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

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Director of Communications

Looking Back at the Mid-Year Meeting in Rome

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The New Jersey State Bar Association wrapped-up a successful Mid-Year Meeting to Rome in early November with high attendance and educational programming that featured CLE credit and first-rate panelists including NJ Supreme Court Associate Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto and other state and federal judges. Many attendees said the mid-year to Rome was one of the best combinations ever of an educational and social event for the NJSBA.

Mid-year meeting programming featured plenary sessions on federal and chancery practice. Carol A. Ferentz of Grieco Oates Defilippo, LLC, felt that even after 21 years experience as a Superior Court judge, she learned new things at the federal practice and employment seminars held at the mid-year meeting. Ferentz was among many attendees who gave the event high marks.

“The mid-year meeting was a combination of a great venue, great programming and very talented people giving attendees the benefit of their expertise,” she said.

Attendees also noted that the event was very well organized, and ran smoothly with a well-timed degree of efficiency. “All of the events were well done, and there’s no two ways about it, Rome is magnificent,” said Susan J. Barone of West Orange.

The slate of Rome Mid-Year programs included the plenary sessions, a criminal law seminar on the charging and remand process, and an international law program on doing business in the European Union that focused on Italy. A judiciary hot tips seminar featured Civil, Criminal and Family Part judges. In addition, other seminars addressed New Jersey employment law trends, a comparison of US vs. Italy health care delivery systems, international family law issues, issues facing lawyers representing banks or adverse to financial institutions, and a workers’ compensation session on the interpretation of the intoxication defense.

Mid-year attendees enjoyed bus and walking tours of the city, ancient and Renaissance Rome, the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Full-day excursions to Castello Banfi, Florence, Pompeii and Positano granted a broader experience of Italy outside of the city.

A trip to Pompeii for the Eastlack family included a visit to a house that John Eastlack III had learned about in school. “My son was able to give us a little private tour of a section of Pompeii that the guide didn’t mention,” said John C. Eastlack Jr. of Holston MacDonald Uzdavinis Eastlack & Ziegler.

“He noticed this particular house and mentioned that there might be a little garden and pool there, and he was right. He went on to explain the frescoes in the house and that the pool was there to collect water for the garden area. In Rome my children got a better education on western civilization then they could ever have gotten in the two days they missed school.”

According to Eastlack, the younger John also provided translations of many historical markers written in Latin.

Frank Hoerst of Woodstown learned about Italy with his wife Janet, a history teacher at his side. “The tours were especially rewarding because of her perspective and knowledge,” he said.

“The city is so alive and the highlight was the Vatican and the private tour of the Sistine Chapel. Any one room that we visited could have been a ten-day tour unto itself.”

Social events at the mid-year meeting featured a wine tasting presented by Family Law section members and a ticketed dinner event, “An Evening in Roma” held at Palazzo Brancaccio. Built in 1880 over a portion of the ruins of Nero’s Golden Palace, the palazzo is the last roman patrician palace constructed in the heart of Rome.

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.