Board of Trustees Report - May 13, 2015

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The following is a summary of actions taken at the May 13, 2015, meeting of the New Jersey State Bar Association Board of Trustees at the Annual Meeting and Convention in Atlantic City. This summary does not constitute official minutes.
Amicus: The Board of Trustees agreed the association should seek friend-of-the-court status in Mortgage Grader v. Ward & Olivo, a professional malpractice case pending before the New Jersey Supreme Court. The association’s brief will argue the Appellate Division ruling should be upheld. The matter involves a malpractice claim filed against a law firm that had disbanded without the purchase of a tail policy.

Bona fide office rule: The board reaffirmed its position on the bona fide office rule. Given the advances of technology and business, the association does not believe lawyers must maintain a physical location in New Jersey, but rather that they be accessible and responsible to their clients and court. The reaffirmation was in response to a proposed amendment to R. 1:21-1(a)(1), contained in the Supreme Court Committee on Family Practice report regarding office location.

Government relations: The trustees supported the introduction of proposed legislation, entitled “Educational Expenses of a Child.” The legislation relates to the issue of college contributions and would establish what is expected of children who seek to ensure the continuation of college contributions.

Resolution honoring Brown: The governing body unanimously approved a resolution honoring Paulette Brown, who will become president of the nation’s largest lawyers group this summer. Brown, the chair of the association’s Labor and Employment Law Section and trustee of the New Jersey State Bar Foundation, will become the first woman of color and fourth New Jersey attorney to serve as president of the American Bar Association. “Paulette Brown has been, and continues to be, a trailblazer and inspiration to all in the legal community who having worked tirelessly in our great state and nationally to make the profession more inclusive, and we stand proud of her dedication and honored to call her a friend and colleague,” the resolution states. “The officers and trustees of the New Jersey State Bar Association, on behalf of our over 18,000 members, extend a heartfelt congratulations … on her historic achievement.”

New trustees: The trustees welcomed several new members to the board.

They are:
Alan J. Cohen, representing Atlantic County
Jodi L. Rosenberg, representing Essex County
Haekyoung Suh, representing Hunterdon County
Diane K. Smith, representing Somerset County
Lauren D. Fraser, representing Sussex County
Luis J. Diaz, an at-large trustee
Christopher Leitner, representing the Workers’ Compensation Section
Evelyn R. Storch, representing the Amicus Committee
James J. Uliano, representing the Young Lawyers Division
Steven M. Richman, representing the New Jersey State Bar Foundation