New Jersey State Bar Association
Board of Trustees Report
February 26, 2021
Note: This is a summary of the recent Board of Trustees meeting, which was held virtually due to the ongoing public health pandemic. It does not constitute official minutes.
American Bar Association Mid-Year Meeting: Yonta reported that the NJSBA had several representatives who took part in the recent American Bar Association Mid-Year Meeting and its House of Delegates voting session. During the meeting, Association leaders also met leaders of the Mid-Atlantic bars where they focused on the transition to a 'new normal' in the legal community and court system. They also shared their initiatives on racial equity in the law. New Jersey representatives later held a meeting with the Five Bars and Friends, a group of eight states including New York, California, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and others, where regulatory sandbox issues and alternative legal models, like social workers handling some legal tasks, were raised.
The New Jersey delegation lent its support to the successful passage of Resolution 10E, which would encourage Congress to pass Daniel's Law. The law would prohibit the disclosure of personally identifiable information of judges and their families. The resolution came to the House of Delegates seven months after the brutal attack at the home of U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas that took the life of her son, Daniel Anderl, and critically wounded her husband, Mark.
Arbitration clauses: The Board agreed to submit comments to the ACPE about required disclosures when including an arbitration clause in a retainer agreement, pursuant to Delaney v. Dickey, in which the NJSBA was an amicus party. In that case, the Court upheld the use or arbitration clauses in retainer agreements but concluded attorneys must provide clients with additional information to ensure clients are fully aware of the differences between arbitration and a judicial trial. The Association will urge the ACPE to recommend adoption of the guidelines contained in the Delaney decision, but not recommend any additional required disclosures. The Association will urge the ACPE to recommend that the requirements be included in the Rules of Professional Conduct and indicate that model language on arbitration clauses should be included in those updates. The Association offered to submit proposed language as a supplement.
Election administrator: The Trustees approved the selection of Intelliscan to serve as a third-party administrator should an election be necessary this spring.
Government affairs: The NJSBA will support pending measures in Trenton. They include: A4620/S2878, which would revise requirements concerning reported cases of abuse, neglect or exploitation of a vulnerable adults; and A4837, which authorizes a surviving spouse or family member to use a person’s motor vehicle registration certificate until it expires.
NJSBF Update: New Jersey State Bar Foundation President Norberto Garcia shared updates, including that the nomination process for the Medal of Honor and vacancies on the Board of Trustees is ongoing. Information and deadlines for both are available at njsbf.org.