September 30, 2016

September is Upon Us, Which Means Rule Changes in NJ

The New Jersey Supreme Court amended and adopted new Rules Governing the Courts of New Jersey, effective September 1, 2016.

Some of the highlights for the civil practitioner include changes to the briefing rules which set page and type face limits for briefs in the trial courts (R.1:6-5), allowance of service of records subpoenas by regular or certified mail (R.1:9-3), and updates to the requirements for the exchange of electronic information (R.4:10-2(f).

The list of defenses which must be specifically outlined in the answer to a civil complaint has been expanded to include frustration of purpose and impossibility of performance as included defenses.  Another rule change involves the common practice among court reporters to use a back up recording to aid in transcription.  Under the new version of the rules, such a back up recording is not part of the judicial record and is not available to the parties (R.4:14-6).  Additionally, the arbitration rules now contain provisions for service of the entry of the arbitration award against non-appearing parties (R.4:21A-4).

Finally, the offer of judgment rules have been changed to reflect how these rules impact UM/UIM cases.  These rules now indicate that in the case of UM/UIM claims, the consequences of non-acceptance of an offer of judgment applies after the monetary award is molded to reflect adjustment for comparative negligence (R.4:58-2, 4:58-3).

For the expanded list and explanation of all the rule changes, refer to the following link: