September 9, 2011
The following is a summary of actions taken at the Sept. 9, 2011, 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.
Mid-Year Meeting 2011: The New Jersey State Bar Association’s Mid-Year Meeting will be held Nov. 6 through Nov. 12 at The Shelbourne in Dublin. Programming includes a look at the civil trial experience in New Jersey and Ireland, featuring jurists and litigators from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, as well as other courses that examine ethics, healthcare reform, and the Irish Troubles. Featured speakers include former Supreme Court Chief Justice James R. Zazzali, Rutgers University School of Law Dean John Farmer Jr., Justice Peter Kelly, of the High Court of Ireland, and many more. To find out more about hotel and conference registration, visit www.njsba.com.
Diversity Committee/Summit: President Feeney held a meeting with the co-chairs of the Diversity Committee, Trustee William Ferreira, and NJSBA staff to begin planning for the Diversity Summit to be held this spring. In addition, plans were discussed to develop a membership incentive for members of specialty bar associations to join the State Bar Association.
General Council: Three people have qualified for the General Council election to fill a seat on the Nominating Committee—former State Bar Association and Foundation President Richard Badolato; Stephen Maskaleris, who has served in the New Jersey delegation to the ABA; and Asaad Siddiqi, president of the New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association. The General Council will meet on October 14, beginning at noon. For the first time, absentee balloting will allow members who cannot attend the meeting to vote in the election. Ballots can be requested by writing to Rita Seborowski at One Constitution Square, New Brunswick NJ 08901 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once a ballot is sent, members will not be permitted to vote at the meeting. All absentee ballots must be returned to the Law Center by October 12 at 5 p.m.
Proposed Changes to Lawyer Disciplinary System: The trustees adopted a report of the Committee on Professional Responsibility and Unlawful Practice, and agreed to express concerns to the Judiciary about the recent American Bar Association Report on New Jersey’s lawyer disciplinary system.
American Bar Association: In August, President Susan A. Feeney, President-Elect Kevin McCann, Immediate Past President Richard H. Steen and Executive Director Angela C. Scheck attended the American Bar Association’s Annual Meeting in Toronto. Among the highlights:
2011 Partnership Award – The New Jersey State Bar Foundation received the award for its Street Law initiative, which seeks to motivate and educate teens about the law in underserved New Jersey neighborhoods.
Ethics 20/20 -- The ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 is releasing reports on a variety of issues related to the increasingly global economy and the evolution of technology in the practice of law. Some of the key topics the commission examined were how those issues affect administering legal advice, client confidence, outsourcing and advertising. The State Bar Association will examine the reports and evaluate what impact they will have on New Jersey lawyers. Comments are due in December.
Amicus: The Supreme Court will hear the Tannen matter on Sept. 13. The case involves the balancing of fundamental issues of both matrimonial law and trust and estate law. Glenn Henkel, of Kulzer & DiPadova, will argue the matter on behalf of the Association.
In addition, the trustees agreed to seek friend-of-the-court status in Segal v. Lynch, a family court dispute over payment to a parenting coordinator, arguing the Supreme Court’s opinion in the case will have wide-reaching ramifications.
Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments Committee: The trustees approved a minor change to the manual that guides JPAC. A guideline for conducting investigations and evaluations stated a prospective nominee ought to be given a fair opportunity to respond to any information disclosed during the investigation that may reflect poorly on the nominee. The trustees approved removing the word “any” from the guideline.
The trustees agreed to ask for an extension to gather more information and provide comments on proposed regulations to the Department of Banking and Insurance proposals to the administrative code regarding personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, dispute resolution, attorney fee and medical fee schedules.
Filing fees to fund Legal Services of New Jersey and the Judiciary’s computerized court information systems: A discussion was held on A-4197 (Barnes), which provides for new and increased court application fees to fund Legal Services of New Jersey and the Judiciary’s computerized court information systems. Final consideration was deferred until more information can be gathered from the Administrative Office of the Courts, county bar associations, and State Bar Association sections and committees.
Member Benefits: The board approved a pair of new benefits for members. Now, state bar association members can receive a 10 percent discount for CLIO services. CLIO is a web-based suite of practice management tools targeted specifically to the administrative needs of solo and small-firm lawyers. It updates in real time, uses high-level encryption and backs up regularly. Members can also receive a 20 percent discount on lookingforspace.com, which helps match law firms with additional space to solo and small-firm lawyers who need it.
Co-sponsored Events: The trustees voted to co-sponsor several upcoming events with county bar associations. The Morris County Bar Association will co-sponsor a free network reception, with Association sponsor Investors Savings Bank, on Oct. 18 in Morristown. The Somerset County Bar Association will co-sponsor a shredding event this fall. And the Camden County Bar Association will co-sponsor a Rainmaker Institute event on Oct. 20 in Cherry Hill.
Master Calendar: A calendar of State Bar Association events, including those of county and specialty bar associations, can now be viewed on the CommunityNET section of the Association’s website.
New Jersey Commission on Professionalism Annual Awards Luncheon: Carl D. Poplar will receive the Commission’s highest honor, the O’Hern Award, at the Oct. 11 event in Edison. Charles Uliano, of Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington, was named the State Bar Association’s award designee.
The following is a summary of actions taken at the Sept. 19, 2011, special meeting of the New Jersey State Bar Association Board of Trustees via teleconference. This summary does not constitute official minutes.
Amicus: The trustees agreed to seek friend-of-the-court status in the lawsuit Superior Court Judge Paul DePascale filed challenging the new pension and benefits law. They agreed to seek amicus status once the matter goes to the Appellate Division. Previously, the trustees supported a resolution calling for the repeal of P.L. 2011, chapter 78, an Act Concerning Employee Pension and Health Care Benefits, as it applies to sitting judges of the Superior Court and justices of the Supreme Court. That resolution states, in part, that the act will have an adverse impact on “an independent court system dedicated to the fair, timely and effective administration of justice, as well as a fundamental dedication to preserving the high quality and integrity of a judicial system that is nationally recognized for its excellence.”
Mid-Year Meeting 2012: The trustees approved a contract with Encore at Wynn Las Vegas to serve as the headquarters hotel for the 2012 Mid-Year Meeting.