August 8, 2006  ·  Lessig

So 25 minutes after I posted the post below about Balkin’s book (saying “nothing could make me happier”), the Supreme Court of New Jersey decided the appeal in the case I argued (more than 18 months ago). It is here. My client won. Ok, you’re right, NJ SCt. I’m happier.

Update: The New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision (5-1) is really extraordinary. It has again placed New Jersey in the lead for protecting its citizens (and especially its children). The law that granted immunity to charities for “negligence” has been interpreted to mean just “negligence.” You’d think that wouldn’t take years to resolve, but having it resolved is fantastically good news — far more than even we had asked for.

  • Mark Goebel


    What a great win for John Hardwicke and you! Congratulations! Many of us know what a great personal decision it was for you to handle this case and to share you own story. But, your performance was powerful and obviously on target with the court and will certainly help child abuse victims. And, this was also a great win for the state of New Jersey, the children of NJ and even parents. Lest we forget that although this huge win is a great help to John and other victims, it really only allows him the privilege of a Lopez hearing. Another way to say it is now John can start from the beginning again. The Lopez hearing is widely understood to be a painful process of review and remembering the moment to moment abuses inflicted upon the victim. So, John still has a long and tough road ahead. Let’s stick with our friend John through this process.

    I was pleased to read in the partial dissent, a strong reprimand from NJ highest court to the NJ legislature for the limited action taken to correct the charitable immunity protections still provided in NJ. I will work with the folks to make the changes to charitable immunity and even the statue of limitation for child sexual abuse. I invite you to continue this struggle with us.

    Mark Goebel

  • Seth Finkelstein

    Yes, congratulations! Sometimes the dragon doesn’t win. ;-)

  • Wendy

    Congratulations on a wonderful victory for children.

  • Shari Steele

    Congratulations, Larry! What an important case and important win!

  • Carol Meyer

    Congratulations! What a shame that the school tried to hide behind this bizarre law instead of doing what was right. Makes one believe again in justice.

  • Anonymous

    The referring link to the decision seems to be broken. Is there a viable link elsewhere?