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

June 13, 2008

Following is a summary of actions taken at the June 13, 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.

MCLE Committee

NJSBA President Peggy Sheahan Knee appointed an Ad Hoc Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Review Committee to review the Supreme Court Committee's Mandatory Continuing Legal Education report and make recommendations to the Board of Trustees. The deadline for comment is September 15. The membership of the committee includes: John DeBartolo serving as Chair, Donna duBeth Gardiner, Robert Brass, Rosemary Gousman, Mary Ellen Tully, Bonnie Blume Goldsamt, Craig Aronow, Glenn Henkel, Thomas Hoff Prol, Shanna McCann, E. Michael Angulo, and Nancy Johnson.

Amicus Matters

On Tuesday, the Court issued its decision in Jablonowska v. Suther where, consistent with the NJSBA's argument in the case, the Court held by a 4-3 majority that a plaintiff's Portee claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress is independent from the Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act (AICRA), and is not subject to the verbal threshold. In writing the majority opinion, Justice LaVecchia specifically referenced agreement with an argument advanced in the NJSBA brief. Gerald H. Baker argued the case for the NJSBA, and Mr. Baker, Amirali Y. Haidri and Eleanore M. Schenck drafted the brief.

The NJSBA's motion to participate in the case of Hand v. Philadelphia Insurance Company, which deals with the retroactivity of the "Scutari Amendment" prohibiting step-down clauses in commercial auto policies, was granted with regard to the filing of a brief only.

The Court granted the NJSBA's motion to participate as amicus curiae in the case of Makroulakis v. Estate of Garcia, dealing with the retroactive prohibition of step-down clauses in commercial auto insurance policies. NJSBA participation is limited to the filing of a brief.

Government Relations

S-1302/A-1766 (Sacco/Watson Coleman) Establishes compelling circumstances exception to mandatory driver's license suspension under conditional discharge statute; allows court to revoke remainder of suspension for compelling circumstances.
The Board voted to support, high priority.

NJSBA 2008-02 Amendment to Civil Union Law
The Board voted to support, high priority.

NJSBA 2008-03 Amendment to Domestic Partnership Act
The Board voted to support, high priority.

S-514/A-2489 (Sacco/ Quigley) Expands DNA database to include samples from disorderly persons and certain violent arrestees.
The Board voted to oppose, high priority.

S-779 (Kyrillos) Upgrades crime of soliciting or recruiting for criminal street gang while on school property.
The Board voted to support, moderate priority.

S-1053/A1971 (Singer/Cohen) Includes hedge fund fraud as consumer fraud act violation.
The Board voted to take no position.

S-1498 (Haines) Upgrades penalties for assaults committed against process servers and licensed private investigators and detectives.
The Board voted to oppose, low priority.

S-1784/A-2789 (Sweeney/Burzichelli) Creates eight additional judgeships; increases certain court fees to fund judgeships and to supplement funding for Legal Services of New Jersey.
The board voted to support, high priority.

S-1913 (Sarlo) Increases power of judges of compensation to enforce workers' compensation law.
The Board voted to support with amendments, high priority.

S-1914 (Sarlo) Strengthens enforcement against employers for failure to provide workers' compensation coverage.
The Board voted to support, high priority.

S-1915 (Sarlo) Concerns workers' compensation coverage and certain licenses, certificates, permits and registrations.
The Board voted to support, high priority.

S-1917 (Sarlo) Expands the membership of the Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau.
The Board voted to support, high priority, with the amendment that the New Jersey State Bar Association be added to the CRIB Board.

A-1158 (Oliver) Expands wrongful death act to allow recovery for mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of society and loss of companionship.
The Board voted to support, high priority.

S-1880/A-2894 (Smith/Cohen) Establishes Criminal Sentencing Commission to study and review criminal law and recommend revisions; repeals existing commissions.
The Board voted to oppose, high priority.

Reappointment of Chairs

The Board approved the reappointment of the following Standing and Special Committee Chairs and Co-Chairs who have served 2 or more terms:

Standing Committee Chairs
Diversity, Co-Chair George Rios and Co-Chair Lora L. Fong
Law Office Management, Co-Chair Ronald M. Henry
Pro Bono, Chair Maurice W. McLaughlin

Special Committee Chairs
Animal Law, Chair - Sherry L. Ramsey
Antitrust Law, Co-Chair - Jeffrey W. Lorell and Co-Chair Kenneth H. Mack
Automobile Reparations, Chair - Gerald H. Baker
Class Actions, Co-Chair Allyn Z. Lite
Drugs and Alcohol Abuse, Chair Golden E. Johnson
Ethics Diversionary Program, Chair David H. Dugan III and Vice Chair Raymond S. Londa
Franchise Law, Chair Marvin J. Brauth
Internet and Computer Law, Co-Chair Peter J. Pizzi and Co-Chair Darrin J. Behr
Legal Education, Chair Jonathan M. Korn
School Law, Chair John G. Geppert Jr.
Securities Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement, Co-Chair Jeffrey W. Herrmann and Co-Chair Claude E. Salomon
Special Civil Part, Chair I. Mark Cohen

NJSBA Budget FY 2008-2009

The Board approved the FY 2008-2009 Budget.