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Peggy Sheahan Knee to serve as President of the New Jersey State Bar Association
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Peggy Sheahan Knee, a Hackensack attorney and Glen Rock resident, will take the oath of office as the 110th President of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) on May 22, 2008 at the organization’s annual meeting in Atlantic City. She will be the sixth woman in the history of the Association to hold the office of President.
Ms. Knee is certified by the National Elder Law Foundation, an organization accredited by the American Bar Association, as an Elder Law Attorney and will be the first NJSBA president who practices in that area of law. As President, she is responsible for heading the NJSBA’s Board of Trustees, serving as the NJSBA’s official spokesperson and meeting with officials from state government and county bar associations to discuss issues of mutual concern. In addition to these duties, she continues in her role as a trustee for the New Jersey State Bar Foundation, the NJSBA’s philanthropic arm.
Advocacy on Behalf of the Bar
Actively involved with the NJSBA for 21 years, Ms. Knee has been instrumental in obtaining passage of legislation addressed by the NJSBA Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section. She served as chair of the Power of Attorney Revision Committee from 1996 to 1999, culminating in enactment of legislation in 2000. She was a member of the Steering Committee for Uniform Probate Code Legislative Submission in 2002, and the principal author of a position paper for the section’s effort to revise and reform New Jersey Estate Tax Legislation in 2002.
Ms. Knee was honored on April 5, 2005 by the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section with a special recognition award for work in enacting revisions to the New Jersey Probate Code, Title 3B of the New Jersey Statutes, along with fellow members of the section’s Uniform Probate Code Subcommittee. The revisions to the New Jersey Probate Code were signed into law by Governor James McGreevey on August 31, 2004.
In 2004, Ms. Knee was recognized with the NJSBA Amicus Curiae Award for her work in the matter of In re Keri, a critical elder law case where the New Jersey Supreme Court held that the assets of mentally incapacitated persons can be transferred to their loved ones to help them qualify for governmental benefit programs, such as Medicaid. Ms. Knee argued the case on behalf of the NJSBA and shared co-authorship of the NJSBA’s brief.
She received the NJSBA's Legislative Recognition Award in September 2004 for her work on probate matters dealing with inheritance tax laws, the Uniform Probate Code and legislation that risked the property rights of children by establishing trusts under the control of their parents in response to September 11th families of victims’ requests.
Ms. Knee also received the NJSBA Legislative Service award in September 2000 in recognition of her work as co-author of the revised Power of Attorney Statute. The act clarified and expanded the law governing the use of powers of attorney and was signed into law by Governor Christine Whitman on Sept. 8, 2000.
Ms. Knee has been a member of the NJSBA board of trustees since 1998, and served as chair of the NJSBA’s Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section from 1995 to 1996. Within the section, Ms. Knee served as newsletter co-editor, and as a member of the Living Will Committee. She presently serves the section as a consultor emeritus.
Ms. Knee also served the NJSBA as a member of the Ad Hoc Bylaws Review Committee, as a member and trustee liaison of the Elder Law Section, and as a member and former chair of the Women in the Profession Section. She was vice chair and then chair of the New Jersey Lawyer Magazine editorial board from 1996 to 1998. Ms. Knee served as Vice Chair of the Task Force on Sections, Committees and Infrastructure, as co-chair of the Long-Term Planning Committee, and as a member of the Finance and Operations, Nominating and Meetings Arrangements and Program Committees of the association. She is a former treasurer for New Jersey Lawyer, the Weekly Newspaper, and served on its board of directors.
Dedicated to the Legal Profession
Active within the Bergen County Bar Association, Ms. Knee served separate terms as chair and co-chair of the county association’s Probate Committee. She served as a member of the Elder Law, Bylaws and Professionalism in the Law Committees, and served on the editorial board of The Bergen Barrister as well as chair of the Legislative Committee. Ms. Knee also served on the county bar’s Ad Hoc Committee for World Trade Center Disaster Relief and assisted victims’ families with issues pertaining to estate administration on a pro bono basis.
Ms. Knee served as a member of the Supreme Court Commission on the Rules of Professional Conduct. The Pollock Commission, chaired by retired Associate Justice Stewart G. Pollock, was charged with reviewing the New Jersey Court Rules and the Ethics 2000 Report of the American Bar Association.
Ms. Knee is a past president of the Northern New Jersey Estate Planning Council, and a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and of the American Bar Foundation. She is a member of the American Bar Association, Women Lawyers in Bergen County, Inc., International Network of Boutique Law Firms and Bergen County Estate Planning Council. Since 1990, Ms. Knee has been a lecturer for the Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE), and, in 2002, she was recognized with the ICLE Distinguished Service Award.
Ms. Knee is the author of Lexis Nexis Practice Guide, New Jersey Probate and Estate Administration, 2007 Edition, and co-author of Lexis Nexis Practice Guide, New Jersey Elder Law, which was published in 2008.
A graduate of Fordham College and Fordham University School of Law, Ms. Knee earned a masters in taxation law degree while attending New York University School of Law. She is a member of the New Jersey, New York and Florida bars and is a partner in the Hackensack law firm, The Knee Law Firm, LLC, where she practices estate planning and administration, and elder law.
The New Jersey State Bar Association incorporated in 1899 is dedicated to the continuing education of lawyers and the public, to reforming and improving the legal system and to aiding in the administration of justice. Visit the Association’s website at www.njsba.com
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