September 15, 2014
This is a status report provided by the New Jersey State Bar Association on recently passed and pending legislation, regulations, gubernatorial nominations and/or appointments of interest to lawyers, as well as the involvement of the NJSBA as amicus in appellate court matters. To learn more, visit njsba.com.
NJSBA RECENT ACTION IN TRENTON
On Sept. 11, the Assembly Judiciary Committee considered the following bills that address the retirement age of judges:
A-528 (Peterson) Increases the statutory mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court justices, superior court judges, tax court judges, administrative law judges, workers' compensation judges and county prosecutors from 70 to 75.
A-3182 (McKeon) Increases the statutory mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court justices, superior court judges, tax court judges, administrative law judges, workers' compensation judges and county prosecutors from 70 to 72.
A-3542 (Kean, S.) Changes the mandatory retirement age for workers' compensation judges from age 70 to age 75.
ACR-129 (Wolfe) Proposes a constitutional amendment to increase the mandatory retirement age for judges and justices from 70 to 75.
ACR-150 (McKeon) Proposes a constitutional amendment to increase the mandatory retirement age for judges and justices from 70 to 72.
NJSBA President Paris P. Eliades testified before the committee, noting that the large number of judicial vacancies throughout the state has resulted in a crisis for the Judiciary. Eliades offered general support for increasing the constitutionally mandated retirement age of 70. He urged legislators to focus on an individual’s ability to serve competently, rather than a specific age cutoff. Eliades further cautioned that the issue is not simplistic and that many factors should be considered when evaluating these and other proposals to address the issue.
On a related note, other bills pending in the Legislature impacting the continued service of retired judges include:
S-2300 (Lesniak) Provides that retired justices and judges collecting a pension or retirement allowance are eligible for recall duties until 85 years of age. On July 10, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
A-3587 (Lagana) Provides that retired justices and judges collecting a pension or retirement allowance are eligible for recall duties until 85 years of age. On Sept. 11, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
The state bar association is currently evaluating all of the pending bills and will post information about any position it takes on these measures, and any other relevant matters, at njsba.com.
NEW JERSEY LAW REVISION COMMISSION
The New Jersey Law Revision Commission will meet on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, at 4:30 p.m. in the commission offices on the 7th Floor, 153 Halsey Street, Newark, to review the following:
1. RULONA/New Jersey Notaries Public Act—Consideration of a draft final report incorporating comments received.
2. Underground Facility Protection Act, N.J.S. 48:2-80 subsec. d.—Consideration of a draft final report incorporating comments received.
3. Judgments and Enforcement—Consideration of a memorandum identifying outstanding issues for commission review.
4. Multiple Extended-Term Sentences—Consideration of a memorandum advising the commission of comments received regarding this project.
5. Newspersons’ Shield Law—Consideration of a memorandum prepared in response to the commission’s request for additional information.
6. Tax Exemption—Consideration of a memorandum proposing a potential project addressing the definition of “marine terminal.”
7. Workers’ Compensation Act–Definitions and General Provisions (NJ ST 34:15-36)—Consideration of a memorandum proposing a potential project addressing the scope of the term “control.”
8. Sewerage Authorities Law (NJ ST 40:14A-8) and Municipal Utility Authorities Law (NJ ST 40:14B-22)—Consideration of a memorandum seeking commission guidance regarding whether a project in this area might be appropriate.
WHAT IS THE NEW JERSEY LAW REVISION COMMISSION?
As specified on the website and pursuant to N.J.S. 1:12A-8, the New Jersey Law Revision Commission “promotes and encourages the clarification and simplification of the law...and its better adaptation to present social needs, secure the better administration of justice and carry on scholarly legal research and work.”
The commission performs ongoing reviews of both New Jersey statutes and case laws in order to recognize the areas of law that require review and revision. In addition, the commission considers recommendations from the American Law Institute, the Uniform Law Commission, as well as members of the legal community and the public.
Below is a list of the subjects of particular bills designated for introduction within the 2014-2015 legislative session for which the commission provides both contextual information and support:
- (Effect of) Abstentions
- Adverse Possession
- (New Jersey) Collaborative Family Law Act
- Durable Power of Attorney Act
- General Repealer (Anachronistic Statutes)
- Mortgage Recording
- Overseas Residents Absentee Voting Law
- Standard Form Contracts
- Uniform Trust Code
For more information, visit the New Jersey Law Revision Commission website at lawrev.state.nj.us/NJLRC.
MILITARY LEGAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
ATTORNEY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: The New Jersey State Bar Association’s Military Legal Assistance Program provides free legal advice to veterans who encounter legal issues before their deployment or upon their return home. Members of the military who have served in active duty or in the reserve units can receive assistance with family law, debtor-creditor issues and employment law matters. Any attorney who annually volunteers 25 or more hours of pro bono service can earn a Madden exemption. To find out more, visit njsba.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.