February 15, 2013
NJSBA TRUSTEES REPORT
The following is a summary of actions taken at the Feb. 15, 2013, 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.
Petition process: The trustees approved a process to address an open seat on the Executive Committee and trustee board. To fill those openings the New Jersey State Bar Association will accept petitions from members for the positions of at-large trustee and second vice president. Both positions are for full terms and will begin in May. The at-large trustee seat is designated for a woman. Candidates must file a petition by March 18 to appear on the ballot that will be voted on by the association's full, eligible membership.
Candidates seeking a spot on the ballot for the position of second vice president must submit a petition with signatures from 250 members of the association. Candidates seeking the at-large trustee seat must submit a petition with signatures from 100 members of the association. Once the petitions are certified, the names of qualified candidates for each position will be placed on the ballot.
The association's Nominating Committee had selected Angela White Dalton to serve as its second vice president and Mitzy Galis-Menendez as an at-large trustee. Both terms were to begin in May. Earlier this month, both were confirmed as judges of the state Superior Court and withdrew from consideration.
The petition process remains applicable to the remainder of the slate of candidates the Nominating Committee selected. To find out more contact Angela Scheck, executive director, at 732-249-7500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On a related matter, the Nominating Committee will be reconvened to address the open position of secretary. That position is now open because Thomas Prol moved up to serve as treasurer, after Dalton, who had been serving as treasurer resigned.
Amicus: The trustees agreed to seek permission to file an amicus brief at the Appellate Division level in a challenge to recent personal injury protection (PIP) regulations. The association will take a position limited to four issues, primarily related to deprivation of due process, assignment of benefits, instituting evidence-based medicine standards, and legal fees.
Mandatory pro bono requirement for bar admission: The trustees approved a resolution opposing a proposal that bar candidates must complete 50 hours of pro bono service. The resolution was submitted to the Supreme Court committee studying the issue. The resolution states that the association: “Finds the proposal for mandatory pro bono service by individuals who have not yet been admitted to the bar to be unnecessary, unworkable and an affront to consumers who expect experienced practitioners to provide legal services. The New Jersey State Bar Association, therefore, urges the New Jersey Supreme Court to reject the proposal and recognize and appreciate the extraordinary pro bono service provided by the bar and to work in conjunction with the New Jersey State Bar Association to identify any need for additional programs or services to assure the prompt and effective delivery of legal services to all citizens of the state.”
Bylaws: The trustees approved the recommendations of the Bylaws Committee for various amendments to the association’s bylaws. The proposals will go to the membership for a vote this spring. They are:
- Requiring members of the Board of Trustees to maintain an active email account and permit the board to act on urgent matters by email or other means of electronic communication.
- Clarifying that no one may serve in more than one officer or trustee position simultaneously and that a sitting trustee elected to an officer position be deemed resigned from that trustee position at the conclusion of a challenge period.
- Clarifying that the Board of Trustees may reorganize inactive sections or divisions.
Government affairs: The board voted to support A-632, which would increase penalties for identity theft when the victim is a senior citizen or veteran.
Upcoming meetings: The trustees took action on several items related to upcoming meetings:
- Registration rates were approved for the 2013 Mid-Year Meeting in Rome. The member registration rate was reduced to $575, to bring it in-line with the registration rate for the 2006 meeting in Rome. The member guest rate will be $425, $150 less than the 2006 rate. To register, visit njsba.com.
- A site visit will be held to explore Paris as the site of the 2014 Mid-Year Meeting.
- The Casa Marina in Key West was selected as the site of the 2015 Family Law Retreat.
Immigration: A resolution will be submitted to the Judiciary asking it to recognize the need to provide pro bono legal assistance to immigrants in New Jersey by establishing a process where attorneys may qualify for a Madden exemption for performing 25 or more hours of pro bono service in a year on a case assigned by an immigration judge in consultation with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review.
Patrick Finucane matter: The New Jersey State Bar Association will send a letter to the British prime minister, urging an independent inquiry into the murder of Patrick Finucane, a prominent Northern Ireland civil rights lawyer.