New Jersey State Bar Association - The voluntary Bar Association of New Jersey, serving members since 1899.

History

Dating back to 1899, the NJSBA has worked to improve the integrity of the justice system and the lives of its members. The timeline that follows highlights each decade’s progress.

1991-1999

The Association successfully opposes two key pieces of legislation on Tort Reform.

The adoption process in New Jersey is opened up as the state's adoption statute is revised to allow entities other than adoption agencies to serve as intermediaries who could not charge fees.

The Supreme Court Special Committee on Matrimonial Legislation is established.

The American Society for Association Executives (ASAE) presents the NJSBA with an award for excellence in government relations and is recognized nationally for the honor.

In 1995, the NJSBA votes to adopt the Amicus Committee's recommendation to allow an exception to the Entire Controversy Doctrine for lawyer malpractice claims.

In 1997, the Supreme Court rules to eliminate the application of the Doctrine, handing the Bar and its clients a major victory.

The NJSBA plays a key role in the passage of the NJ Child Support Improvement Act, a federally mandated response to federal welfare legislation.

The Legislature passes auto insurance reform that includes NJSBA amendments.

1981-1990

An NJSBA committee designs a manual to provide more objectivity and uniformity to the method of evaluating judicial and prosecutorial candidates.

The Association is opened to paralegals, law office administrators and other non-lawyers as associate members.

The NJSBA creates a judicial administration staff position. This is the first time in the country that any bar association has a full-time liaison to the Judiciary.

1971-1980

In an effort to streamline court operations, the Association supports the court unification proposal to incorporate the county courts into a superior court system.

The NJSBA approves legislation creating a Tax Court in the Judiciary.

Dialogue starts with Governor Brendan Byrne about a verbal threshold and auto insurance.

1961-1970

The Victims of Violent Crimes Compensation Board (VCCB) is established.

In 1969, Governor Richard Hughes approves the NJSBA's proposed procedures for the selection and appointment of judges to all the state courts. The Association begins garnering praise for the quality of the bench.

1951-1960

Two pieces of legislation on conflict of interest that might occur with lawmakers and public employees are discussed but will not be enacted until 1971.

The Association appoints a special committee to investigate the delay in judicial appointments that was occurring in the state Senate (now known as Senatorial Courtesy).

1941-1950

The Ethics and Grievances Committee adopts its first "ethics opinion" as a system of monitoring attorneys.

New Jersey officials approve a new state constitution, which includes the formation of the NJ Supreme Court.

Many lawyers are helping civilian business owners who served in the military.

In 1945, the NJSBA Committee on Legal Education produces refresher courses for attorneys returning from service in World War II.

The timeliness of court decisions is again discussed in the legal community.

1931-1940

The NJSBA works to strike a balance between the practice of law and the business of banking.

The Association's first known section, The Junior Section for young lawyers, is formed.

The Banking Law Section is created.

In 1934, the General Council is established.

Early discussions take place about replacing the Court of Errors and Appeals with a Supreme Court.

A special committee is formed with the Federal Works Progress to help find jobs for Depression-displaced lawyers.

The Judicial Council recommends nine pieces of legislation to improve the Judiciary.

1921-1930

The repeal of Prohibition is supported by the NJSBA.

The number of lawyers in New Jersey increases 32% this decade as the Great Depression begins.

A Judicial Council is established by the Legislature to assess numerous problems including a steady rise in court cases.

1911-1920

NJ Governor Woodrow Wilson addresses the annual meeting. He notes that the public is losing respect for the law profession because of media image and long, drawn-out lawsuits.

The Association approves Practice Acts and Rules of Court, which are enacted by the NJ Legislature. Issues of concern are the Court of Chancery and the rights and liabilities of married women.

More stringent educational requirements, evaluations of character and ethics as prerequisites to be admitted to the Bar, are reviewed by the Association.

The NJSBA works to police the illegal practice of law.
Many young male lawyers serve in the military as World War I begins.

1900-1910

The Committee on Law Reform, aimed at improving the practice of law and administration of justice in NJ, is formed.

The Court of Errors and Appeals is overhauled.

The Canon of Ethics, the first Code of Ethics, is adopted by the NJSBA.

A five-person Nominating Committee to select NJSBA officers is organized.

June 1899

NJSBA launched in Atlantic City by 74 attorneys representing all counties. Annual dues are $5.00.