Tag Archive: featured

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.

Earth Day – Before you were born (Redux)

Yet another Facebook convo with a loyal Dem convinced Ralph Nader ruined Al Gore’s White House shot in 2000 made me search out this post from the Blue Jersey archives circa 2010. – Rosi

Years later, I worked with him and told him that story, and he asked me why I didn’t just jump off his toes, knock the old man over and grab the mic? Smart guy.

Ralph Nader 1975I was at the first Earth Day 40 years ago, when I was growing up in Michigan. In April, 1970, when ecology was a graduate of the civil rights movement, as were the anti-war and women’s movement (well, one of them) and early struggles against corporate excess, Ralph Nader came to the campus of Wayne State University where my father was a professor, for Earth Day One.

Nader, a good Princeton graduate, is mentioned in virtually every article about Earth Day history. It’s hard to transmit to people who only really saw Nader as a presidential candidate – and may disparage him for that, though I do not – what sway he had. Man, when Ralph Nader showed up, things got serious fast. He was squeaky clean. Uncorruptable. Scared the bejesus out of corpo culture. Earth Day, Nader got people thinking about corporate decisions and the power we fork over to them. Nader showed us we had the power decades before Howard Dean told us we did.

Two huge centers of activity in the national Earth Day observance; Philadelphia’s student-organized event at Fairmount Park. And Michigan.  

A Powerful Voice

BY DECIMINYAN When Congressman Rush Holt decided not to run for re-election in 2014, many progressives were disappointed. After all, a clear, progressive voice was disappearing from the House of Represenatives. But that disappointment was short-lived. Holt’s successor, Bonnie Watson…
Read more

The Real Poop on Fracking

BY DECIMINYAN At last night’s “Clean and Green” event in Trenton, Environment New Jersey’s Doug O’Malley described the dangers inherent in the fracking boom. There’s a lot of risk involved in going forward with an initiative that would only provide…
Read more