Craig S. Hilliard, Shareholder and member of Stark & Stark’s Litigation group was quoted in the article Case Questions Retroactivity of Change to Offer-of-Judgment Rule in the May 12, 2008 edition of the New Jersey Law Journal.

Mr. Hilliard believes that courts typically resist the retroactive application of new legislation and applying new laws to past acts is disfavored, either on constitutional grounds — such as due process or, in the criminal context, ex post facto constraints — or under a "manifest injustice" test.

Mr. Hilliard states, "The New Jersey Supreme Court historically has tested the fairness of applying new legislation to past acts by asking whether it is manifestly unjust to apply the law. But the Offer of Judgment rule in New Jersey is a court rule of procedure. In evaluating procedural rules, courts usually apply the "time of decision" rule, which means that the rule in effect at the time of the court’s decision applies, even if it has some retroactive effect. No court in New Jersey has ever evaluated a court rule’s retroactive effect under constitutional or "manifest injustice" standards, and we argued that it should not do so in this case, primarily because procedural rules usually do not implicate any substantive rights and therefore are not deserving of the same scrutiny applied to legislation."

You can read the full article here.