The appropriate use of social media in litigation remains an evolving issue in New Jersey. The search term “Facebook” will result in hundreds of cases spanning the civil, criminal and family law arenas. Last week, a divided Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Review Board, in the latest chapter of a lengthy legal process, admonished a New Jersey attorney for instructing his paralegal to “friend request” an adverse party in order to investigate a party’s Facebook posts. In rendering its decision, the DRB majority also recommended that the Supreme Court adopt a new policy on lawyers using social media for discovery purposes. Continue reading
In Mercer County, New Jersey, the Court dismissed plaintiff’s case in its entirety on the eve of trial, following the suppression of plaintiff’s medical evidence during the pre-trial conference.
Plaintiff claimed he slipped and fell on ice outside his apartment and suffered substantial injuries. Phil Degnan challenged plaintiff’s theory of liability and damages. The Court ruled that the suppression of plaintiff’s medical evidence precluded plaintiff from presenting his case to the jury.
The Court denied plaintiff’s Motion to Vacate the jury’s defense verdict following a trial in Monmouth County. Plaintiff had alleged that she fell down a set of unlit exterior stairs outside a community lodge.
Plaintiff had suffered a broken ankle in the accident. Phil Degnan successfully argued that the plaintiff could have chosen a safe path of travel, or simply turned on the light above the stairs, and should have used the handrail. No appeal has been filed.
Philip Degnan obtained a defense verdict in a lawsuit filed by a plaintiff that claimed his car was stolen in Philadelphia. The claim had been denied by the insurance carrier for fraud. Under cross-examination, plaintiff reluctantly admitted that he misrepresented certain facts about the alleged “theft.” Following the conclusion of plaintiff’s case in chief, the Court granted defendant’s Motion for a Directed Verdict.
Philip Degnan joins Connor, Weber & Oberlies practicing General Litigation, Premises Liability & Transportation.