July 17, 2009
The following is a summary of actions taken at the July 17, 2009 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.
Mandatory Continued Legal Education
President Allen A. Etish reported a successful June 30 meeting with the New Jersey Supreme Court and key officials from the Administrative Office of the Courts. Mandatory Continuing Legal Education was a central topic. Court officials said an update would be issued on the status of the concept as early as September.
Two new trustees were sworn-in to the Board. Douglas Steinhardt, Lopatcong’s Mayor and a partner at Florio Perrucci Steinhardt and Fader in Phillipsburg, is the Warren County trustee. Francis Koch, an assistant Sussex County Prosecutor and past president of the Sussex County Bar Association, is the representative from Sussex County.
The Board of Trustees overwhelmingly supported the proposed change to RPC 7.3 on mail solicitations. The Board passed a resolution further urging a 30-day ban on mailings in municipal, criminal and negligence matters, unless an attorney has a personal relationship with a party.
Public Strategies/Impact lobbying firm will be retained to help improve the association’s efforts in Trenton. The agency will work with association staff members to help influence legislation and garner meetings with key legislators. Association members, officers and directors will continue to serve as its public face and voice.
The Board adopted a name change to Solo and Small Firm Section for what had been known as the General Practice Section. The change is a reflection of the demographics and focus of the section, said Etish.
The Board agreed to hold an event during National Pro Bono week in October where a permanent plaque will be revealed memorializing past state bar Pro Bono award winners.
The Board of Trustees also acted on a number of other matters, including:
- A resolution supporting the American Bar Association’s efforts opposing a Federal Trade Commission rule that would require lawyers to screen and report on potential identity theft.
- Sending a letter to the state Division on Taxation regarding a change that would make taxable the undistributed earnings from charitable remainder trusts, an estate-planning mechanism.
- Taking a survey of major banks to determine which best accommodate lawyers in real estate closings.
- A resolution recognizing the work of the New Jersey Commission to Review Criminal Sentencing.