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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/10/03
CONTACT:Barbara S. Straczynski
Communications and Marketing Manager
732-937-7524

NJSBA Response to Administrative Determinations of New Jersey Supreme Court

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Karol Corbin Walker, President of the New Jersey State Bar Association, issued the following statement in response to a release by the Supreme Court of New Jersey of its administrative determinations regarding the respective reports of the Supreme Court Commission on the Rules of Professional Conduct (Pollock Commission) and the Ad Hoc Committee on Bar Admissions (Wallace Committee):

“The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) is pleased that the Supreme Court of New Jersey has agreed with many of its recommendations regarding the respective reports of the Wallace Committee and the Pollock Commission. Of paramount importance to the Bar Association in making such recommendations were protecting the public, maintaining high standards of practice and procedure, and strengthening the administration of justice. In particular, the Court accepted the NJSBA’s positions on:

adopting a conservative rule regarding multi-jurisdictional practice that permits lawyers from other states, in limited circumstances, to represent the interests of existing clients;

maintaining the currently existing strict standards for admission to the bar and disapproving of both admission on motion and a relaxation of current educational prerequisites for the bar examination;

eliminating the “appearance of impropriety” standard from the general rule regarding conflicts of interest;

limiting the disqualification standard for municipal prosecutors under State v. Clark; and

clarifying the obligations of counsel under the rule requiring “candor to the tribunal.”

We are disappointed however, that the Court chose to eliminate the existing bona fide office rule which required that an attorney licensed in New Jersey had to maintain a bona fide office in the state in order to practice here. We remain concerned that the new rule will have an adverse impact on the ability of the New Jersey public to obtain quality legal representation from lawyers who are familiar with the customs of New Jersey practice, who are available to meet with clients at a convenient location, and who are accountable not just to clients but to their community and the courts.

We note, however, that the rule will be in effect for an evaluative period of three years. Accordingly, we will take a vigilant role in monitoring the impact and efficacy of the pilot rule on the delivery of legal services to the New Jersey public."

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.

- NJSBA -