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Appeal from Summary Judgement in a CEPA case

Discussion in 'Termination: Firing & Resignation' started by mpalm, Mar 30, 2018.

  1. mpalm

    mpalm Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    New Jersey
    Judge did not seem to give any weight to all of the evidence we presented in our brief for Summary Judgement. It was all valid military investigative reports, phone texts, daily business records, etc. We could not afford to do depositions and thought we would have everything authenticated by witnesses at trial. Had we at least had signed affidavits about the documents, would our evidence then have proved to the judge their were issues of material fact?
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Ask your lawyer.

    Nothing a stranger has to say about your case will be useful.

    Here, I'll prove it to you.

    Yes, if you had presented signed affidavits, you would have won hands down.

    There, did that change anything?
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    No.

    Pieces of paper cannot be questioned.

    Every litigant has a right to question witnesses that testify adversely.

    And you cannot win an appeal based on what you did procedurally wrong. You appeal based on what the judge did wrong. In this case the judge did nothing wrong by ignoring evidence for which you had no witnesses to testify about the documents they provided. Common amateur mistake by people who go to court without a lawyer.
     
  4. mpalm

    mpalm Law Topic Starter New Member

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    The affidavits would have been from the authors of the documents, not strangers to the situation.
    I would have had the witnesses to testify if I had the opportunity at trial.
     
  5. mpalm

    mpalm Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Also would have had a lawyer if I could have afforded one.
     
  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    The authors of the documents would have had to have been in the courtroom to provide foundation for the documents, testify to the contents, and be cross-examined by the other party to the litigation.

    Were those witnesses in the courtroom during the trial?
     
  7. mpalm

    mpalm Law Topic Starter New Member

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  8. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    You quoted me but didn't comment. Try again.
     
  9. mpalm

    mpalm Law Topic Starter New Member

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    There was no trial. The Defendant was granted a Summary Judgement. Since we could not afford to depose witnesses we were going to subpoena them to trial. A ton of evidence was submitted with the summary judgement opposition brief, but it seems it was just a waste of time and effort. That is why I was asking if affidavits from the document creators would have helped.
     
  10. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    In a response to a motion for summary judgment, yes, affidavits may have been helpful (though not in a trial).

    See Rule 4:46-5:

    New Jersey Summary Judgment Rules

    If you have to ask about affidavits at this late date, my guess is that you made procedural errors in responding to the motion for summary judgment.

    Without actually reading the judge's decision all I can say is that the judge apparently found that the defendant's motion had merit and that there was no disputing the facts presented by the defendant.

    Would you care to post the decision here? I'd be curious to look it over.

    By the way, you have a small window to file an appeal. Maybe 20 to 30 days.
     
  11. mpalm

    mpalm Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I believe I have 45 days. Am I at liberty to post the decision? I would like to send my brief as well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  12. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Yes, you can upload the file either as a pdf or individual pages as jpg. See the green button "Upload a file" when you reply. Make sure you redact anything that identifies you, the other party, the judge, the court or the case number.

    Do the decision first. It'll provide clues as to whether the decision was valid or has issues. Also indicate what court level. Small Claims (up to $3K), Special Civil Part (up to $15K), higher?
     
  13. mpalm

    mpalm Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Law division. Shoot uploaded already without reactions. Isn't a public record already? Can'f find it to get it back.
     
  14. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    It's very clear WHY summary judgment was granted.
     
  15. mpalm

    mpalm Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Not to me can you please explain.
     
  16. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Please try again.
     
  17. mpalm

    mpalm Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I hope you receive the opinion this time adjuster Jack as you have been understanding to my lack of knowledge. You will never know how much your effort it is appreciated!
     
  18. mpalm

    mpalm Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I do not understand this software. Every time I want to post it seems to go to someone else. I hope adjusterjack is receiving my upload.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Got it this time. I read it and read your typewritten comments.

    You say things like "I thought their illegality was obvious" and "Even if everything in the Military and regular police reports is hearsay, don't those reports at the very least prove I whistleblew?" and "How is justice served when errors in procedure outweigh what is obviously right?"

    Well, that's not how litigation works. There has to be procedures and technicalities. Otherwise there would be chaos.

    You made serious procedural errors. Nothing is "obvious" in court. Hearsay doesn't prove anything because hearsay is generally inadmissible, meaning it doesn't exist.

    You could have a trainload of evidence but if you don't present it in accordance with the rules of procedure, you lose. That's how litigation works. And that's why the judge granted summary judgment to the Defendant.

    I don't see any error in the judge's decision. Consequently, I see no grounds for appeal. However, I suggest you have an attorney review all your evidence to see if you have any options.

    Even if there was a glimmer of hope on appeal, doing it yourself guarantees failure.
     

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