November 9, 2011
The following is a summary of actions taken at the Nov. 9, 2011 meeting of the New Jersey State Bar Association Board of Trustees held at The Shelbourne in Dublin. This summary does not constitute official minutes.
Amicus: The trustees approved amicus participation in an attorney advertising case that will be argued again before the Supreme Court. The dispute centers on whether a divorce mediation center, which is staffed and managed by attorneys and provides legal advice and services, can use a trade name, rather than naming the members of the group. The state Judiciary’s Committee on Attorney Advertising said the group could not use the name Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation. The trustees said the Association should advocate, as it has in the past, that using such a name is a violation of the ethics rules. No date has been set for arguments.
Disciplinary system budget: The trustees applauded news that the Disciplinary Oversight Committee’s proposed 2012 budget for the entities that comprise the lawyer disciplinary system contains a $5 reduction in the annual attorney registration fee. Further, they urged consideration of future reductions, given the DOC’s significant reserve funds.
Electronic devices in the courtroom: The trustees voted to endorse the recommendations of the Judicial Administration Committee asking the Supreme Court to refer the Report on Electronic Devices back to its Bench/Bar/Media Committee for further review and elaboration regarding the application of the rules to attorneys, the media and general public. In lieu of such action, the trustees will suggest that attorneys – as sworn officers of the Court – be exempt from the regulations.
NJICLE: The trustees approved the continuation of the diplomate programs in municipal law with the New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys. The courses are offered through New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education, the educational arm of the state bar association.
2011 Government Affairs Awards: The trustees approved recommendations to honor attorneys with the Arthur T. Vanderbilt Award for Excellence in Judicial Administration and the Distinguished Service Awards.