Thursday, July 31, 2003

Carriers Take A Bite Out Of NJ Dog-Bite Coverage
The New Jersey Law Journal reports this week that several carriers are limiting or excluding coverage for dog-bites. Dog-bites account for roughly one-third of homeowners insurance claims nationally, notes the article. The growing popularity of breeds capable of attacking humans (e.g., pitbulls) is changing what had previously been viewed as nuisance litigation.

Under New Jersey law, dog owners are liable for damages regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness. N.J.S.A. 4:19-16. Accordingly, dog owners are held strictly liable rather than enjoy "one free bite". That, and jury sympathy aroused by a child scarred from a bite, have made dog-bite litigation relatively straightforward, if not particularly lucrative.

The article reports that carriers are becoming increasingly selective over what breeds they will insure, despite the fact that --with the exception of a few notorious cases -- dog-bite verdicts are relatively small. To educate victims of their rights, Red Bank lawyer Bruce Regenstreich has created a new web site bitbydog.com.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

I’ve created the New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers Blog as a means for lawyers and consumers to obtain news, general information, links and commentaries relating to tort law in New Jersey and around the country.

I am a New Jersey lawyer. My practice primarily involves personal injury and consumer protection. Before opening my own firm, I practiced with some of the country's best known and successful class action and catastrophic loss firms. I have tried cases in state and federal courts, argued numerous appeals, and am admitted to several courts, including the United States Supreme Court. I have prepared briefs that have been filed in courts throughout the country.

In addition to my law practice, for over ten years I have taught at South Jersey-area law schools. Many of my legal writing students have become creative, responsible and hardworking personal injury attorneys. And sometimes they even call...

I frequently lecture on legal writing to lawyers and bar associations, and am on the faculty of the country's largest CLE provider. I am also a law columnist for lexisONE and the Los Angeles Daily Journal. Much of my writing involves the day-to-day concerns of personal injury attorneys.

And one more thing. I am the founder and president of Legal Writing Success (LWS), a company that provides legal research, writing and consulting to lawyers around the country. Through my work with LWS, I have met hundreds of solo and small firm personal injury lawyers, many of whom regularly communicate with me about developments in law, particularly tort law.

There’s a lot that I’ve learned about New Jersey personal injury law over the past 15 years. This blog is as good a place as any to keep my thoughts in order and, maybe, educate lawyers and consumers about resources. Thanks for visiting.

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