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

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NJSBA Appeal Scheduled In Constitutional Challenge To Medical Care Access And Responsibility And Patients First Act

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The New Jersey State Bar Association will file its brief this week in NJSBA v. State, the association’s challenge to the Medical Care Access And Responsibility and Patients First Act, which, among other things, imposes a $75 assessment on attorneys to subsidize medical malpractice insurance premiums. The respondent’s brief is due by Dec. 13, 2005 and the NJSBA must submit its reply by Dec. 23, 2005.

“The NJSBA is moving forward by filing its case in the Appellate Division to challenge the Legislature’s authority to force attorneys and other professionals in New Jersey to fund the medical malpractice insurance premiums of the medical profession,” said NJSBA President Stuart A. Hoberman.

“In addition, recent newspaper reports and editorials have pointed out the significant amount of time that has elapsed since the red flags first went up about the alleged medical malpractice insurance crisis. There has not been a mass exodus of physicians from the state, as predicted, and the Legislature has taken its time in establishing a study commission to address the many facets of the problem. This lack of action calls to question the urgency and reality of whether or not this really was a crisis in the first place. Attorneys and other professionals should not be penalized and subjected to funding a disguised crisis that we believe was caused by the bad financial decisions of insurance companies and potentially worse, a hidden agenda.”

NJSBA Immediate Past President Edwin J. McCreedy will argue the case on behalf of the association.

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.