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

April 25, 2008

Following is a summary of actions taken at the April 25, 2008 meeting of the New Jersey State Bar Association Board of Trustees at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick. This summary does not constitute official minutes.

New Jersey State Bar Foundation Board of Trustees

Donna duBeth Gardiner, Ivette Ramos Alvarez, Kenneth Zimmerman, Margaret Leggett Tarver and Steven Richman were appointed to the New Jersey State Bar Foundation Board of Trustees.

Special Civil Part Committee Recommendations
Supreme Court Committee on Special Civil Part

The Board voted to support the adoption of the complete set of rules proposed by the Supreme Court Special Civil Part Practice Committee Report, determining that the rules represented a reasonable effort to balance the competing interests between debtors and creditors, particularly with regard to the Hodges case.

Dispute Resolution Section Recommendations
Supreme Court Committee on Complimentary
Dispute Resolution

The Board voted to support the proposed amendment to Rule 4:3-3(b) Change of Venue in the Superior Court that "A copy of the motion to change venue shall be served on the mediator, if one has already been appointed, prior to the mediation date and a copy of the order entered on the motion shall be promptly served on the mediator."

Judicial Administration Committee Recommendations
Reports of Supreme Court Rules Committees

The Board voted to endorse the proposed rules in the regular and supplemental rules reports of the Supreme Court Civil Practice Committee.

Bylaws Committee

The Board approved the Bylaws Amendments of the Casino Law Section and Insurance Law Section, which were revised to comply with the new requirement that mandates two general meetings each year, with at least one of those meetings to be held at the NJSBA Annual Meeting and Convention.

Insurance Benefits Committee

The Board approved authorizing the Executive Committee to enter into an agreement with USI Bertholon-Rowland to provide insurance services to Association members.

First Asian History Month Celebration

The Board ratified approval that was granted by the Executive Committee for the Minorities in the Profession Section to host the First Annual Asian History Month Celebration.

2008 Pro Bono Award

The Board approved James Katz and Dechert LLP as the 2008 recipients of the NJSBA Annual Pro Bono Award.

Arthur J. Vanderbilt Judicial Administration Award

The Board approved naming the Honorable Martin L. Haines and Theodore J. Fetter as the inaugural 2008 recipients of the NJSBA Arthur T. Vanderbilt Award for Excellence in Judicial Administration.

Amicus Committee

The Board approved petitioning the Appellate Division to participate as an amicus curiae party in Hand v. Philadelphia Insurance Company and Makroulakis v. Estate of Garcia, two cases that deal with the same issue in a case in which the NJSBA recently participated, Olkusz v. Brown- whether the recently-enacted "Scutari Amendment" should be applied retroactively to prohibit the application of step-down clauses for UM/UIM coverage in commercial insurance policies. An amendment provided that a section be included in the brief addressing the ramifications of step-down provisions in commercial auto insurance policies on the workers' compensation system.

ABA Professional Medical Liability Report

The Board voted to support the ABA resolution urging states to adopt pilot programs encouraging medical personnel to report events that threaten patient safety.

Workers' Compensation Section

The Board authorized a letter from the President responding to the series of negative articles on the workers' compensation system that appeared in the Star-Ledger, and further supported that the NJSBA request permission to testify before Senator Sarlo's committee in Trenton.

NJSBA Policy Manual

The Board approved amendments to the NJSBA Policy Manual clarifying the procedure to be utilized by sections, committees and divisions when planning events that require substantial financial commitments or overnight stays by attendees. Item 1.7 - Planning Section, Division and Committee Events; 1.7-1 Reporting/Approval/Signing Requirements, the following language was deleted: "Executive Committee approval shall be sought in the following circumstances: (1) If any contract requires extraordinary or unusual financial commitments by the NJSBA;" and replaced with "If any contract requires an overnight stay by attendees, it shall be subject to review by the Meeting Arrangements and Program Committee and approval by the Board of Trustees. All such proposals shall include a budget for the event." The following was also deleted, "Any section, division or committee event that has been held every year for the 3 years preceding adoption of this policy with either a break even or profitable financial outcome shall be exempt from the approval requirements above."