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

For immediate release 10/21/10

Contact:  Kate Coscarelli

Director of Media  Relations


State Bar Association Applauds Proposal on Municipal Court Law Certification

The New Jersey State Bar Association is pleased the New Jersey Board on Attorney Certification is recommending adding municipal court law to the list of specialties for which lawyers can be certified.

The state bar brought the concept to the attention of the courts last year, saying municipal court law is a unique and meaningful area of law similar to the other categories the Judiciary already certifies, including matrimonial, civil, criminal and workers compensation.

“The profession and the public will be well served through the certification of municipal court lawyers. For many people, the only exposure to the court system is through the municipal courts which handle roughly 6 million cases each year,” said State Bar President Richard H. Steen. “Allowing this certification means people will have an easier time finding a lawyer who is best able to represent them in a municipal court matter.”

The state bar will study the proposal carefully and submit any comments it may have to the courts for consideration, Steen said.

Attorney certification programs are the result of the U.S. Supreme Court opinion allowing attorneys to advertise their services. In New Jersey, the certification program began in 1980. In order to become a certified attorney, lawyers must take continuing legal education courses for several years, show substantial involvement in litigation, have an unblemished reputation, and pass a written exam.

“I also want to applaud our Municipal Court Practice Section which continues to be at the forefront of urging changes to promote professionalism in this area of law,” said Steen.

The Judiciary announced the proposal in a Notice to the Bar last week. At the same time, it released a report on the issue that included recommended rule changes. To read the report visit, .