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  Tort Litigation & Judiciary  
  Hughes Justice Complex -
8th Fl., P.O. Box 116,
Trenton, NJ 08625
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(609) 376-2776 /
fax (609) 633-8702
  • Daniel Vannella
    Chief
    , Deputy Attorney General
  • Kathleen J. O'Brien
    Assistant Chief, Deputy Attorney General
  • Stephen McEvily
    Assistant Chief, Deputy Attorney General
  • Randall Weaver
    Assistant Chief, Deputy Attorney General
  • Maurice Jefferson
    Deputy Attorney General

The Tort Litigation & Judiciary Section's members are the defenders of the State and its many departments and agencies, as well as State officials and employees, when sued in any tort (personal injury) lawsuit and in many civil rights lawsuits. They also defend certain sue-and-be-sued governmental entities, such as New Jersey Transit, and their employees, in such lawsuits. They also represent the State Judiciary, as well as its judges and other employees, in any non-employment lawsuits. Pursuant to Wright v. State, they also defend certain tort and constitutional claims brought against county prosecutor’s offices and their employees. The Section’s members handle the lawsuits in all stages of litigation, from inception through arbitration and/or trial. They also handle any appeals resulting from these lawsuits. As such, they appear regularly before the Law Division and United States District Court throughout the State, frequently before the Appellate Division and Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and occasionally before the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

The claims confronted by the Section’s members are similarly diverse. Some examples include: personal injuries ranging up to and including wrongful death and survivorship claims resulting from State vehicle accidents, allegedly dangerous conditions on State roads or other State-owned property, or allegedly negligent acts of State employees; Fourth Amendment claims (e.g., malicious prosecution, false arrest, unlawful search and seizure, excessive force) against assistant prosecutors, county detectives, and certain State law enforcement officers; Fourteenth Amendment (e.g., substantive and procedural due process, equal protection) and other constitutional claims against State judges and other State employees; and related constitutional challenges to State laws.

As the State’s attorneys, the matters handled by the Section frequently implicate, and often result in, changes or developments in the laws on immunity and liability affecting governmental entities and employees, and private citizens, statewide. Among others, these include the New Jersey Tort Claims Act (Title 59), Section 1983 and the New Jersey Civil Rights Act, and the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act.

 

 

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