Eric L. Harrison
Eric Harrison joined Methfessel & Werbel in 1994 after a judicial clerkship with Judges Ford, Cooper, Campbell and Grasso in New Jersey Superior Court, Ocean County. In his first five years of practice he tried more than 20 personal injury cases to a conclusion, obtaining “no cause” verdicts or judgments lower than his client’s final offer in all but one. The Supreme Court certified him as a civil trial attorney in 1999 and he has been recertified every seven years since.
In his 25 year career at M&W Eric has represented clients in more than 50 jury trials, more than 50 bench trials and countless motion hearings in New Jersey Superior Court, U.S. District Court and the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law.
Eric’s practice focuses primarily on civil rights, employment, education, personal injury, general liability and insurance coverage litigation. He speaks frequently at educational seminars hosted by the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education and the National Employment Lawyers Association. Recent presentations have covered developments in civil rights litigation, public entity liability, school law, the investigation and prevention of harassment in employment settings and the meaning of “procedural due process” in public entity litigation.
Eric is a published author of articles on the evolution of the Conscientious Employee Protection Act under New Jersey law (New Jersey Defense Association newsletter 2002), the hiring and retention of effective public employees (Public Entity Risk Institute, August 2003), the use of the Offer of Judgment Rule in fee-shifting civil rights cases (New Jersey Law Journal, December 2009), sovereign immunity under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLJ, April 2017), and the right of public employers to regulate the speech of their employees (NJLJ, May 2020). He is also the editor of Methfessel & Werbel’s Case Update, a quarterly newsletter reporting legal developments of relevance to the insurance industry. (Copies available upon request.)
Eric has litigated a wide variety of cases before the New Jersey Supreme Court, the United States District Court, the Appellate Division and the Office of Administrative Law. Published decisions include:
- Ali v. Woodbridge School District, 19-2217 (3rd Cir. 2020)(published decision upholding removal of public employee based on offensive speech to students, rejecting attempted free speech and anti-discrimination defenses of employee)
- L.R. v. Camden City Public School District, 238 N.J. 547 (2019)(setting new standards for the protection of student records as immune from requests under the Open Public Records Act)
- Lasky v. Moorestown, 425 N.J. Super. 530 (App.Div. 2012)(Lasky v. Hightstown 426 N.J.Super. 68 (App.Div. 2012); Stoney v. Maple Shade, 426 N.J.Super. 297 (App.Div. 2012) (trilogy of LAD cases upholding a no cause jury verdict and further refining the standards applicable to public accommodation claims against New Jersey municipalities under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination)
- President v. Jenkins, et al., 180 N.J. 550 (2004) (setting forth broker liability standards, upholding dismissal of a broker liability claim)
- Housley v. Wave Energy Sys., Inc., 343 N.J.Super. 574 (App.Div. 2001) (upholding dismissal of state product liability claims by operation of federal preemption)
- Green Township Education Association v. Stephen P.Rowe, et al., 328 N.J.Super. 525 (App.Div. 2000)(upholding time, place and manner restrictions on the political speech of teachers in a school setting)
- Shadawn Sumner v. Unsatisfied Claim and Judgement Fund et al., 288 N.J.Super. 384 (App.Div. 1996)(upholding the application of the verbal threshold to UCJF claims)
- L.E. and E.S. o/b/o M.S., 435 F.3d 384 (3rd Circ. 2006)(special education ruling shifting burden of proof to petitioners, upholding district’s compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act)
Eric serves on Methfessel & Werbel’s Strategic Planning and Hiring Committees. He is a graduate of the Monmouth County Inn of Court and a former solicitor in the Union County Inn of Court.