A federal court dismissed a lawyer’s $1.5 million defamation lawsuit against Avvo, Inc., a website which compiles and maintains an electronic directory of lawyers, for posting a low attorney rating on the internet and false information that negatively impacted the lawyer’s ability to attract new clients. Straw v. Avvo, Inc., 2020 BL 326152, W.D. Wash.,.. read more →

For additional information concerning NJ elder law and special needs planning visit: NJ Elder Law and Estate Planning Services read more →

Many VA Medical Centers across the country are re-opening their doors and expanding services. To ensure the protection of both patients and staff, the VA’s Office of Information and Technology launched the COVID-19 digital pre-entry screening tool. The digital pre-entry screening tool allows Veterans, caregivers, and employees to answer questions on their mobile phones and share their.. read more →

In a case of first impression, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that forcing a defendant to reveal the passwords to his password-protected iPhones which were properly seized by police authorities does not run afoul of the state or federal constitutions. State v. Robert Andrews, Docket No A-72-18 (NJ Supreme Ct., August 10, 2020). The.. read more →

This ethics case stems from a 2007 car accident in which Dennis Hernandez was allegedly struck by a police car from the borough of Oakland, NJ while performing sit-ups in a parking lot. Hernandez sued Oakland, the police department and the officer who drove the police car, claiming he suffered a broken pelvis and broken.. read more →

Launched by the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Law and Aging, Mind Your Loved Ones, known as MYLO, is a mobile app that gives individuals the ability to store their own and their loved one’s critical medical information, health care directives, and other related data on their Apple or Android phones, iPads or tablets… read more →

COVID Coach is a free, easy-to-use mobile application created for everyone, including Veterans and Servicemembers, to support self-care and overall mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The app was developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in 2020. The app connects you to resources to help you cope with stress, stay healthy, stay.. read more →

The New Jersey Supreme Court has issued new guidelines governing the use of electronic devices in and around courthouses. The Court stated that the reason for the new guidelines was to ensure that electronic devices do not “disrupt proceedings or compromise security, fairness to litigants, efficiency and/or appropriate courtroom decorum.” In summary, the new guidelines.. read more →

This promotional video is presented as an introduction to the “Guardianship Practice: A Step-By-Step Guide” Video Series. This video series was presented by noted Certified Elder Law Attorney, Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq., as part of Elder Law College Lecture program. The Elder Law College program is sponsored annually by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing.. read more →

A nurse’s aide at a senior care facility in southern Minnesota posted a photograph of an elderly patient with on social media with a demeaning and vulgar message did not violate state law meant to protect patient privacy, a state court ruled. Furlow v. Madonna Summit of Byron, Docket No. A19-0987 (Minn. Ct. of Appeals,.. read more →

New Jersey’s Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics (ACPE) considered the following inquiry: May a lawyer insert, or pay an internet search engine company to insert, a hyperlink on the name of a competitor lawyer that will divert the user from the searched-for website owned by the competitor to the lawyer’s own law firm website. The.. read more →

For additional information concerning special needs trusts and disability planning, visit: NJ Special Needs Trusts and Disability Planning For additional information concerning guardianships and fiduciary services, visit: NJ Guardianship and Fiduciary Services _______________________________________________ ABOUT DONALD D. VANARELLI Donald D. Vanarelli has been a practicing attorney since 1983 in New Jersey and New York. Don provides legal.. read more →

In this employment retaliation lawsuit, a federal judge in New Jersey dismissed a lawsuit filed by two former FedEx drivers who claimed they were unlawfully fired because of an argument with another FedEx employee and postings by them on social media about the incident. Shinn v. FedEx, Docket No. 1:16-cv-777 (NLH/KMW) (D.N.J., September 7, 2018).. read more →

Reversing decisions of trial and appellate courts, a divided California Supreme Court ruled that judges can’t order Yelp Inc., the online ratings site, to remove unflattering, one-star reviews of a San Francisco lawyer and her law firm posted by a user of the Yelp website who was an angry former client of the law firm… read more →

If you are choosing a nursing home, a May 11, 2018 article by Paula Span in the New York Times suggests an interesting addition to your arsenal of information: the Yelp app. The article is No Luck Finding the Right Nursing Home Maybe Yelp Can Help According to Span, Yelp reviews are a useful addition, not.. read more →

When it comes to uploading videos online, YouTube and Vimeo are the two most popular platforms in the market. YouTube is the leading video sharing website on the web today. YouTube is so popular that many professionals, including many attorneys, have established their own YouTube channel. The Vanarelli Law Office has a YouTube channel too. However,.. read more →

The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility recently issued Formal Opinion 480 which opines on the ethics of lawyers blogging and comment on social media. Formal Opinion 480, entitled “Confidentiality Obligations for Lawyer Blogging and Other Public Commentary,” applies existing ethical rules to new online publications such as lawyer blogs. Excerpts.. read more →

A court in Australia accepted an unsent, draft text message on a mobile phone as an official Last Will and Testament. Nichol v. Nichol The decedent, Mark Nichol, a 55 year old man, committed suicide in 2016. The decedent’s mobile phone was found on a work bench in the shed where the deceased’s body was found.. read more →

On September 13, 2017, Governor Christie signed legislation known as the “Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act.” In doing so, New Jersey joined 23 other states which have already have enacted a version of the law. The new law recognizes a fiduciary’s right to control a decedent’s digital assets. Under the new law, a.. read more →

In a case of first impression in New Jersey, Hon. Stephan C. Hansbury, Presiding Judge of the Chancery Court in Morris County permitted service of process through postings on Facebook. The court held that when service of process cannot be served on a defendant by traditional means, the rules of civil procedure permit an alternate.. read more →

In a major new ethics opinion, the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility indicated that lawyers must take reasonable efforts to ensure that communications with clients are secure and not subject to inadvertent or unauthorized security breaches. Notably, and for the first time, the opinion says that, in some circumstances, lawyers would.. read more →

Arnett Blake and his girlfriend, Cindy Edwards, attended a party at a community center. Defendant, Blake’s ex-girlfriend, also attended the party. While in the bathroom, Edwards encountered defendant “making rude comments about her.” While Edwards was still in the bathroom, defendant exited the bathroom, approached Blake, and said “I should F— your girlfriend up.” Later.. read more →

Jay Jason Chatarpau, Esq., a New Jersey employment discrimination attorney, represented Rameena Khan in a lawsuit claiming that her employer, Rite Aid stores, among others, discriminated against her on the basis of age, race, sex, ethnicity or national origin, in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. Hon. Christine A. Farrington, J.S.C., presided over a.. read more →

A Florida appeals court upheld a judgment of $350,000 in a lawsuit filed by a lawyer against her former client alleging defamation based on negative reviews of the lawyer posted on the internet by the former client. Blake v. Giustibelli, __ So.3d __ (Fla. 4th DCA, No. 4D14-3231, 1/6/2016), 2016 WL _______. Florida Attorney Ann-Marie.. read more →

In this case, an Ocean County judge ruled that litigants in domestic violence cases who want to introduce evidence contained on their cell phones, such as texts, emails, social media messages, or audio/visual evidence, must first provide such evidence to the court and the adversary in tangible form, such as on a printout or a.. read more →