Category: Personal Injury

Despite Impact of COVID-19 & Social Distancing Limitations, NJ Judicial Staff Work Diligently to Ensure Justice is Served Securely & Safely

With court hours based on a county-by-county decision, these measures and options to operate remotely to a certain extent ensure that both the staff and the public everyone can stay healthy and safe.

Despite Impact of COVID-19 & Social Distancing Limitations, NJ Judicial Staff Work Diligently to Ensure Justice is Served Securely & SafelyCOVID-19’s significant impact on the New Jersey Judicial system can easily be seen in the volume of curtailed court proceedings and backlogged trial court cases. Although all federal civil and criminal jury selections and jury trials have been postponed until January 4, 2021, the courts are working diligently to ensure that justice and other court services can be served and transacted remotely as well as securely.

According to recent NJ state guidelines and information, both Superior and Municipal Courts have resumed some in-person court services. A limited number of judges and judicial staff work on-site each day to accommodate attorneys, litigants, and public members with scheduled appointments or legal proceedings.

With court hours based on a county-by-county decision, these measures and options to operate remotely to a certain extent ensure that both the staff and the public everyone can stay healthy and safe.

If you have received a Municipal court summons or have a scheduled hearing, now more than ever is the time not to ignore these appointments or delay seeking experienced legal guidance. Being convicted of a crime in a NJ municipal court can result in jail time, heavy fines, loss of driving privileges and seriously impact your employment, educational, and housing opportunities, and result in a permanent criminal record.

This means protecting your rights by keeping on top of any scheduled hearing, motion, conference, or other legal matter and having a knowledgeable lawyer on your side to answer questions about application deadline filings, family law matters, or exploring your legal options. Also, courts aren’t eager to create an additional backlog of divorce and family law cases either. Sometimes, alternative methods of resolving disputes such as mediation or arbitration may be more effective and economically sound alternatives to facilitate settlements agreeable to all parties.

Have You Missed a Court Date? Are You Wondering What To Do?No matter the kind of family law issue, criminal case, real estate transaction, or municipal court summons, Bronzino Law Firm, LLC is ready to begin helping you today. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have provided our clients with the same level of quality legal services and representation as always, targeted to their needs. Conveniently located in Brick and Sea Girt, New Jersey, we know how stressful these situations can be and are dedicated to providing highly attentive, effective, and knowledgeable legal counsel to each of our clients. With our honest, communicative, and dedicated approach to handling any legal issue, we can find solutions to and overcome even the most difficult issues.

Schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case today by contacting us online or calling our Brick, NJ office at (732) 812-3102.

Have You Missed a Court Date? Are You Wondering What To Do?

Unexpected events happen, which may prevent someone from being able to make their court appearance. In one of our recent articles, Consequences of Failing to Appear in Court or Respond to a Court Summons,” we discussed how if you or someone you love in New Jersey missed a court date for a traffic violation or a criminal offense or needs guidance on resolving a license suspension, arrest warrant, or an outstanding case, you must consult an experienced attorney who can best present your unique circumstances and explains your missed court appearance. Thus, possibly minimizing or avoiding any resulting penalties.

Open and honest communication with one´s legal counsel can provide context, prevent misunderstandings, arrest warrants, or time spent away from loved ones. Besides, a strong defense of the underlying charges can increase the chances of an acquittal or reduction to a lesser charge.

How Does Your Office Communicate With Clients During the Pandemic?

Since before the pandemic, The Bronzino Law Firm, LLC, has been committed to safely and securely serving and communicating with clients. We understand and believe that each client is different, with unique needs and goals, and as such, unique strategies must be crafted for each case to settle them for our clients favorably.

We want to keep our employees, as well as our clients and potential clients, safe, so our new integrative approach of email, phone, video chat apps, and video conferencing options gives our clients the personal connection and quality service they have come to expect from us, combined with the comfort that modern technology and the internet provides.

Does Your Office Support Client In Remote or Virtual Court Proceedings?

As the digital transformation of virtual court proceedings has tried to meet the challenges the pandemic has placed on the judicial system, it has also exposed numerous social challenges and discrepancies between internet access and connectivity.

Does Your Office Support Client In Remote or Virtual Court Proceedings?As lawyers, we are committed to eliminating any disparities, in the same way, we would in a physical court, by ensuring that if our clients are using technology remotely (i.e., via our office), they can still get justice. Just imagine how not having access to more modern means of internet connectivity (i.e., somewhat modern laptop or computer, high-speed internet) and the connection is lost or dropped or how lacking an environment conducive to properly hearing the proceedings or sufficient privacy to give testimony, could affect a client’s remote hearing case.

We work with our clients to ensure they can focus on protecting their rights and seeking justice by supportively guiding them through this “new normal” of a remote judicial process.

Contact Our Monmouth County Family Law Firm Today

At the Bronzino Law Firm, LLC, our experienced attorneys provide our clients with the necessary support to negotiate with local courts, protect their rights, and ensure their and their family’s future so that they can move on to a place of calm and stability.

If you would like to schedule a free, confidential consultation with a member of our team today regarding a municipal court summons or any family law issue you may be facing, please fill out the online form or call our Brick or Sea Girt office at (732) 812-3102 to learn more about your legal options.

