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Martiak v. Molnar
Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division
August 8, 2013
STEPHEN MARTIAK, Plaintiff-Respondent,
EUGENE S. MOLNAR and TOWNSHIP OF WOODBRIDGE (a New Jersey municipal corporation), Defendants, and JAY D. ARBEITER, ESQ., BAER, ARBEITER & PLOSHNICK, ATTORNEYS AT LAW, PAUL J. FLETCHER, FLETCHER ENGINEERING, INC., RUSSELL I. KNUDSON, P.L.S., and LAWYERS TITLE INSURANCE CORPORATION, Defendants-Respondents, and TRANS-COUNTY TITLE AGENCY, INC., Defendant-Appellant.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Argued May 22, 2013
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, Docket No. L-8973-08.
Fred S. Dubowsky argued the cause for appellant.
Clark W. Convery argued the cause for respondent Stephen Martiak (Convery, Convery & Shihar, P.C., attorneys; Mr. Convery, of counsel and on the brief).
Kasia Walch argued the cause for respondent Lawyers Title Insurance Corporation (Finestein & Malloy, L.L.C., attorneys (Russell M. Finestein and Ms. Walch, on the brief).
Before Judges Grall, Simonelli and Accurso.
This is the second appeal from an order enforcing a settlement filed by defendant Trans-County Title Agency, Inc. (Trans-County). On the prior appeal, "[b]ecause the judge enforced the purported settlement agreement without conducting an evidentiary hearing to resolve the factual dispute presented by the parties' competing certifications, we vacate[d] the order under review and remand[ed]." Martiak v. Molnar, No. A-6220-10 (App. Div. Mar. 30, 2012) (slip op. at 2). On September 4, 2012, the trial court conducted an evidentiary hearing as directed and issued a letter opinion dated September 10, 2012, setting forth its findings and reasons for enforcing the settlement.
In its opening brief Trans-County states the issues as follows:
I. CAN PLAINTIFF BIND APPELLANT TO THE TERMS OF A SETTLEMENT CONTRACTED WITH OTHER PARTIES TO THE LITIGATION BUT WITHOUT APPELLANT'S KNOWLEDGE OR PARTICIPATION BASED ON THE SETTLING PARTIES [sic] ATTEMPT TO CREATE A GLOBAL SETTLEMENT?
II. IS THE SETTLEMENT BETWEEN APPELLANT AND LAWYERS TITLE ABROGATED BY A SUBSEQUENT GLOBAL SETTLEMENT OF WHICH APPELLA[NT] WAS UNAWARE AND IN WHICH HE DID NOT PARTICIPATE[?]
III.STANDARD OF REVIEW.
IV. ANALYSIS OF TRIAL COURT [sic] CONCLUSIONS COMPARED TO RELEVANT FACTS ...