Author Archive: The Justice League

From the Blue Jersey Archives: Three Things You Should Know About Anne Patterson

Promoted by Jason Springer- We’ll call this the first installment of: Better know your nominee

By now you’ve probably heard that Chris Christie has taken the unprecedented step of not reappointing a New Jersey Supreme Court Justice. Christie would like to replace Justice John Wallace with Anne Patterson.

Here are some of the cases she’s taken on:

Big tobacco. In 1998, Anne Patterson represented RJR Nabisco and RJ Reynolds who were defendants in a case brought by 13 plaintiffs, many of which were children of people who died from smoking-related diseases. Here’s an example of who she was defending against:

John Lippincott acts on behalf of the Estate of his father, Jesse Lippincott, Jr., who was diagnosed with lung cancer in either January or February 1995, after a history of smoking beginning in the 1950’s. His father smoked Kent and Marlboro brand cigarettes.

She and her colleagues successfully argued before the Appellate Division that the court should deny these plaintiffs the ability to pursue a class action against the cigarette companies. This was in the midst of the heyday of tobacco litigation.

Lead paint. In 2007, Anne Patterson represented DuPont before the New Jersey Supreme Court in a lawsuit by many of the major cities in New Jersey (e.g. Newark, Jersey City, Camden, East Orange, Bayonne) and several counties (Cumberland, Essex, Union) against lead paint manufacturers, seeking costs of detecting and removing lead paint and providing medical care to residents affected with lead poisoning. The Appellate Division had allowed the case to go forward, but the Supreme Court reversed.

Free speech in malls. In 1990, several groups against the first Gulf War sought to leaflet in several malls around the state. The malls, including the Cherry Hill Mall and the Mall at Mill Creek, attempted to require those groups to buy $1,000,000 in bodily injury insurance and up to $1,000,000 in property damage insurance in order to leaflet there. Anne Patterson represented the Cherry Hill Mall and Woodbridge Center as defendants. The Supreme Court in 1994 held that the groups did have a free speech right to petition in malls – especially when both malls that Patterson represented were allowing less controversial events without the same restrictions. Effectively, the Court found that the malls were discriminating based on speech they disliked, and invalidated such discrimination.