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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 03/06/08
CONTACT:Barbara S. Straczynski
Director of Communications
732-937-7524

NJSBA Celebrates First NJSBA Day in Trenton With Presentation of Robert B. Meyner Awards

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Former NJ Supreme Court Chief Justice James R. Zazzali addressed a standing-room only audience and the NJ State Bar Association presented its inaugural Robert B. Meyner Awards at the Association’s First Annual NJSBA Day in Trenton on Monday, March 3, 2008, at the State House Annex in Trenton.

With close to 60 legislators and NJSBA members in attendance, State Bar President Lynn Fontaine Newsome presented the Robert B. Meyner Award for Exceptional Advocacy to State Senators John H. Adler, Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Nicholas P. Scutari; and Assemblymen Neil M. Cohen, Reed Gusciora and Joseph Vas. Congressman Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, State Senator Nia H. Gill and former State Senator Robert E. Littell were also recognized with the award, but were unable to attend.

“These legislators, who have served with great distinction for many years, represent our hope for public spiritedness in government, courageous and thoughtful leadership, and the best in their profession,” said President Newsome as she addressed the honorees.

“We acknowledge that these devoted public servants have served as a catalyst for positive change, and we thank them for their ardent pursuit of the public good, integrity and efforts for the advancement of justice,” she said.

In his remarks, Chief Justice Zazzali used the opportunity to encourage more attorneys to become more involved in government. He reminded the audience that the founding fathers, Federal and State, were mostly lawyers and that New Jersey’s Constitution, drafted by those lawyers, “is one of the best systems of state government in the United States.” He urged attorneys to “become, once again, the leaders in our communities, our state and our nation.”

The Chief Justice concluded with the statement that “lawyers not only can make the difference, they must make the difference.”

The Robert B. Meyner Award was instituted in May 2006 by the NJSBA Board of Trustees in recognition of New Jersey government officials who have supported NJSBA initiative at the state and Federal level. The award was named for Robert B. Meyner, a former NJSBA Trustee, Senate Minority Leader and Governor of New Jersey from 1954 to 1962. The awards were presented to:

Congressman Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, representing the 11th Congressional District for his support of Legal Services Corporation (LSC) and Legal Services of New Jersey (LSNJ) funding.

State Senator John H. Adler (6th Legislative District), for his advocacy and sponsorship of NJSBA drafted law P.L.2007, c.261, which reconciles the Wrongful Death Act with the Uniform Probate Code.

State Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (16th Legislative District), for his sponsorship and leadership in enacting P.L.2007, c.6, which created a new cause of action for divorce based on irreconcilable differences.

State Senator Nia H. Gill (34th Legislative District), for her advocacy and sponsorship of P.L.2007, c.6, which created a new cause of action for divorce based on irreconcilable differences, and for her advocacy in opposition to S-2653, which would extend the $75 attorney assessment to the Medical Liability Insurance Premium Assistance Fund for another three years.

State Senator Nicholas P. Scutari (22nd Legislative District), for his advocacy and sponsorship of P.L.2007, c.6, which created a new cause of action for divorce based on irreconcilable differences, and for his advocacy in opposition to S-2653, which would extend the $75 attorney assessment to the Medical Liability Insurance Premium Assistance Fund for another three years.

Assemblyman Neil M. Cohen (20th Legislative District), for his sponsorship and leadership in enacting P.L.2007, c.6, which created a new cause of action for divorce based on irreconcilable differences.

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (15th Legislative District), for his advocacy and sponsorship of NJSBA drafted law, P.L.2007, c.261, which reconciles the Wrongful Death Act with the Uniform Probate Code and for his sponsorship and leadership in enacting P.L.2007, c.6, which created a new cause of action for divorce based on irreconcilable differences.

Assemblyman Joseph Vas (19th Legislative District), for his sponsorship and leadership in enacting P.L.2007, c.6, which created a new cause of action for divorce based on irreconcilable differences.

(Former) State Senator Robert E. Littell (24th Legislative District 1968-2008), for his staunch support of Legal Services of New Jersey (LSNJ).

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.

- NJSBA -