Domestic violence cases are unique because of their competing issues. The legal system weighs a number of values for every case: fairness, due process, expeditiousness, and potential impact on society are just a few. Domestic violence cases usually involve someone in imminent or current danger or a child's ability to see both of his/her parents, meaning that the courts often must focus on speed over the other values, to prevent further physical or emotional harm. But speed should not come at the cost of other concerns and the courts must find a way to balance all of them together.
It has been 6 months since New Jersey's Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act (the "Act") took effect. On March 27, 2018, the New Jersey legislature passed the Act, amending the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination ("LAD"). The LAD has long been New Jersey's law for promotion of equal pay and against employment discrimination.
Bullying can be a difficult part of childhood. Kids who are different from their peers often bear the brunt of their differences, whether being taunted in the schoolyard or through social media. When this happens, many believe the right course is to notify school administration. Parents of both the bullied and bully can often take solace in knowing that the school is handling these matters. Sometimes, this is not true. School administration may investigate the bullying and make a wrong conclusion or infringe upon the rights of one of the children along the way.
Courts have long recognized the legitimacy of non-traditional and unique family situations. When a child is born out of wedlock, courts have extended the rights and privileges of a child-parent relationship in spite of the lack of a formal marriage. In In the Matter of the Estate of Castellano, the court decided whether a child born out of wedlock could be considered a child of the man his mother was married to at the time of his birth to exclude him from inheriting from his biological father. This somewhat unorthodox case offers a variation on a common issue.
Many employees and consumer enter into arbitration agreements with their employers and companies that provide goods and services. This agreement, or a clause in a larger agreement, guarantees that the parties will go to arbitration rather than take their claims to trial. But arbitration agreements are like any other contract; they must meet certain requirements to be valid. One of these is specificity - so that all parties are aware of what rights they are getting and giving up. Courts in New Jersey and all over the country have invalidated contracts for lack of clarity in this area.
As divorce rates continue to climb in America, family courts across the country must often decide custody battles. Custody arrangements go from commonplace to creative. Having a child spend every other weekend at one parent's home, and the rest of the time with another parent, was routine. Now nearly 20 states are considering laws that create an automatic legal presumption of joint custody. New Jersey joins these states with the proposal of Bill A-1091 (the "Bill"), primarily sponsored by Republican Assemblyman Peterson, with broad bipartisan support.