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 →

Listed below are the top ten (10) posts on the Vanarelli Law Office blog with the highest readership last year, in 2019. After each hyperlinked blog post title, the original post date is included. Check out the list to see this year’s highlights. Our sincere thanks for taking the time to read our blog!    .. read more →

For additional information concerning special needs trusts and disability planning, visit: NJ Special Needs Trusts and Disability Planning 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 →

_______________________________________________ ABOUT DONALD D. VANARELLI Donald D. Vanarelli has been a practicing attorney since 1983 in New Jersey and New York. Don provides legal services in the areas of elder law, estate planning, trust administration, special education, special needs planning and trial advocacy, including probate litigation, will contests, contested guardianships and elder abuse trials. Don is.. 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 →

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 →

Happy Holidays to clients, supporters, friends and readers. Listed below are the ten (10) eleven (11) posts on the Vanarelli Law Office blog with the highest readership in 2017. After each hyperlinked blog post title, the original post date is included. Check out the list to see this year’s highlights. Our sincere thanks for taking.. 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 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 →

Nine years ago I wrote the very first blogpost for my website. Here’s my first post, from April 2008: As my blog celebrates its ninth birthday, I’m reflecting on what the blog has meant to me. The task of writing regular postings has provided me with unanticipated benefits, forcing me to reflect on legal and.. 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 →

New Jersey appellate court ruled that an anonymous online commenter must reveal his or her identity to members of a church who claim the commenter defamed them. Mauro v. Intellectual Freedom Foundation, Docket No. A-0004-15T2 (App. Div., February 26, 2016) Plaintiffs were members of the World Mission Society Church of God (WMS). WMS was founded in.. read more →

In a recent blog post, I wrote about Steven Gursten, a Michigan blogging lawyer who published a blog post in 2014 about Dr. Rosalind Griffin, a Michigan psychiatrist who testified as a medical expert for the defense in various personal injury cases Gursten filed. Attorney Gursten claimed that Dr. Griffin was one of the “notorious”.. read more →

Readers of this blog know that applicants for public benefits often appeal the decisions made by the various administrative agencies involved in providing benefits. Applicants appeal for various reasons, usually based on the outright denial of benefits or an award of fewer benefits than anticipated. The appeals are considered and decided by administrative law judges.. read more →

Two recent cases are vivid reminders that blogging can be dangerous. Bloggers are being found legally accountable and financially liable for their online postings. The take-away is clear: bloggers, beware: what you write can get you sued, or disbarred. Blogger Found Liable for $600,000 in Defamation Case  A libel lawsuit was filed in Georgia by.. 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 →

In a case of first impression, the New Jersey court of appeals held that websites have the right to protect the identities of readers who post comments related to public events. Diane Trawinsky v. John Doe, Docket No. A-0312-14T1 (App. Div., June 3, 2015) Plaintiff, Diane Trawinski, is the wife of former Elmwood Park borough.. read more →