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

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Communications and Marketing Manager

NJSBA Responds To Feinberg Decision On Indigent Child Support Obligors

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—New Jersey State Bar Associaton President Karol Corbin Walker issued the following response to Judge Feinberg’s July 11, 2003 opinion in the matter of Ann Pasqua, et al. v. Hon. Council J. Council, et al., MR-L-406-03.

“Judge Feinberg’s opinion appears to address difficult issues in a reasoned manner. We are confident that an implementation plan can be developed that will avoid the assignment of these cases to the private bar on a pro bono basis and in the alternative, we stand ready to help fashion a legislative remedy if necessary.

The New Jersey State Bar Association stands firm in its position that the bar should not be burdened with additional pro bono assignments. New Jersey attorneys perform a great deal of volunteer pro bono work in addition to fulfilling their mandatory pro bono obligations.”

The matter was filed in response to Judge Feinberg’s April 24, 2003 opinion requiring the appointment of counsel for indigent child support obligors facing incarceration, and a subsequent order on May 1, 2003. The plaintiffs’ filed a motion for an order that would set a timetable for implementation, would restrain defendants from incarcerating indigent child support obligors at enforcement hearings if the timetable is violated, would require the public defender to supply attorneys to indigent defendants for these hearings, and would award counsel fees.

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.