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Harwood Lloyd



Updating New Jersey’s Bulk Sale Notification Law

October 27, 2011

Commercial real estate owners, investors and their attorneys have long become accustomed to the overbearing and sometimes inefficient compliance requirements of New Jersey's bulk sale notification law at N.J.S.A. 54:50-38. Originally adopted in 1966 and expanded in 2007, the law requires real estate purchasers to notify the Division of Taxation ("Division") of every bulk sale transaction at least ten (10) days prior to the proposed closing of the transaction. A purchaser's failure to abide by bulk sale notice requirement subjects the purchaser to liability for any state tax obligations due by seller at the time of closing. The underlying goal of the law was simple - to capture any tax liabilities owed to the state by the seller by effectively creating a lien against the seller's assets.

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General Security National Insurance Company v. New Jersey Intergovernmental Insurance Fund, 2011 WL 3714982 (App. Div. August 25, 2011).

Peter E. MuellerAugust 25, 2011

General Security National Insurance Company v. New Jersey Intergovernmental Insurance Fund, Docket No. A-5591-08 (N.J. Super. App. Div. Aug. 25, 2011). Excess carrier sued primary carrier and other excess carriers to recoup costs of defending and settling an underlying claim of hostile work environment occurring over a five-year period. The Appellate Division upheld the trial court's rulings that notwithstanding the fact that offensive conduct occurred throughout the period, the named insured's knowledge of the issue in the second year cut off coverage for the later-year insurers, including Harwood Lloyd's client. The court also found that the underlying settlement was reaonable and granted attorney's fees against the first excess insurer. The Appellate Division found that the trial judge correctly rejected the continuous-trigger doctrine, finding that the continuous trigger of coverage does not apply to employment cases. This resulted in the municipal defendant having to pay only one $100,000 self-insured retention, rather than multiple retentions, which would largely have vitiated coverage for the municipal defendant.

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Agha v. Feiner, 198 N.J. 50 (2009)

August 10, 2011

Agha v. Feiner, 198 N.J. 50 (2009) addressed the substantive admissibility of an MRI report, prepared by a non-testifying radiologist, and relied upon by plaintiff's testifying physicians at trial. One of the plaintiff's testifying physicians, a chiropractor, acknowledged that he was not qualified to interpret an MRI, and the other, an anesthesiologist, did not review the plaintiff's MRI films. Over defendants' objections, both witnesses were permitted, based on the MRI report, to testify that the plaintiff suffered a disc herniation, which was the only objective evidence of a permanent injury. The defense's request for a limiting instruction was denied. The defense moved to dismiss the plaintiff's case based on the plaintiff's failure to satisfy the permanency threshold of the Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act (AICRA), which the trial court denied. On appeal, the Appellate Division reversed, reasoning that plaintiff had "bootstrapped" the contested MRI report findings into evidence through the testimony of the treating physicians in violation of established law. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that only an expert qualified to interpret an MRI, and having read the MRI, could testify to the MRI results at trial.

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Shah v GEICO Insurance Company, 2011 WL 3444269 (App. Div. August 9, 2011)

Jeanne O. MarinoPeter E. MuellerAugust 9, 2011

The Appellate Division, per curiam, affirmed grant of summary judgment to GEICO, upholding  underinsured motorist coverage exclusion for relatives residing in  the same household.    The Policy  did not define "household," so the court applied the dictionary definition, and rejected the insured's claim of ambiguity.   The court also rejected claims that the  failure to the Policy's declarations pages to make any reference to the  exclusions created an ambiguity.  Lastly, the court rejected claims that the insurance company has an obligation, after providing a copy of the Policy, to inform  insureds of  limitations on coverage.  Rather, the court reiterated, the "Plaintiffs should have read their policy." 

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National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA v. Zurich Insurance Company, 2011 WL 1103475 (App. Div. Mar. 28, 2011).

Peter E. MuellerMarch 28, 2011

Harwood Lloyd represented National Union, which had settled an underlying construction bodily injury claim and sought to recover defense and indemnity costs from Zurich, which had issued an Owners & Contractors Protective Liability policy to National Union's insured. Zurich denied coverage, and the trial court granted Zurich summary judgment. The Appellate Division reversed the trial court and entered judgment against Zurich for its $5 million policy limit. The case was remanded to the trial court for a determination of the attorney's fees owed by Zurich to National Union under R. 4:42-9(a)(6). Zurich subsequently appealed to the New Jersey Supreme Court, which denied certification.

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Tinen v Lederer Docket 04-2-8010 (App. Div. Decided May 26, 2010)

Andrew G. ToulasMay 26, 2010

Per Curiam. Plaintiff's appeal of jury verdict of no cause of action in wrongful death action. After oral argument, the NJ Appellate Division affirmed the trial court's admission into evidence of a DVD simulation and police photographs of the accident scene where decedent pedestrian was struck by defendant's vehicle while walking his dog.

Estate of Lois Mancini and George Mancini v. American International Group, Inc., 2010 WL 1189637 (App. Div. March 30, 2010)

Peter E. MuellerMarch 30, 2010

Estate of Lois Mancini and George Mancini v. American International Group, Inc., Docket No. A-3180-08T1 (App. Div. March 30, 2010) Asserting that defendants' delay in remediating a leaking home heating oil underground storage tank, caused exposure to toxic degradation consitutents of the fuel oil, Plaintiffs, the Estate of Lois Mancini, and George J. Mancini, sued, alleging that Lois Mancini had contracted myelofibrosis because of her exposure. After years of litigation, the trial court dismissed plaintiffs' complaint because plaintiffs lacked an expert witness linking the exposure to the alleged injury In fact, plaintiff's expert refused to go forward with the case after receiving the defense expert's report. On appeal, the Appellate Division affirmed the grant of summary judgment and the trial court's refusal to again extend discovery.

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Tobon v. Cavani, 2009 WL 10777430 (App. Div. 2009)

Paul E. KielDecember 31, 2009

The Appellate Division affirmed the trial court's denial of plaintiffs' motion to vacate an order dismissing their personal injury complaints with prejudice for failure to provide complete discovery. The appeals court ruled that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to restore the action where discovery from plaintiffs was still outstanding nearly two years after the action was first dismissed without prejudice. The Appellate Division also held that the misplacement of a file by plaintiffs’ prior law firm did not constitute the "exceptional circumstances" necessary to vacate the dismissal, especially where counsel failed to move promptly or expeditiously to correct the delinquency after the errors of prior counsel was discovered.


Property Tax Implications for Real Estate Damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

November 8, 2012

The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has revealed the considerable damage sustained by both commercial and residential properties throughout the state. Whether damage resulted from the storm’s high winds or associated flooding, property owners are now holding assets which have materially depreciated due to the destruction and alteration of their properties.

To view the bulletin click here.

Federal Estate and Gift Tax changes.

July 31, 2012

Federal Estate and Gift Tax changes on the horizon will have an impact on your Estate plan. For more information click here.

The Woman Advocate, 2nd Edition, February 2010 - Evelyn R. Storch, Co-Editor; Author: Dealing With Difficult Adversaries

Evelyn R. StorchFebruary 1, 2010

THE WOMAN ADVOCATE is by women advocates for woman advocates. It contains first-hand accounts by successful women lawyers of their experiences at all stages of career development. In the four parts of the book- Where We Are; How We Got There; What Our Environment Is Like; and Where We're Going-the contributors provide reflections, advice, guidance, and, of course, war stories in lively, entertaining and insightful prose. 

To purchase this book please follow one of the links below.

American Bar