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

For Immediate Release

02/10/2014

Kate Coscarelli

Sr. Director, Communications

732-937-7548

NJSBA testifies on high-priority legislation

New Jersey State Bar Association members testified in Trenton today on a pair of high-priority legislative matters.

The members addressed the state General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee in support of the creation of a study commission to examine alimony laws and a measure to standardize the statute of limitations for some professional malpractice claims.

Members of the association’s Family Law Section Executive Committee spoke in support of the alimony study commission, which is called for under AJR32 (Singleton). Section Chair Brian Schwartz, Chair-Elect Jeralyn Lawrence, First Vice Chair Amanda Trigg and Secretary Stephanie Hagan all addressed the committee.

The state bar association, whose members include attorneys who represent those who pay alimony and those who receive it, has focused on addressing concerns from all sides with the current alimony laws, especially in light of the changed economic times stemming from the 2008 recession. The chief goal of the association has been to find a realistic and balanced approach for New Jersey citizens that focuses on fairness. It has favored a study commission for two years.

The fact that there are several pending bills addressing alimony speaks to why a commission that could examine the issue from all sides is a sensible approach able to address many issues, said Schwartz.

“There is a lot to be learned from a study commission,” Trigg testified.

The measure was unanimously released from committee.

Trustee Fruqan Mouzon told the committee the association supports A1254 (Prieto), which would change the statute of limitations to two years from six for malpractice claims against many licensed professionals, including engineers, architects, contractors and lawyers.

The change would bring other professionals in line with doctors. It would also eliminate certain attorney fees for bringing legal malpractice actions currently permitted under Saffer v. Willoughby, 143 N.J. 256 (1996). Importantly, the bill also ensures that malpractice victims continue to have adequate recourse by preserving the protections contained in the rules of court for those who uncover acts that justify a claim, even after two years have expired.

The professional malpractice measure was listed for discussion only, and after hearing testimony on the pros and cons of the bill officials said they expect to revisit the issue in the future.

To learn more about the association’s government affairs efforts, visit njsba.com.