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

March 22, 2013

NJSBA TRUSTEES REPORT

 

The following is a summary of actions taken at the March 22, 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.

 

Annual Meeting and Convention: The 2013 Annual Meeting and Convention is on-pace to be the most successful yet. To date, over 800 rooms have been reserved and nearly 550 people have registered to attend the 2½-day event to be held May 15 through 17 at Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. Attendees will be able to earn up to 12 continuing legal education (CLE) credits at over 80 seminars. The trustees approved the contract with Borgata for the meeting.

 

Election 2013: The trustees approved hiring VoteNet Solutions, Inc., to conduct the upcoming election for a trio of leadership positions and five proposed bylaws changes. The election will be conducted using electronic ballots, with paper ballots available to anyone upon request.

 

Budget: The trustees adopted a draft version of the 2013-2014 budget for the association and its educational arm, the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education. The budget projects $12.2 million in revenue and expenses of $11.6 million. A public hearing on the budget will be held at the Annual Meeting, and it will return to the board for final approval in June.

 

Voir dire: The trustees supported amendments to rules the Supreme Court Committee on Jury Selection proposed to clarify that jury selection must be held in open court with public access to the proceedings. The trustees also adopted the suggestions of the Media Law Committee to make further amendments when the association submits its comments, including: the adoption of a higher standard before courtroom access is restricted and that there should be standards governing the question of a juror at sidebar.

 

Criminal practice: The trustees supported the report of the Supreme Court’s Criminal Practice Committee, which includes: an update to the venue rule; a revision of the Graves Act plea form, as well as the plea form used in auto theft cases; and various other amendments on bail.

 

Complementary dispute resolution: A proposal of the Supreme Court Committee on Complementary Dispute Resolution to increase the hours of training to 40 earned the approval of the trustees. In addition, the trustees voted to urge the courts to clarify that a requirement that mediators take four hours of continuing legal education (CLE) each year would be included in their existing annual requirement to earn 12 CLE credits per year, and that language regarding opting out of mediation should be clarified.

 

Government relations: The trustees voted to support:

A2512/A3721/S2545, which prohibits notaries public from falsely representing themselves as attorneys in advertisements.

 

The trustees opposed several measures. They are:

A361/S1843, which would require that, under certain circumstances, the family part dispose of the charge of contempt of a domestic violence order on an emergency basis, without setting bail.

A2751/S2179, the Healthcare Disclosure and Transparency Act, as overly burdensome on health care facilities and physicians.

A2756/S1469, which provides surviving spouses of certain fire and police personnel who die in the line of duty with workers’ compensation for the entire period of their survivorship. The opposition centers on the legislation creating a carve-out for a certain group of people and could lead to an imbalance among all petitioners. 

A3909, which would revise alimony laws, including eliminating permanent alimony and establishing guidelines for amount and duration of alimony awards.

 

Foundation appointments: President Kevin P. McCann, with trustee approval, made several reappointments to the board of trustees of the New Jersey State Bar Foundation. Each will serve a one-year term. They are: Steven Richman, who is second vice president of the foundation, and trustees Paulette Brown, Norberto Garcia, and Anna Pereira. Association trustee William Krais will also join the foundation board for a one-year term.

 

CLE credits for mock trial participation: The trustees agreed to partner with the New Jersey State Bar Foundation in its effort to enable attorneys who judge and coach teams in its high school mock trial competition to earn CLE credit for their efforts. The association, as the CLE provider, agreed to back such a request to the New Jersey Supreme Court.