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

Capitol Report

June 25, 2012

 

This is a status report on recently passed and pending legislation, regulations, gubernatorial nominations and/or appointments of interest to lawyers. The report may also include information about appearances of NJSBA representatives before legislative committees, and the involvement of the NJSBA as amicus in appellate court matters. The government affairs department of the association compiles the report. Following each bill number is the sponsor’s name, the NJSBA position, if any, bill description and status. Full and previous versions of the Capitol Report with links to related text are available online at www.njsba.com.

 

NJSBA Action In Trenton

 

FAMILY LAW

AJR-32 (PDF)/AJR-36 (PDF) (Singleton/Kean) (NJSBA supports with amendments) Establishes a commission to study alimony law. On June 18, the resolutions were combined to create an alimony law study commission, including matrimonial attorneys, a retired judge, the administrative director of the courts and others. Family Law Section Chair Patrick Judge, and past-Chair Andrea White testified to express general NJSBA support for AJR-32 (with suggested amendments) and opposition to AJR-36, which originally would have created an “alimony reform” commission. The resolution is pending a vote in the Assembly.

JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION

S-2062 (PDF)/A-763 (PDF) (Sweeney/Barnes) Authorizes the Judiciary to revise or supplement fees, subject to limitations, to fund the e-court information system and Legal Services of New Jersey; provides for review of such fees by the Judiciary. On June 18, NJSBA President Kevin McCann testified before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, explaining how the substantial amendments to the bill addressed the NJSBA’s concerns. The bill was released from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

 

 

REGULATED PROFESSIONS

A-801 (Munoz) (Under review by the NJSBA) Bars solicitation of professional employment for 30 days after the date of an accident or disaster under certain circumstances. On June 18, A-801, which would have imposed criminal penalties on attorneys who engaged in certain direct solicitation of clients, was replaced by a committee substitute. The new A-801 eliminates mention of attorneys, and instead prevents police departments from providing accident information for a 90-day period, except to victims and claims representatives. The bill is pending a vote in the Assembly.

 

A-2987 (PDF) (Fuentes) (Under review by the NJSBA) Places certain limitations on attorney solicitation letters. This bill would make it a petty disorderly persons offense for an attorney to engage in direct solicitation of clients without clearly marking “Advertisement” on the envelope. On June 18, Michele Nash, Municipal Court Practice Section trustee, appeared for the NJSBA and objected to the bill as unnecessary and an unconstitutional intrusion on the authority of the Supreme Court to regulate attorneys. The bill is pending a vote in the Assembly.

 

Pending Legislation

 

BUSINESS LAW

A-1887 (PDF) (Milam) Prohibits imposition of a corporation business tax on certain foreign corporations carrying passengers into and out of state in a motor vehicle or motorbus. On June 18, the bill was released from the Assembly Appropriations Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

A-2315 (PDF) (Chivukula) Expands the scope of the New Jersey Regulatory Flexibility Act dealing with the economic impact of rules on small businesses. On June 18, the bill was released from the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

CLASS ACTIONS

A-3123 (PDF) (Diegnan) Revises the law concerning derivative proceedings and shareholder class actions. On June 18, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee.

 

CRIMINAL LAW

A-3117 (PDF) (Albano) Criminalizes driving under the influence with a person 17 years of age or younger in the vehicle. On June 18, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

 

FAMILY LAW

A-321 (PDF) (Dancer) (NJSBA opposes) Provides for electronic monitoring of domestic violence offenders and notification to the victim; designated as Lisa's Law. On June 18, the bill was released from the Assembly Appropriations Committee with a committee substitute and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

A-2388 (PDF) (Singleton) (NJSBA opposes) Permits the use of electronic communication in child custody arrangements that include visitation. On June 18, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

HIGHER EDUCATION

A-1122 (PDF) (Fuentes) (NJSBA takes no position) Establishes the Domestic Violence Tuition Waiver Program. On June 18, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee with amendments and referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

 

INSURANCE LAW

A-944 (Riley) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes and enhances certain insurance fraud prevention measures. On June 18, the bill was released from the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee with amendments and was referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

 

JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION

S-881 (PDF) (Lesniak) (Under review by the NJSBA) Amends the special probation statute to give judges additional discretion to admit certain offenders to the "drug court" program; establishes a pilot program for mandatory admission to special probation. On June 18, the bill was released from the Assembly Appropriations Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE

S-244 (PDF) (Gordon) (NJSBA opposes) Requires a building owner advised of a structural safety concern during a private inspection to notify the municipal code official and the Department of Community Affairs; provides for emergency inspection. On June 18, the bill was released from the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee with amendments and was referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

 

A-1074 (PDF) (Quijano) (NJSBA opposes) Establishes Kulesh and Kubert's, and Bolis Law; establishes a violation of the hands-free cell phone law as reckless under vehicular homicide and assault by auto statutes. On June 18, the bill was released from the Assembly Appropriations Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

A-1456 (PDF) (Gusciora) (NJSBA takes no position) Clarifies the authority of a municipal court to suspend driver's licenses. On June 18, the bill was released from the Senate Transportation Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

 

REAL PROPERTY TRUST AND ESTATE LAW

A-2168 (PDF) (Green) Establishes the New Jersey Residential Foreclosure Transformation Act; provides expedited process for foreclosing abandoned residential properties. On June 18, the bill was released from the Assembly Appropriations Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

Nominations

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

 

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT:

Peter A. Bogaard, of Chester

Edward J. DeFazio, of Jersey City, NJSBA member

 

BOARD OF GOVERNORS RUTGERS UNIVERSITY:

Gregory Q. Brown, of Barrington Hills

 

COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY BOARD OF TRUSTEES:

Frederick Keating, of Haddonfield