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

Capitol Report

July 6, 2009

By Tamika Wilson

This is a status report on recently passed and pending legislation and regulations, gubernatorial nominations and appointments of interest to lawyers. It is compiled by the legislative department of the New Jersey State Bar Association. Following each bill is the number, sponsor's name, the NJSBA position, if any, bill description and status.

PENDING LEGISLATION

CRIMINAL LAW

SJR-74/AJR120 (Allen/Casagrande) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides for a forfeiture by wrongdoing exception to the hearsay rule by amending the Rules of Evidence. On June 22, SJR-74 was released from the Senate Judiciary Committee with a committee substitute and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-2763/A-4158 (Cardinale/Russo) (Under review by the NJSBA) Eliminates the statute of limitations in cases brought under the Survivor's Act, where the death resulted from murder or manslaughter under certain circumstances. On June 22, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

ELDER AND DISABILITY LAW

S-661/A-2195 (Madden) (Under review by the NJSBA) Revises the criteria for eligibility to receive the senior and disabled homestead property tax reimbursement. On June 22, both bills were released from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and the Assembly Budget Committee with amendments and are awaiting Senate and Assembly vote.

GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC SECTOR

S-2010/A-4100 (Buono/Greenwald) (Under review by the NJSBA) Appropriates state and federal funds for the state budget for fiscal year 2009-2010. On June 22, A-4100 was released from the Assembly Budget Committee with a committee substitute and is awaiting Assembly vote.

S-2881/A-3968 (Weinberg/ Vainieri Huttle) (NJSBA takes no position) Imposes a temporary requirement on the county treasurer to forward $300 from certain mortgage execution sales to provide funding for Legal Services of New Jersey. On June 22, S-2881 was released from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee with amendments and is awaiting Senate vote.

HIGHER EDUCATION

S-1609/A-3245 (Lesniak/Diegnan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides for improved structure, financing, and fiscal management of higher education in New Jersey. On June 22, S-1609 was released from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee with amendments and is awaiting Senate vote.

JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION

A-1207 (Pou) (NJSBA supports) Authorizes the court to credit an indigent person under certain circumstances. On June 22, the bill was released from the Assembly Budget Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW

S-2895/A-4126 (Karrow/DiMaio) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes unemployment benefits for shared work programs. On June 22, A-4126 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Labor Committee.

A-1263 (Moriarty) (Under review by the NJSBA) Affords employment protection to certain volunteer emergency responders. On June 22, the bill was released from the Assembly Budget Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE

S-2055/A-823 (Gordon/Gusciora) (Under review by the NJSBA) Regulates the operation of snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, and dirt bikes, and certain other vehicles and off-road vehicles. On June 22, the bill was released from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-2963 (Rice) (NJSBA supports) Establishes the Criminal Sentencing and Disposition Commission to study and review the criminal law and recommend revisions; repeals existing commissions. On June 22, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

NOMINATIONS

The following nominations were referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 18:

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT
James Hely, of Westfield
Lois Lipton, of Edgewater

CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
Hope L. Cooper, of Franklin Park, NJSBA member
John Currie, of Ringwood
Margaret E.L. Howard, of Whitehouse Station

The following nominations were reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 18:

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT
Catherine Enright, of Mendham, NJSBA member
Paul Escandon, of Loch Arbour, NJSBA member
Thomas Moore, of Roseland, NJSBA member
Maryann Nergaard, of Gillette, NJSBA member
James Savio, of Margate
Carolyn Wright, of East Orange

WORKERS' COMPENSATION JUDGE
J. Michael Blake, of Scotch Plains
J. Patrick Roche, of Brick
Lionel Simon, of Toms River

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE
Bruce Gorman, of Petersburg
Jeff Masin, of Cherry Hill, NJSBA member
Donald Stein, of Haddon Heights

The following nominations were referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 22:

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE
Joan Burke, of Lumberton

The following nominations were reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 22:

ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT
Barry Albin, of Warren, NJSBA member

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT
Greta Gooden Brown, of West Plainsboro, NJSBA member
Terrence Cook, of Willingboro
Catherine Fitzpatrick, of Princeton, NJSBA member
Colleen Flynn, of Old Bridge, NJSBA member
Margaret Foti, of Cresskill, NJSBA member
Robert Gilson, of Sparta, NJSBA member
James Hely, of Westfield
Bruno Mongiardo, of Wayne
Joseph Portelli, of Wayne
Charles Powers, of Maywood, NJSBA member
Ronny Siegal, of Alpine, NJSBA member
Stephanie Wauters, of Toms River, NJSBA member
Barry Weisberg, of Plainsboro, NJSBA member

JUDGE OF THE TAX COURT
Joseph Andresini, of Haworth, NJSBA member
Mala Narayanan, of West Windsor, NJSBA member

WORKERS' COMPENSATION JUDGE
Kenneth Kovalcik, of Wayne
Theresa Yang, of Parlin, NJSBA member

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE
Kelly Kirk, of Ramsey

PASSAIC COUNTY PROSECUTOR
Camelia Valdes, of Wayne Township, NJSBA member

SUSSEX COUNTY PROSECUTOR
David Weaver, of Sparta, NJSBA member

Note: "Under review by the NJSBA" means that the bill is currently being examined by NJSBA sections, committees and/or Board of Trustees and a final position has not yet been reached on the measure.