Case Update: April 2004

M&W’s Martin Mcgowan To Appear Before Supreme Court On Constitutional Appeal

The 2003-2004 court year has seen many carrier-friendly decisions, most notably in the area of auto insurance law. We begin this edition of the Case Update with a review of several important published decisions, the first of which raises constitutional questions regarding a prevalent trial practice.



Martin McGowan of Methfessel & Werbel will soon appear before the New Jersey Supreme Court to defend a no-cause verdict against a constitutional challenge.


In Lamanna v. Proformance Martin obtained a no cause verdict by a jury vote of 6 to 2. As often occurs, the parties agreed to let all eight jurors deliberate rather than require the exclusion of two jurors at the close of the case. After the jury returned its verdict, however, plaintiff complained that the 6-2 vote violated the New Jersey Constitution. The trial court rejected the challenge and a divided panel of the Appellate Division affirmed, the majority finding no constitutional violation under the plain-error rule.  [MORE]

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