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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

In May 2010, Anthony Douglas Elonis’s wife of nearly seven years left him, taking with her their two young children. Elonis was an active user of the social networking web site Facebook. After his family left him, Elonis began “listening to more violent music” and posting on Facebook self-styled “rap” lyrics inspired by the music… read more →

Trial lawyers must know where the ethical line is drawn between properly investigating jurors and improperly communicating with them. In today’s Internet-saturated world, the line is increasingly blurred. Therefore, the ethics committee of the American Bar Association (ABA) recently issued an opinion describing a trial lawyer’s ethical obligation when reviewing jurors’ information on the Internet in.. read more →

A California appeals court held that a trial court’s order directing a trial attorney to remove posts from her law firm website touting her successes constituted an unlawful prior restraint on the trial attorney’s constitutional right to free speech. Christie Steiner v. Superior Court of Santa Barbara County, 2d Civil No. B235347 (Super. Ct. No… read more →

New Jersey appeals court reversed a final restraining order entered in a domestic violence lawsuit, holding that “excessive texting” from one divorced parent to the other does not necessarily amount to harassment. L.M.F. v. J.A.F.,Jr.,  Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, Docket No. A-0121-10T3, approved for publication. The parties married in 1989 and divorced.. read more →

In a decision that could have a big impact on all bloggers in New Jersey, a New Jersey trial judge ruled a self-declared “citizen watchdog” blogger has the same legal protections as a professional journalist. In re January 11, 2013 Subpoena by the Grand Jury of Union County, New Jersey, Prosecutor’s Docket No. 12 – 0001. Plaintiff,.. read more →

Last month, as in previous years, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) held its annual “UnProgram” in Dallas. It’s one of my favorite NAELA events. Elder law practitioners and special needs / disability law attorneys from around the country met in small groups (of 5 to 15 or so) to brainstorm, network, exchange.. read more →

Last month, the Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility of the American Bar Association (ABA) issued two new ethics opinions clarifying an attorney’s duty to protect confidential client information when email, text messages or other electronic communications are sent or received. ABA Formal Ethics Opinion 11-459, issued on August 4, 2011, is entitled “Duty.. read more →

Plaintiff husband and his wife were involved in divorce proceedings. In connection with those proceedings, plaintiff’s wife hired defendants, Innovative Investigations, Inc., and its principal Richard P. Leonard, to investigate plaintiff’s suspected infidelities. In the course of the investigation, defendant Leonard suggested to plaintiff’s wife that she place a GPS device on a family vehicle.. read more →

A case recently decided by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, continues the line of cases decided in New Jersey defining the privacy rights of users of the Internet. In Juzwiak v. John/Jane Doe a.k.a. “Josh Hartnett,” a.k.a. Jharthat@yahoo.com (App. Div., August 3, 2010), plaintiff, a tenured teacher, began receiving harassing email messages.. read more →

Each year, the Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association (ABA) presents the ABA Techshow, billed as “the world’s premier legal technology conference and exposition.” This year, like each of the 23 prior years in which the ABA Techshow was held, I did not attend. However, this year, unlike years past, I actually.. read more →