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

Capitol Report

March 5, 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

The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and the Assembly Budget Committee will conduct their respective public hearings on the governor’s FY 2013 state budget beginning this month.

 

The Senate will hold two all-day sessions for its budget hearings. The first session will be on March 13 at Montclair State University; the second will be on March 22 at Burlington County College.

 

The Assembly will convene three public hearings, one in each region of the state. The first hearing will be held on March 7 at the Statehouse Annex in Trenton. The second hearing will be on March 14 at The Dental School at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark. A third and final session will be on March 20 at a southern New Jersey site that has yet to be determined.

 

The NJSBA will submit testimony to both the Senate and the Assembly.

 

Pending Legislation

 

ELDER AND DISABILITY LAW

A-2457 (PDF) (Conaway) (NJSBA supports) Increases the personal needs allowance to $55 for low-income individuals residing in certain facilities. On Feb. 21, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

 

FAMILY LAW

S-1689 (PDF) (Turner) (NJSBA supports) Requires mandatory registration of family child care providers; requires family child care providers to undergo criminal history record background checks. On Feb. 21, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

 

IMMIGRATION LAW

S-1707 (Rice) Requires the county prosecutor to determine and report to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement whether individuals held for certain violent crimes are lawful residents of the United States. On Feb. 27, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

 

MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE

A-2532 (PDF) (Rudder) (NJSBA opposes) Requires permanent driver's license suspension for a third drunk driving offense. On Feb. 21, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

 

REAL PROPERTY TRUST AND ESTATE LAW

S-1213 (PDF) (Van Drew) (NJSBA opposes) Establishes a real property assessment demonstration program. On Feb. 27, the bill was released from the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

 

S-1700 (PDF) (Rice) (NJSBA supports) Requires a three-day attorney review period for residential leases. On Feb. 27, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

 

Amicus Matters

 

Nostrame v.Santiago, Docket No. 68,651 – At issue in this matter is whether an attorney who was terminated by his client may maintain an action against the client’s new attorney for tortious interference with contract. On Feb. 17, the Supreme Court granted the New Jersey State Bar Association’s motion to participate in the matter as amicus curiae. In a brief drafted by Shalom D. Stone and Stacie L. Powers, the NJSBA urged the Court to decide the matter on current quantum meruit standards, and confirm that a client’s right to choose and discharge his or her attorney is paramount.

 

State v. Cahill, Docket No. 68,727 – At issue in this matter is whether a defendant’s motor vehicle violations were properly dismissed on the basis that he was denied a speedy trial. On Feb. 29, the NJSBA filed a motion for leave to participate as amicus curiae. In a brief drafted by Jeffrey Evan Gold, the NJSBA seeks to urge the Court to affirm the Appellate Division and find the violations were properly dismissed.