New Jersey State Bar Association
Board of Trustees Report
NOTE: This does not constitute official minutes.
New trustee: President Domenick Carmagnola welcomed and swore in Frank D. DeRienzo, of Leary Bride Mergner & Bongiovanni in Cedar Knolls, as a Young Lawyers Division trustee. He will complete the remainder of a vacancy.
Pro bono support: The trustees approved the Immigration Law Section’s proposal for the NJSBA to join with other groups to organize volunteers who can provide pro bono support to Afghan evacuees in New Jersey. The United States evacuated nearly 130,000 people out of Afghanistan, including tens of thousands of Afghans. About 500 Afghan evacuees are expected to arrive soon at Joint Base Maguire-Dix-Lakehurst, where the military has proposed providing shelter for up to 9,500 evacuees, according to news reports. The details of the project are in the process of being worked out.
Underrepresented group designation: NJSBA bylaws require that every September, the Board of Trustees designate underrepresented groups eligible for eight at-large seats on the board and other positions in the Association. In doing so, the Board considers the latest demographic data on attorneys and NJSBA membership, as well as the recommendation of the Diversity Committee. This year, the Board voted to expand eligibility for three of those seats to attorneys who are members of a diversity bar association, as recognized in the NJSBA policy manual.
After the Board’s action, the current designations for at-large seats are five designated seats for the following groups: Hispanic/Latino/a/x, Asian/Pacific American, Black/African American, LGBT[Q+], and women. In addition, there are three non-designated seats open to individuals from any the aforementioned listed groups, plus lawyers over the age of 70 and attorneys with disabilities/differing abilities and attorneys who are members of a diversity bar association listed in the NJSBA policy manual.
Additionally, a recommendation from the Diversity Committee to add at-large seats to the Board of Trustees will be examined by the Bylaws and Resolutions Committee.
Member benefit: The Board agreed to add Guaranteed Rate, one of the largest retail mortgage lenders in the country, to the roster of benefits for NJSBA members.
NJSBA Professional Lawyer of the Year Award: The Board selected NJSBA Immediate Past President Kimberly A. Yonta to be recognized as the NJSBA Professional Lawyer of the Year for her contributions to the legal community during the public health pandemic. Yonta, along with Professional Lawyer of the Year Award recipients selected by county and affinity bar associations, will be honored later this fall by the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law.