Legal Question in Civil Litigation in New Jersey

question concerning rules of court

In Superior Court of New Jersey, Special civil part. The trial has started. The Plaintiff has rested. The defense has begun its case but has not rested. The trial has been adjurned for a month. Can the Defense attorney send a letter Brief to the judge hearing the case as per the rules of Court?

Asked on 9/24/04, 1:19 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Alan Albin Alan S. Albin, Attorney at Law

Re: question concerning rules of court

It's somewhat unusual for the court to adjourn the case for an extended period during the middle of presentation of a party's case, in this case, the defense. Obviously, there was a reason the court did this; but, you do not indicate that reason. This could have a bearing on what motions, pleadings, briefs, etc., might be expected or permissible by the trial judge. In general, assuming the request is not frivolous or the court has not provided some indication to the contrary, it is the duty of each party's attorney to bring relevant issues to the attention of the court as soon as possible, so that they can be dealt with. An example would be if the defense attorney had told the court, prior to the adjournment, that a particular witness would be called; but then finds out later that the witness is unavailable (i.e. say due to serious injury or death). The attorney would be justified in filing the appropriate pleadings with the court to advise the court of the new situation, and perhaps to ask to be permitted to use a substitute witness, if one is available. Of course, if anything is filed by a party with the court, that party must provide copies to all other parties (or their attorneys) in the case. That way, if the other partys have an objection, they will have a chance to file that objection with the court, as well. So, it all depends on what the particular circumstances are.

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Answered on 9/24/04, 2:19 pm

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