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

October 16, 2009

The following is a summary of actions taken at the October 16, 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.


The New Jersey Supreme Court released its proposed rules for continuing legal education. There is a short public comment period, with the expectation it will go into effect Jan. 1, 2010. The state bar will reconvene its special committee to evaluate the report. The committee will report to the trustees at or before the Mid-Year Meeting. The proposed MCLE version takes into account several of the NJSBA's positions, including self-reporting and a requirement for newly admitted attorneys to pick from a Court generated list of subjects, and it accommodates distance, web, and video learning. In general terms it calls for 24 credits over two years. There is a requirement for ethics and professionalism coursework for all. Credit for pro bono work is not included, but the Court said it would be considered later. And the Court will leave it up to the new Board on CLE to impose fees and determine staffing. Comments are due Nov. 9.


The Supreme Court Special Committee on Electronic Filing has submitted its report making a number of recommendations regarding the future use of electronic filing and electronic case management for the New Jersey Judiciary. Among the report's recommendations: Mandatory participation, likely fee increases, implementation is to start with general equity/foreclosure and tax matters. Comments are due Nov. 16, and the state bar is sending it around to sections for input.

Legislative matters

The board of trustees took positions on several bills, including:

  • Supporting amendments to the "New Jersey Fair Debt Collection Practices Act," to bring it in line with federal laws.
  • Approving a Family Law Section-authored bill on the enforcement of palimony agreements.
  • Supporting, with amendments, a measure on procedures for sheriffs to provide notices in mortgage foreclosure actions
  • Urging the state to adopt the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Act
  • And supporting proposed modifications to the New Jersey Spendthrift Trust Provision.

General Council

Former Trustee James Gerrow won the election for a seat on the state bar's Nominating Committee. The election was held Oct. 16.

Mid-Year Meeting

The Mid-Year Meeting in San Francisco begins Nov. 3. All of the programming is set and participants can earn up to six continuing legal education credits. The Board adopted a formal policy for reduced pricing for judges to attend the Association's Annual and Mid-Year Meetings. The registration fee is waived for judges who are speaking at the Annual Meeting and is reduced to 50 percent for the Mid-Year Meeting.

Recent events

President Allen Etish has held state bar nights in Burlington and Passaic counties. President-Elect Richard Steen took part in a state bar night in Ocean County. Cumberland County's State Bar night is scheduled for Nov. 30.

The Justice Daniel O'Hern and Professional Lawyer of the Year Awards were held Oct. 22. Richard Norris was this year's recipient. A second document-shredding event was held Oct. 24.

Upcoming events

The Eighth Annual Reception Honoring Minority Judges on Oct. 28. The keynote speaker is Judge Glenn Grant, acting administrative director of the Administrative Office of the Courts. The annual new attorney swearing-in will be held Dec. 2 at Trenton War Memorial. It includes about 800 newly minted attorneys and their families. For the first time, the state bar is joining together with the two Rutgers University law schools to host a reception following the event.

For more information

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