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

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Acting Director of Communications

NJSBA Honors Nine Attorneys For Legislative Efforts

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A total of nine New Jersey attorneys were recognized for their legislative work in 2005 during a special ceremony Dec. 16. The annual NJSBA Distinguished Legislative Service Awards and Legislative Recognition Awards are presented to NJSBA members who have significantly advanced the association’s legislative interests, advocacy efforts, and historic mission, as well as the public good.

NJSBA President Stuart Hoberman presented Distinguished Legislative Service Awards to Sharon Rivenson Mark, Richard Jeydel, Paul Drobbin, Paul Josephson, James Laskey and Steven Tripp. Legislative Recognition Awards were presented to Don McHugh, Robert Brogan and Amanda Trigg.

Sharon Rivenson Mark, former chair of the Elder and Disability Law Section, was recognized for her efforts to secure the passage of the NJSBA-drafted bill S-224/A-1922, which amends state guardianship law and expands the use of limited guardianships. The bill, which lends clarity to guardianship law proceedings and brings New Jersey law in sync with modern guardianship theory—and in doing so preserves the civil rights of the elderly, developmentally disabled and mentally ill in need of guardianship—is poised for passage in the Legislature. Ms. Rivenson Mark was instrumental in negotiating amendments to the bill with various groups, drafting amendments to the bill, and appearing and testifying at legislative hearings in Trenton to support the bill.

Richard Jeydel, a former member of the ad hoc Committee on Business Courts, and Paul Drobbin, chair of the Special Committee on Business and Commercial Litigation, were honored for their work on A-3544. The bill would create a commercial and technology part of the New Jersey Superior Court. Despite the Senate Judiciary Committee’s refusal to post the bill, both Mr. Drobbin and Mr. Jeydel were strong supporters of the legislation, presenting testimony before the Assembly Judiciary Committee last February. Since then, both have been active in communicating the NJSBA’s position on the bill to peers in the profession, and helping to provide information to the association to bolster advocacy efforts.

Paul Josephson, a partner at Hill Wallack, and James Laskey, former chair of the Public Utility Law Section, were recognized for their work on the Election Law Enforcement Commission’s (ELEC) new lobbying rules. They drafted comments to the rules, and Mr. Josephson testified on behalf of the NJSBA at two commission hearings. The proposed new rules would have required many attorneys to register with ELEC as lobbyists, and pay a whopping $750 registration fee. Thanks to their efforts, the commission amended its proposed rules to include an exemption specifically for attorneys, which makes the new rules far less onerous to members of the bar. Mr. Josephson and Mr. Laskey have continued to volunteer their time, educating attorneys about the new lobbying rules.

Steven Tripp, a member of the Land Use Law Section, worked on S-2118, modifying the Time of Decision Rule, which allows municipalities to change zoning regulations while an application for development is pending. Mr. Tripp represented the NJSBA at several high-level meetings with the bill’s sponsor and other interested parties. He has advocated for amendments to the legislation favorable to the NJSBA position, and that ensure fairness and due process in the review of development applications.

Don McHugh, chair of the Elder and Disability Law Section, and Robert Brogan, were honored with Legislative Recognition Awards for their efforts regarding Medicaid rule changes proposed by congress. Mr. McHugh coordinated efforts to oppose changes to the Medicaid rules that would severely harm older adults and individuals with disabilities who need long-term care. Those efforts included an NJSBA resolution that was sent to New Jersey’s congressional delegation urging them to support Medicaid. Mr. Brogan met with several members of Congress and their staff in Washington D.C. to discuss Medicaid.

Amanda Trigg, a member of the Family Law Section, was honored for her work regarding S-1093/A-3237. The NJSBA opposes this legislation, which would give adult adoptees access to their original birth certificate. Ms. Trigg represented the NJSBA’s position on this legislation on several occasions with legislators and staff.

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.