Board of Trustees Report, September 11, 2020

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New Jersey State Bar Association 
Board of Trustees Meeting 
September 11, 2020 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was held via Zoom. Note: This summary does not constitute official minutes.    
     
Members tapped to fill vacant seats:  At the recommendation of the Association’s Nominating Committee, the trustees selected two members to fill vacant seats.  
   
Valerie A. Jackson, a deputy Public Defender and managing attorney of the agency’s Office of Parental Representation’s central regional office, will serve as a Middlesex County trustee. Jackson has been active with the Association, Middlesex County Bar Association, Garden State Bar Association and Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey. She fills a seat Andrea Sullivan vacated when she became a Superior Court judge.  
   
Monica de los Rios, who works for the state Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, will fill a seat on the Nominating Committee that is the result of the elimination of General Council. She has been active with the Association, especially related to its Law Day efforts, and the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey.  
   
Underrepresented groups: As required under the NJSBA bylaws, the trustees conducted the annual review of underrepresented groups for the purpose of designating the at-large seats on the Board of Trustees and to fill a Nominating Committee seat. In conducting the review, the Board considered the latest attorney demographic data as well as the recommendation of the Diversity Committee. The underrepresented designated groups are Hispanic/Latino/a/x, Asian/Pacific American, Black/African American, LGBT[Q+], women, lawyers over the age of 70, and attorneys with disabilities/differing abilities. The trustees designated a seat each for members who are: Hispanic/Latino/a/x, Asian/Pacific American, Black/African American, LGBT[Q+], and women. Three additional at-large seats are open to members of any of the designated underrepresented groups. 
   
Budget aid for Legal Services: The board approved advocating during the ongoing budget cycle that Legal Services of New Jersey receive an additional $8 million in state funding to provide civil legal representation for New Jerseyans living in poverty who are facing a tsunami of legal problems as a result of COVID-19. The communities the agency serves are now confronted by an imminent threat of mass eviction, foreclosure and debt collection actions, including cases of monstrous medical debt caused by COVID-19. Legal Services has reported that it already sees clear evidence of such heightened activity, as well as increases in domestic violence, human trafficking, denials of unemployment compensation, and other COVID-caused legal cases. 
   
Honoring Justice Timpone: The board adopted a resolution honoring Justice Walter F. Timpone for his distinguished service on the Supreme Court and his contributions to the fair administration of justice. The resolution recognizes his profound contributions to the State of New Jersey through his fair and impartial service on the bench, his dedication to the administration of justice and his generous spirit in sharing his insights with the legal profession.  
   
Padin selected as Professional Lawyer of the Year: Immediate Past President Evelyn Padin was selected as the Association’s Professional Lawyer of the Year for her leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, her efforts to improve the lives of lawyers, her initiatives to help feed New Jersey residents through Lawyers Feeding New Jersey and to help residents of New Jersey receive free legal consultations from volunteer lawyers in their communities. Padin will be recognized, along with all of the 2020 award recipients, when the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law celebrates the achievements in November. 

 

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