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

Capitol Report

July 21, 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

PENDING LEGISLATION

School Law

S-1857 (Codey) Establishes measures to deter steroid use among students. On July 11, the bill was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Education Committee.

Workers’ Compensation

S-374 (Scutari) Concerns attorney fees for workers' compensation awards. On July 11, the bill was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Labor Committee.

CHAPTER LAWS:

Below is a list of bills signed into law to date in 2014. 

P.L.2014, c.18. Designates May of each year as Military Appreciation Month in New Jersey. On July 10, the governor signed this bill into law. (A-578 Mosquera).

P.L.2014, c.17. Enhances the penalty for leaving the scene of a boating accident. On July 3, the governor signed this bill into law. (S-846 Norcross)

The New Jersey State Bar Association supported this legislation, believing that leaving the scene of an accident on the water is just as important as leaving the scene of an accident on a roadway, and as a result should carry the same penalties. 

P.L.2014, c.16. Requires the state Agricultural Development Committee to establish a pilot program permitting special occasion events to be conducted on preserved farmland at wineries under certain circumstances. On July 2, the governor signed this bill into law. (S-837 Norcross)

P.L.2014, c.15. Reinserts in the fiscal year 2015 Appropriations Act language that was omitted due to a technical problem. On June 30, the governor signed this bill into law. (S-2276 Sarlo)

P.L.2014, c.14. Appropriates $32,537,765,000 in state funds and $15,013,691,000 in federal funds for the state budget for fiscal year 2014-2015. On June 30, the governor signed this bill into law. (S-2015 Sarlo)

P.L.2014, c.13. Adjusts and clarifies certain state tax compliance standards and restricts certain state tax benefits. On June 30, the governor signed this bill into law. (A-3486 Johnson)

P.L.2014, c.12. Adjusts the fiscal year 2014 budget by making supplemental appropriations totaling $33,348,000 and modifying language provisions. On June 30, the governor signed this bill into law. (S-2014 Sarlo)

P.L.2014, c.11. Revises certain laws governing police and fire interest arbitration; incorporates compounding in base salary calculation; extends two-percent cap on base salary awards. On June 24, the governor signed this bill into law. (A-3424 Prieto)

P.L.2014, c.10. Provides that school districts must ensure that students with disabilities have opportunities to participate in athletic activities equal to those of other students. On June 19, the governor signed this bill into law. (S-2079 Sweeney)

P.L.2014, c.9. Permits adoptees and certain others to obtain an adoptee's original birth certificate and other related information. On May 27, the governor signed this bill into law. (S-873 Vitale)

P.L.2014, c.8. Exempts certain persons from heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) licensing requirement; clarifies definition of heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and refrigeration. On May 15, the governor signed this bill into law. (A-2456 Prieto)

P.L.2014, c.7. Enacts the Jessica Lunsford Act; imposes mandatory term of imprisonment; provides for negotiated reduction of mandatory term under certain circumstances. On May 15, the governor signed this bill into law. (A-892 Munoz)

P.L.2014, c.6. Requires the Division on Civil Rights and the Department of Community Affairs to post information regarding disability accommodation rights for owners and occupants of condominiums, cooperatives, and other common interest communities. On May 15, the governor signed this bill into law. (A-869 Sumter)

P.L.2014, c.5. Authorizes municipalities to impose penalties on creditors that fail to timely remedy code violations of certain properties in foreclosure. On May 15, the governor signed this bill into law. (A-347 Caputo)

P.L.2014, c.4. Provides for voluntary contributions by taxpayers on gross income tax returns for development of Northern New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery. On May 15, the governor signed this bill into law. (A-126 McHose)

P.L.2014, c.3. Provides that nonpublic school nursing services may include nursing services for a preschool pupil in the event of an emergency. On April 30, the governor signed this bill into law. (S-322 Gordon)

P.L.2014, c.2. Requires school districts to adopt policies concerning electronic communications between employees and students. On April 24, the governor signed this bill into law. (S-441 Ruiz)

P.L.2014, c.1. Requires the Division of Addiction Services to grant residential drug treatment program licenses to certain programs operating in state correctional facilities and county jails. On April 17, the governor signed this bill into law. (A-2295 Prieto)

P.L.2014, JR‑1. Designates March 30 of each year as Doctor's Day in New Jersey. On March 28, the governor signed this bill into law. (AJR-59 Conaway)

MILITARY LEGAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

ATTORNEY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!  The association, through its Military Law and Veterans' Affairs Committee, in conjunction with McCarter & English, has established the Military Legal Assistance Program. This pro bono program provides assistance to New Jersey residents who have served overseas as active duty members of reserve components of the armed forces after Sept. 11, 2001.

The association’s Military Legal Assistance Program continues to provide 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 through the Military Legal Assistance Program. To find out more, please visit njsba.com or email mlap@njsba.com.

INFORMATION ON THE MADDEN EXEMPTION

The following information relating to the Madden exemption originated from the New Jersey Court’s Judiciary website. For further information, please visit the Judiciary’s website. 

WHAT IS MADDEN?

In Madden v. Delran, 126 N.J. 591 (1992), the Supreme Court reaffirmed the bar’s duty to represent indigent defendants without pay where the Legislature has made no provision for the public defender to represent defendants who are entitled to counsel. The Court recognized it was placing a burden on the bar that should be generally shared by the public at large. The Court said, “We realize it is the bar that is bearing the burden…We trust the bar understands the strong policy considerations that have persuaded us. As has so often been the case, it is the bar that makes the system work, often without compensation.” 126 N.J. at 614. 

HOW DOES THE MADDEN EXEMPTION WORK?

Attorneys who certify they have performed at least 25 hours of pro bono services in New Jersey in the form of legal assistance to the poor in the year prior to the registration date in conjunction with a Rule 1:21(e) legal assistance organization and legal aid society or a Supreme Court-approved program are exempt. Additionally, attorneys who satisfy the same 25-hour requirement by serving as a court appointed attorney-trustee pursuant to Rule 1:20-19, or who volunteer to handle termination of parental rights appeals as compensated public defender pool attorneys are also exempt under this category. 

Approved pro bono agencies (Exemption Code 88) are listed below:

  • Rule 1:21-1(e) legal assistance organization and legal aid societies
  • United States Bankruptcy Court Pro Bono Program
  • Domestic violence service providers
  • United States Immigration Court Pro Bono Program
  • United States District Court Pro Bono Program
  • The Pro Bono Partnership Program
  • The Essex Volunteer Lawyers for Justice Program
  • The New Jersey State Bar Association’s Military Legal Assistance Program
  • Veterans Law Clinic (at Widener University School of Law)
  • The New Jersey State Bar Association’s Hurricane Sandy Relief Program

For more information, please visit the New Jersey Court’s website. 

 

Past issues of the Capitol Report