungement statute.

Category: Muni-Mail Archive

Prior REFUSAL Now Counts as A DWI For Sentencing! – State v. Ciancaglini

[1/07/10 – 10:20 am] This morning, the Appellate Division reversed a long-standing precedent and held that a prior conviction for refusing to submit to a breath test will now count as a prior DWI conviction for purposes of sentence enhancement. By way of example, in the case before the Appellate Division, the defendant had a 1979 DWI conviction and a 2006 Refusal Conviction. The defendant argued that she should be considered a first offender since the only prior DWI case was more than 10-years old and the refusal does not enhance the DWI sentence. The Appellate Division ruled that she should be treated as a third offender as the refusal conviction must now be regarded as a DWI conviction for sentencing purposes.

Download a copy of the Court’s decision in the case, captioned State v. Ciancaglini.

Category: Muni-Mail Archive