Nieves v. Office of the Public Defender (A-69-18) (082262) April 15, 2020

Legal malpractice claim against a public defender is subject to New Jersey Tort Claims Act.

The New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed summary judgment to the public defender, holding that the plaintiff’s legal malpractice claim against the public defender was subject to the New Jersey Tort Claims Act. Because the court held that the New Jersey Tort Claims Act was applicable, the plaintiff had the affirmative duty to establish proofs to surmount the pain and suffering threshold for damages for his loss of liberty claim. The plaintiff failed to do, therefore, the court affirmed the Appellate Division, which had reversed the Law Division.


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