New Jersey State Bar Association
Board of Trustees Report
May 18, 2022
Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa
Note: This summary does not constitute official minutes
Putting Lawyers First Task Force: NJSBA 2022-2023 President Jeralyn L. Lawrence shared plans to create a task force that aims to make life in the profession better for attorneys. It will strive to examine issues facing the profession and provide attorneys the tools they need to survive and thrive in the ever-changing legal landscape. Some issues the task force will address involve helping attorneys navigate the world of working ethically in a virtual environment, looking at roadblocks attorneys face in seeking payment for their work, finding creative ways to engage new members of the profession, and addressing the root cause of stress and anxiety in the field.
Government affairs: The Board supported several measures including:
A3707 Coughlin/S2395 Scutari, a bill that makes various changes to the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect and establishes child protection worker caseload standards. The NJSBA will seek to be an enumerated organization included on the task force, given the contributions and knowledge the members can make, especially members of the Child Welfare Law Section.
S1467 Bramnick, a measure that would authorize members of the state Legislature to solemnize marriages and civil unions.
S2235 Doherty, which is referred to as the Lydia Peikon-Cotz Act and would require that courthouses provide a secure location where a person under the protection of a domestic violence restraining order could be deposed.
A1357 Mosquera/S1034 Vitale, a bill that would establish the New Jersey Siblings’ Bill of Rights. It would establish rights for siblings who have been placed with a resource family or in a congregate care setting.
S2052 Turner/A3808 Lopez, a proposal that would allow a tenant who secures a temporary or permanent restraining order the ability to change the locks on residential rental unit.
A2528 Murphy/S2092 Greenstein, which provides gross income tax credit to totally and permanently disabled veterans for rent-constituting property taxes. The NJSBA will seek amendments to align the language and definitions to match the 2020 constitutional amendment and other minor adjustments.
A2538 Murphy/S551 Zwicker, which would eliminate the active-duty requirements from the veterans' gross income tax exemption allowed under the statute.
A1169 Jasey/S1459 Codey, a measure that would require discrimination prevention training for state licensed and certified providers of services to senior citizens.
Section bylaws update: The Board approved updates and revisions to the Minorities in the Profession Section’s bylaws. The updates include adding language about the Section’s commitment to diversity and removing barriers to participation; term limits for board members; and details about quorum and how information should be circulated. The Section will finalize the changes at a future meeting.
Juneteenth speaker: The Board approved compensation for the Rev. Dr. Cory Jones, of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Burlington Township, who will give keynote remarks at the June 16 Juneteenth Celebration program. The program will be from 6-8 p.m. at the New Jersey Law Center. Juneteenth is the holiday that commemorates the end of chattel slavery in the United States. June 19 marks the date in 1865 that Black people who were enslaved in Texas were notified of the Emancipation Proclamation and freed— two-and-a-half years after President Abraham Lincoln had signed the measure outlawing slavery in Confederate states. Long celebrated as a regional holiday, mostly in Texas and other Southern states, Juneteenth was made a federal and state holiday last year.
New trustees: Five attorneys joined the Board of Trustees. They are: Cory Rothbort, YLD Trustee; Asaad Siddiqi, At-Large Trustee; Jennifer McAndrew Vuotto, Morris County Trustee; Jessica Ragno Sprague, Passaic County Trustee; and Alexandra V. Gallo, Essex County Trustee.
Farewell remarks of Immediate Past President Kimberly A. Yonta: Yonta said her departure from the Board of Trustees was bittersweet and she urged the Board and Association to continue its meaningful work on behalf of attorneys and the mission of justice. “Fourteen years on the board of trustees, two daughters during that time and one pandemic later, I am very, very grateful for my experience,” said Yonta. “It was a tremendous experience of professional growth, personal growth… I will never forget it.”