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For immediate release: Oct. 8, 2013
For further information contact:
Winnie Comfort or Tammy Kendig

Chief Justice Creates Working Group on Business Litigation

New Jersey Chief Justice Stuart Rabner has created a Working Group on Business Litigation to address the particular needs of parties in business litigation. The working group is meeting for the first time today, Oct. 8, at the Richard Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton.

“The New Jersey Judiciary is committed to providing a convenient forum for businesses and citizens to resolve their disputes,” Chief Justice Rabner said. “To that end, we have created various programs to develop and maintain effective practices to resolve business cases in a timely manner.”

“We are fortunate that an esteemed panel of judges, legislators, business professionals and attorneys have agreed to serve on the working group and examine current practices,” Rabner added.

The working group is charged with conducting a review of case management techniques used to file, track and resolve commercial litigation. These include various practices in the general equity division; differentiated case management techniques in the civil division; complementary dispute resolution, including both arbitration and mediation for business-related litigation; the Multicounty Litigation Program for large-scale tort litigation; and electronic filing and docketing for certain civil business cases.

“We look forward to getting recommendations from the working group about how to improve the Judiciary’s handling of business cases,” Rabner said.

The Judiciary has added a dedicated section for business-related opinions to its website, judiciary.state.nj.us. This section contains opinions of the Supreme, Appellate and Superior Courts, divided by case type for easy reference by attorneys and litigants. The working group will assess the business-related Web pages and offer suggestions for improvements to make the site more robust.

The working group also will review two pilot programs the Judiciary created several years ago to address business litigation – the Bergen/Essex Complex Commercial Program and the Non-Jury Trial Program in general equity.
In other recent efforts to improve the efficiency of court operations, Rabner announced in June the formation of two case-related committees: the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Expedited Civil Actions and the Supreme Court Joint Committee on Criminal Justice.


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Judiciary Working Group on Business Litigation


Assignment Judge Peter E. Doyne, Chair
Bergen Vicinage

Assemblyman Peter J. Barnes III                  

Presiding Judge, Chancery Division, Frank M. Ciuffani
Middlesex Vicinage

Presiding Judge, Civil Division, Mary K. Costello
Hudson Vicinage

Michael R. Griffinger, Esq.
New Jersey State Bar Association Designee

Michele G. Haas, Esq., President
New Jersey Defense Association
Hoagland Longo Moran Dunst & Doukas

Philip Kirschner, President                
New Jersey Business & Industry Association

Lynne M. Kizis, Esq.                                                             
Wilentz Goldman & Spitzer P.A.                                          

David R. Kott, Esq.                                                               
McCarter & English

Assignment Judge Julio L. Mendez
Atlantic/Cape May Vicinage
Francisco J. Rodriguez, Esq., President
New Jersey Association for Justice

Assemblyman David C. Russo

Kevin M. Wolfe, Esq., Assistant Director
AOC - Civil Practice Division

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