Board of Trustees Report, December 6, 2019

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The following is a summary of the NJSBA’s Board of Trustees meeting. It does not constitute official minutes.  

CLE Diversity and inclusion policy: Key among the Board of Trustee’s actions was adopting a policy that reinforces the NJSBA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.  

The trustees added a formal policy to fortify its Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan’s mission to seek out diverse presenters for continuing legal education programs or other events, especially at the Annual Meeting and Convention and Mid-Year Meeting.  

The new policy states: “It is a stated goal of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Board of Trustees to increase diversity on CLE panels and presentations, so as to better reflect the diversity of the legal profession and our membership. We expect sections and planning committees to consider this goal when planning their seminars.”  

The policy is effective immediately.  

Special speakers: The trustees also agreed to add two nationally known speakers to the lineup of presenters for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, the NJSBA’s educational arm. The speakers are: Dominic Gianna, who will present "Mastering the Science, Art, and Craft of Advocacy,” and David Mann, who will present a program on persuasive storytelling.  

Government affairs: With the Legislature’s lame duck session underway, the trustees also considered a raft of bills, granting support to several measures pending in Trenton, including:  

A-4028/S-2429, which requires automobile insurers to disclose policy limits upon request by an attorney under certain circumstances. (The NJSBA will seek some amendments.)  

A-4743/S-3229, which creates two categories of driver’s licenses and identification cards; allows residents unable to prove lawful presence in the United States to receive permits, and standard driver’s license or identification cards; and permits the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to increase certain fees. 

A-1796/S-2609, which prohibits “gay panic” defense for murder; and prevents the reduction of a murder charge to manslaughter committed in the heat of passion under certain circumstances. 

A-5213/S-3815, which makes child support arrearages collectable any time by public welfare or other social services board or agency against an obligor or obligor’s estate based on amount of public assistance provided due to the obligor’s failure to pay support. (The trustees will further urge that the judgments be more transparent.)  

A-5540/S-3903, which mandates certification of consent for being named as registered agent of a corporation. 

S-2440, which would revise the partnership trade name certification process. 

S-2764, which would allow corporations to hold shareholders’ meetings in part or solely by means of remote communication. 

A-3755/S-2332, which concerns participation in special probation during drug court. 

A-4448/S-3003, which would establish a fourth-degree crime of cyber-interference. 

A-4652/S-3198, which allows a drug- or alcohol-dependent person admitted into a court-ordered supervisory treatment program to reduce the amount owed on court-ordered fines and certain other financial obligations upon successful completion of the program. 

A-1621, which would authorize innocent spouse relief under the gross income tax. 

A-3427/S-1273, which would clarify an excuse from jury service for members of the military service or reserve under certain circumstances, and repeals N.J.S. 38A:4-6.

A-4127/S-1871, which would establish a program to provide assistance to qualified veterans in inpatient and outpatient treatment programs to travel to medical counseling in New Jersey. 

A-5219/S-3593, which would require the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services in the Department of Human Services to accept a permanent change of station order for purposes of satisfying residency requirements for the provision of home and community-based services under certain circumstances. 

A-3892, which would require that prior notice of a tax sale be given to property owners.

NOTE: The legislative session in which these measures were considered has ended and a new two-year session is beginning.

Family Law Section bylaws: The trustees approved adding a sentence to the mission of the Family Law Section that it also seeks to educate members of the bench and bar about the challenges unique to that area of practice

Resolution: The trustees approved a resolution congratulating the Superior Court’s Monmouth Vicinage for winning an award from the American Bar Association for its Law Day celebration. It will be presented at the ABA’s Mid-Year Meeting in Austin in February.