Great Joint Meeting

     What a great, great meeting last night !  Although it was a dark and stormy night, we had 40 members of our Inn attend at the NJ Law Center in New Brunswick.  Kudos to my fellow InnMates who made the drive.  The Thompson Inn was quite impressed with our turnout and our support for their Inn, and I was proud of our people for showing that support.

     The dinner was quite good, and they had free beer and wine.  

      But the highlight of the evening was Anne E. Thompson herself.  She is a great lady and a great Judge.  She shared with us her thoughts on how we as lawyers deal with juries.  I found her discussion of how juries think and how they react to what we do in the Court Room to be brilliant.

      In particular, her discussion of "juror questions" was true genius.  Many of us have been in trials where jurors were allowed to pose questions.  As Judge Thompson noted, good trial lawyers love these questions, because you are given insight into what certain jurors are concerned about, which gives you, the trial lawyer,  a chance to "adjust and adapt" your presentation.  With that way of looking at things, she must have been one heck of a trial lawyer ! 

      Judge Thompson described the procedure whereby she reviews the questions and then poses proper questions to the witness.  Although not all questions are permissible, I have always thought that even the improper or non-relevant questions can give a trial lawyer insight into the mind of the juror who submitted the questions,  Armed with such insight, a trial lawyer can "adjust and adapt" the remainder of the trial presentation to directly reach such jurors and their concerns.

      Judge Thompson's comments about using the questions posed by jurors, whether asked or not, to more effectively make a connection to the jurors was pure genius.   It was a superb lesson in a trial tactic that we should all use.  

      Finally, thanks to Jonathan for organizing this event and many thank yous to the Anne E. Thompson Inn for inviting us..  

***UPDATE*** JOC Access and Cell Phone Permission Slips

UPDATE: The requirements mentioned below are now on hold.  Apparently rumblings from the masses change things from time to time.


As of last week, you can access and print statewide judgments of conviction for 2013-present on the public access computer terminals at the Monmouth County Courthouse criminal case management office.  No more stalking court staff or the records dept.

Also, as of 2/2/15 (Groundhog Day!), NJ lawyers will have to be able to produce the Judiciary’s permission slip saying that it’s okay for them to use cell phones, tablets, laptops, or anything else digital inside essentially all NJ State court rooms. I don’t think the Judiciary anticipated them being called “permission slips”, but I get a kick out of it. They’re good for one year, and you have to keep them on you at all times (or be able to produce a copy on said device and email it to the court upon request). It looks like you have to get a different one for every county, too, with either the trial court administrator, clerk, or a designee to sign off on it.

The link to the press release with links to the Guidelines and form is here.

Criminal Practice Group Meeting



Topics to be covered include:

How to conduct the initial interview, how to set the proper ethical tone with the prospective client, and drafting retainer agreements.

Speakers include:

Donald M. Lomurro, Esq.

Steven E. Nelson, Esq.

Asst. Pros. R. Diane Aifer

John F. Hazard, Jr., Esq.

==================================================== November 6, 2013 at 5:30 P.M.

at Lomurro, Davison, Eastman, & Muñoz, PA

100 Willow Brook Road, Freehold Township, NJ

Criminal Practice Group Meeting 1/8/14


January 8, 2014 at 5:30 P.M.

Topics to be covered include:


Speakers include:

Robert A. Weir, Jr., Esq.

Adam J. Weisberg, Esq.

John J. Perrone, Esq.


at Lomurro, Davison, Eastman, & Muñoz, PA

100 Willow Brook Road, Freehold Township, NJ

Fifth Amendment Implications of Laptop Decryption Halt Federal Magistrate's Order

This week brings us the most recent opinion on compelled testimony when the State cannot retreive data stored on a laptop computer without a password being prvided by the owner.  U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin has ordered the defendant to provide unlocking or decrypting his laptop for the State under penalty of contempt for refusal.  However, it also stayed the Order for further briefing on the Fifth Amendment issues.  You can read the original Order by clicking here and the Order staying the previous Order by clicking here.