This is a summary of actions
taken at the June 15, 2018 meeting of the New Jersey State Bar Association
Board of Trustees at New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick. This summary does
not constitute official minutes.
Appellate advocacy: The trustees agreed
the association would urge the Supreme Court to reject a proposal to reduce the
number of attorneys who
can argue in an Appellate Division or high court case
to a single person. The NJSBA said that it was an unnecessary change and the
current practice of allowing two attorneys to potentially argue provides less
experienced attorneys with a learning opportunity and allows attorneys to focus
on key issues.
Advertising rules: The
association will urge the Supreme Court to consider alternatives to achieve
the goal of
proposed amendments to RPC 7.2 that would require all attorneys to back up their websites every 30
days to preserve any language related to advertising and maintain those backups
for three years. Noting that such a requirement would be prohibitively expensive and may not even be
possible given industry practices for maintaining backups, the
trustees will urge the Court to, instead, require that individuals claiming a problem
with an attorney’s advertisement electronically capture the offending webpage
in a PDF or JPG file and supply that information to the appropriate Court
In addition, the NJSBA submitted comments to proposed changes to RPC 1.6,
regarding what information attorneys are permitted to share about a case. The
association asked the Court for clarification about the change.
Complex Business Litigation Program:
The NJSBA supports the goals of the Court’s
Complex Business Litigation Program and submitted comments
about proposed rules regarding its administration. The association raised
concerns that some of the proposals would subvert the goals of the program and
urged the Court to reevaluate limitations on time and discovery that could
impair fair prosecution of the cases. The NJSBA also urged that cases be
evaluated early for mediation readiness and to assign judges with
specialization in complex commercial and construction cases to the program to
ensure its goals are met.
Pro bono awards: The trustees approved the Pro
Bono Committee’s recommendations for the 2018 Pro Bono Award winners. They will
be honored during National Pro Bono Week, which is Oct. 21-27, at an event to
be held at the New Jersey law Center. This year’s honorees are: Jason Scott
Camilo, who will receive an award for his individual work; Brian N. Biglin, a new
attorney who will be recognized; and the efforts of Prudential Financial.
board approved a budget for the 2018-2019 budget year, which begins July 1. The
$11.6 million general operating continues a program that provides new attorneys
free membership in their first year of admittance, and half-priced dues in the
second year. The budget was originally
proposed in April.
Underrepresented groups: As required under the NJSBA bylaws, the trustees conducted the annual review of
underrepresented groups on the board, including a review of the latest attorney
demographic data. The underrepresented designated groups are African-American;
Hispanic; Asian-Pacific; women; gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender; over age
70; and attorneys with disabilities. The trustees designated a seat each for
members who are: African-American; Hispanic; Asian-Pacific; women; and gay,
lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Three additional at-large seats are open to
members of any of the underrepresented groups.
Practice of Law Task
Force: The board adopted recommendations of the NJSBA’s
Practice of Law Task Force, which then-NJSBA
President Robert B. Hille appointed to evaluate,
identify and review issues in the profession. The task force spent a year
researching issues and collecting research and feedback from the legal field.
The task force developed three proposals for the association to pursue.
They are: Urging the
courts to create a juvenile probation treatment program; to revise court rules
with regard to discovery end dates and scheduling trial dates; and
a proposed court rule change which would extend the time to
request a trial de novo for certain civil cases that are being arbitrated.
CLE speakers: The
trustees approved speakers for upcoming educational seminars. They are:
Mike Messer and Jack
Marshall, who will present Ethics Rock Extreme;
Everybody Lies: Big Data,
New Data, and What the Internet Reveals About Who We Really Are author,
Seth Stephens Davidowitz;
Lenne Espenschied, a
national speaker on contract drafting; and
Historic reenactors who
will stage Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt and Rethinking of America.
New special committees:
The trustees approved the creation of two special committees. One will explore
the intricacies of cannabis matters and another will examine public finance
issues. Anyone interested in joining one of the committees should send a
request to [email protected].
The NJSBA president makes all special committee appointments.
Support of grant
application: The association agreed to send a
letter to the Department of Justice in support of a grant the New Jersey
Attorney General’s Office is seeking to fund a conviction review unit. The unit
would be charged with the prevention of wrongful convictions and the review of
post-conviction appeals where there are claims of innocence.