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Appellate Division Confirms that Personal Information on OPRA Requests Is Protected from Public Disclosure

April 7th, 2017 | Written by Tara St. Angelo, Esq.

The Appellate Division recently upheld a trial court’s determination that telephone numbers, home addresses, and email addresses of OPRA (Open Public Records Act) requestors could be redacted in response to a request for public documents.  Wolosky v. Somerset Cty., et al., Docket No. A-1024-15T4 (March 30, 2107).

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Seventh Circuit Rules Civil Rights Law Covers LGBT Bias

April 7th, 2017 | Written by Leslie A. Parikh, Esq.

In a long-awaited decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, an eight to three ruling was rendered on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 that workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation violates Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

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Why Is Divorce So Painful?

March 24th, 2017 | Written by William J. Rudnik, Esq.

In our society, there is a great emphasis on relationships.  This includes relationships with friends, with family, and romantic relationships with significant others.  Most of us like to spend time with other people, whether it be seeing a movie, eating a meal, going to a concert, attending a sporting event, or just socializing.  Even many forms of entertainment are based on relationships.  Think about the TV shows we watch, the movies we see, the music we listen to, and even many of the sporting events we watch…they are popular because of the way the characters interact with one another, and/or the way the stories connect with us. 

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Premarital Agreements For People Over 50

March 13th, 2017 | Written by Diana N. Fredericks, Esq.

The rate of divorce for first marriages is approximately 40-50%[i]; that number jumps to an estimated 73% for second marriages[ii].  Now consider that the majority of New Jerseyans divorcing are over the age of 50[iii].  If you are over age 50 and considering a second (or third) marriage, how can you adequately protect yourself and your family?

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Employer Takeaways From First Official Affordable Care Act Repeal and Replacement Proposal

March 10th, 2017 | Written by Leslie A. Parikh, Esq.

On March 6, 2017, House Republicans offered their first official proposal for an Affordable Care Act (ACA) roll-back.  While much remains to be seen regarding the proposed draft, employers should be mindful of the following as matters unfold:

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Can a Court Force You to Pay For Your Child’s College, Even If You and Your Former Spouse Agree Not to Do So?

March 3rd, 2017 | Written by William W. Goodwin, Jr., Esq.

Approximately 35 years ago, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued an often-cited opinion in which it held "the privilege of parenthood carries with it the duty to assure a necessary education for children." Newburgh v. Arrigo 88 N.J. 529 (1982). The Newburgh court established a series of factors for courts to consider when assessing whether to compel one or both parents to contribute to the costs of college and, in some cases, even graduate school. Generally speaking, these include the child's aptitude and educational interests, the parents' financial circumstances, and the relationship between the child and each parent.

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NJ Legislature Considers OPRA Amendment to Limit Access to Personal Information and Alter Fee-Shifting Provision

March 2nd, 2017 | Written by Tara St. Angelo, Esq.

In February 2017, New Jersey Assembly Bill 4532 was introduced and subsequently voted out of the State and Local Government Committee.  The bill would amend the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) by exempting certain personal information from disclosure and narrowing the circumstances under which a successful litigant can be awarded attorney’s fees.

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Employers: Anti-Discrimination Policies Can Help You Defend Against Vicarious Liability Claims

February 27th, 2017 | Written by Tracy B. Bussel, Esq.

New Jersey Courts have recently acknowledged that an employer is entitled to an affirmative defense to a hostile work environment claim based on the employer having exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct any harassing behavior. To obtain the protection of this defense, an employer must prove that it exercised reasonable care to prevent and to promptly address and correct the alleged behavior, and that the plaintiff employee failed to avail him or herself of preventive or corrective opportunities available, or to otherwise avoid harm. Courts look disfavorably toward claims where there is a policy prohibiting discrimination in the workplace, with instructions on how to report harassment, yet the plaintiff fails to report any such incidents to his/her supervisors, and instead pursues legal action. 

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Divorce, Tax Liability, and Innocent Spouse Relief

February 23rd, 2017 | Written by Diana N. Fredericks, Esq. and Daniel S. Makoski, Esq.

Innocent Spouse Relief can be a strong defense for a spouse who discovers a tax liability during a divorce.  That is assuming the spouse qualifies as an “innocent spouse,” according to IRS guidelines.

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Appellate Division Broadens Rice Notice Requirements

February 22nd, 2017 | Written by Tara St. Angelo, Esq.

The Appellate Division recently broadened the circumstances under which a Rice Notice is required to be given to an employee. New Jersey requires public entities to provide employees with notice of a meeting at which their employment status may be discussed and adversely affected.  N.J.S.A. 10:4-12b(8); Rice v. Union Cty. Reg'l High Sch. Bd. of Educ., 155 N.J. Super. 64, 73 (App. Div. 1977).  Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 10:4-12b(8), an employee is given the opportunity to request that such discussion occur in public session.   The Appellate Division broadened this category of notice in the decision Kean Federation of Teachers v. Kean University, Docket No. A-5481-14T3 (Feb. 8, 2017).

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