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

Capitol Report

May 7, 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.

 

Special Edition

 

This special edition of the Capitol Report is the final in a series of updates on NJSBA priority legislation.

 

As with all high-priority bills, the Government Relations Department communicates the NJSBA’s position on priority legislation with letters to the sponsors of the bill, members of any legislative committees to which the bill has been referred for a hearing, members of the Senate or Assembly when the bill is scheduled for a vote before either body, and the Governor. In addition, when these priority bills are scheduled for committee review in the legislature, the NJSBA will prepare and coordinate written and/or oral testimony before legislative committees, testify before legislative committees where appropriate if experts from NJSBA sections and committees are not available, and coordinate meetings with legislators, interest groups and the Governor’s Office to advance the NJSBA’s position.

 

PENDING LEGISLATION

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

S-474 (Thompson) (NJSBA opposes) Eliminates the discovery rule for medical malpractice liability actions. This legislation is currently pending review in the Senate Commerce Committee.

 

S-1221 (Vitale)/A-1817 (Conaway) (NJSBA opposes) Extends Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance Premium Assistance Fund and collection of annual surcharges for five years. This legislation is currently pending review in the Senate Commerce Committee and the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

A-1689 (Russo) (NJSBA opposes) Establishes a Special Medical Malpractice part in the Superior Court. This legislation is currently pending review in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

A-1806 (Conaway) (NJSBA opposes) Concerns liability, standards of care, and insurance coverage for medical malpractice actions. This legislation is pending review in the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE

S-359 (Beach)/A-1225 (Moriarty) (NJSBA opposes) Requires a breath or blood sample to be obtained from driver involved in motor vehicle accident resulting in death or serious bodily injury. This legislation is currently pending review in the Senate and Assembly Law and Public Safety committees.

S-456 (Turner)/A-1860 (Diegnan) (NJSBA supports) Restricted Use License Program; permits certain motor vehicle offenders to apply for a restricted use license. This legislation is currently pending review in the Senate and Assembly Law and Public Safety committees.

 

A-504 (Albano) (NJSBA opposes) Clarifies that conviction of refusal to submit to breathalyzer constitutes prior conviction for sentencing purposes under drunk driving law. This legislation is currently pending review in the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.

A-1627 (Bramnick) (NJSBA supports) Establishes a municipal court conditional dismissal program for certain first-time offenders. This legislation is currently pending review in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

 

A-2148 (Gusciora) (NJSBA supports) Requires ignition interlock device to be installed on vehicle owned or leased by drunk driver only after period of driver's license suspension. This legislation is currently pending review in the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee

PUBLIC SAFETY

S-493 (Bucco) (NJSBA opposes) Provides for attachment of real property relating to terrorism.
This legislation is currently pending review in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

REAL PROPERTY TRUST & ESTATE LAW

S-80 (Bateman) (NJSBA supports) Uniform Trust Code. This legislation is currently pending review in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A-1306 (Greenwald) (NJSBA opposes) Authorizes county surrogates to establish or expand programs to provide information to law enforcement officers, firefighters and first aid squad members concerning the preparation of wills, living wills and powers of attorney. This legislation is currently pending review in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

REGULATED PROFESSIONS

S-761 (Scutari)/A-788 (Munoz)/A-801 (Munoz) (NJSBA opposes) Bars direct solicitation letters from licensed professionals to accident victims and other persons. This legislation is currently pending review in the Senate and Assembly Judiciary Committees, respectively.

 

S-1769 (Turner)/A-1444 (Gusciora) (NJSBA opposes) Eliminates award of attorneys' fees, filing fees and costs of suit for technical violation of the consumer fraud act. This legislation is currently pending review in the Senate Commerce Committee and Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee, respectively.

TAXATION

S-804 (Kyrillos)/A-2731 (Diegnan) (NJSBA supports) Increases filing threshold for the New Jersey estate tax to $1 million. This legislation is currently pending review in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and Assembly Judiciary Committees, respectively.

A-1609 (Bramnick) (NJSBA opposes) Grants immunity from civil liability to persons reporting information concerning crimes related to terrorism. This legislation is currently pending review in the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee.