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

May 13, 2009

Following is a summary of actions taken at the May 13, 2009 meeting of the New Jersey State Bar Association Board of Trustees at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. This summary does not constitute official minutes.

Independence of the Judiciary

The Board approved a resolution in support of the evaluation of judges and judicial candidates, and Justice Barry T. Albin who is expected to be nominated for lifetime tenure by the end of June 2009. The resolution calls on the Governor and Senate to conduct a process that is studious, fair and non-partisan, based solely on whether the judge or candidate, including Justice Albin, has demonstrated the intellectual ability, integrity and judicial demeanor to serve in judicial office, without regard to philosophical differences regarding the basis for certain opinions he or she has written.

Fast Case Online Legal Research Proposal

The Board approved a member benefit with FastCase Online Legal Research. Under the proposal New Jersey State Bar Association members will have unlimited free access to:

  • Cases of the New Jersey Supreme Court from 1950 to the present
  • Cases of the New Jersey Appellate Division from 1950 to the present
  • Cases of the Federal Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit from 1 F.2d 1 (1924) to the present
  • Cases of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1 U.S. 1 (1754) to the present
  • The New Jersey Code
  • The New Jersey Administrative Code
  • The Rules Governing the Courts of the State of New Jersey
  • The New Jersey State Constitution
  • The United States Code
  • The Code of Federal Regulations
  • The Court Rules for all Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals
  • The United States Constitution

In addition, New Jersey State Bar Association members have the option to enhance their legal research by paying just $195 per year for the premium package (retail price is $995), which provides access to the full database including Supreme Court cases for all 50 states, Court of Appeals cases for all 50 states, all Federal Circuit Courts, all Federal District Courts, all Bankruptcy Courts, Tax Court Memorandum Decisions, additional federal databases, and 50-state and federal statutes, regulations, court rules and constitutions.

Revisions to RPC 7.1 (Lawyer Advertising)

The Board voted to support the revisions to RPC 7.1 that have been proposed by the Supreme Court's Professional Responsibility Rules Committee. The Supreme Court asked for a review of the Rule by three of its committees following the Court's questioning the constitutionality of the Rule after deciding Opinion 39, the Super Lawyers' Case. The revisions add the following underlined language to RPC 7.1 (a)….A communication is false and misleading if it: (3) compares the lawyer's services with other lawyers' services, unless the basis for the comparison can be substantiated; and the following underlined language under Official Comment by Supreme Court, The inclusion of an appropriate disclaimer or qualifying language may preclude a finding that the communication is likely to create unjustified expectations or otherwise mislead a prospective client.

Sing v. Sidama - Amicus Committee

The Board voted not to participate as an amicus curiae party in this case at this time. Before the New Jersey State Bar Association will participate, the unique factual circumstances will need to be more fully developed in the Appellate Division. The Board will revisit its decision if the case goes to the Supreme Court.

Work-Life Balance Task Force Report

The Board approved the Report of the Work-Life Balance Task Force and authorized its appropriate dissemination.

Draft NJSBA policies

The Board approved draft policies recommended by the IRS that include: (1) a compensation policy for key employees; (2) a whistleblower policy; (3) a conflict of interest policy that includes annual disclosures from the governing body; and (4) a joint venture policy.

Restriction of Attorneys Ability to Bring Briefcases to Court

It was the consensus of the Board that a statement be prepared in support of the right of lawyers to bring into court, via briefcase or other means, all papers and materials necessary to perform their duties effectively.