Hazing Law Attorneys Helping Ocean and Monmouth County Students

Serving Clients in towns including, Toms River, Asbury Park, Spring Lake, Wall, Brick, Sea Girt, Manasquan, Neptune, Brielle, and more

Hazing Law Attorneys Helping Ocean and Monmouth County StudentsInitiation rituals on sports teams and in fraternities have existed for many years. Unfortunately, in the recent past, the type and degree of these initiations have become dangerous, and many youths in New Jersey have lately been charged with hazing and even sexual assault as part of school or sports initiations. “Hazing” is defined as a process-based in tradition that is used by groups in order to express and maintain a hierarchy within the group. According to statistics gathered by psychologist Dr. Susan Lipkins, who specializes in campus violence like hazing, 91 percent of high school students are involved in groups, and 48 percent of them reported having been part of a hazing ritual.

Sayreville Hazing Scandal 2014 Middlesex County, NJ

One of the most widely known cases of hazing that involved violation occurred in 2014 in Sayreville, New Jersey, in Middlesex County. The case, which received national attention, brought awareness to the underbelly of many high school and college sports teams in New Jersey and across the nation: hazing culture. In the case of the Sayreville sexual assault and hazing conviction, the school district responded by canceling the high school’s football season; furthermore, Penn State withdrew its scholarship offer from one of the team’s star players named in the case.

Statistics of Hazing in Our School Systems

As well-known as was this case, it is by no means the first time in which hazing violations and sexual assault in sports have been faced, and its presence is a commonality. Dr. Lipkins reports that over 250,000 college students nationwide have noted experiencing some sort of hazing in order to join a sports team. This goes far back in New Jersey: in the 1980s, Bergen County, NJ, university students on the school’s football team were charged with forcing a team member to engage in a sexual act while others watched. In 2007, a freshman recruit to a fraternity at Rider University died from alcohol poisoning as a result of a hazing ritual. The fraternity members involved were charged with both hazing and serving alcohol to underage students. While the numbers of students involved in drinking in college has declined since 1980, down 36 percent from 44 percent of students to 28 percent of students, according to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, the cases of abuse of power positions involving alcohol or not, such as hazing rituals, have continued to be a presence.

New Jersey’s Anti-Hazing Law

New Jersey’s Anti-Hazing Law Retain a Toms River Municipal Court Attorney TodayDue to the prevalence of hazing in New Jersey, in 1980 the state became one of the first to implement an anti-hazing law. The law, NJ Revised Statute Section 2C:40-3, states that 1) a person can be charged with the disorderly persons offense of hazing if, in connection with the initiation of members into a group, they knowingly facilitate conduct that places another in physical danger; and 2) a person can be charged with a fourth-degree crime of aggravated hazing if, in knowingly facilitating conduct that places another in danger, the result is, in fact, serious physical injury of the other person.

Disorderly Persons vs Aggravated Fourth Degree Charges for Acts of Hazing

As noted, what distinguishes a disorderly persons charge from an aggravated fourth-degree charge for hazing is the presence or lack of actual bodily injury. Under NJ Revised Statute Section 2C:40-3, acts of hazing could include sexual assault, physical assault, forced consumption of drugs or alcohol, or other dangerous acts. One can imagine that “dangerous acts” is up for legal interpretation and requires the expertise of an experienced attorney to properly navigate the terrain and ensure a just outcome. It should be noted that defense against a hazing charge cannot be that the victim provided consent.

Retain a Toms River Municipal Court Attorney Today

If found guilty of a disorderly persons hazing charge, handled at the municipal court level, the sentence may include an intervention program; usually, jail time is not given for this low-level charge for first-time offenders. Sentences for aggravated hazing, on the other hand, can involve up to 18 months in jail and fines of up to $10,000.

Peter J. Bronzino is experienced in representing youth across Toms River, Asbury Park, Spring Lake, Wall, Brick, Sea Girt, Manasquan, and surrounding areas in all hazing and assault charges, from lower-level disorderly persons cases to aggravated hazing. To speak with our firm today in a comprehensive and confidential case assessment regarding your child’s hazing case, please Call (732) 812-3102 to schedule your consultation or fill out our online contact form.

I have written on equitable distribution before that certain assets are subject to equitable distribution in a divorce and some are not. In the case of a personal injury settlement or award, it depends on the type of damages that the injured party received. If the award was for pain, suffering and disability, then the award is not subject to equitable distribution. However, if part of the award is for lost wages and for medical expenses, then that part of the award is subject to equitable distribution. Therefore, it is very important to determine why a personal injury award was paid to the injured spouse.

In a lot of cases, the uninjured spouse brings a companion derivative or “per quod” claim for their loss of services or consortium due to their spouse’s injury. That element of the personal injury award is also not subject to equitable distribution, but should be entirely retained by the uninjured spouse that brought the claim. As a result, a judge in a divorce trial should make findings as to how much of the award is for (1) pain, suffering and disability; (2) for lost wages and medical expenses; and (3) the uninjured spouse’s per quod claim. After these findings are made, the award should be divided up accordingly.