New Jersey State Bar Association
Board of Trustees Report
March 11, 2022
Note: This report does not constitute official minutes.
Russia-Ukraine War: President Domenick Carmagnola started the meeting with a moment of silence in honor of the people of Ukraine who have been under attack.
Preliminary FY23 budget introduced: The trustees approved a preliminary operating budget for fiscal year 2022-2023, which starts July 1. The proposed budget reflects about $11 million in projected revenue and nearly the equivalent in projected expenses. First-year members will be offered free dues and free membership in the NJSBA Young Lawyers Division. The plan anticipates a resumption of in-person events, but will also continue to offer virtual and hybrid options for events and meetings that keep members up-to-date and provide benefit to their practice and professional endeavors. The Association will continue to provide meaningful membership experiences, including printing New Jersey Lawyer magazine and installing additional enhancements of the technology at the New Jersey Law Center to better serve the legal community. The preliminary budget will be published, per the bylaws, and reviewed by the Board before it is finalized in June.
Mel Narol Award recipients: The Board agreed with the Diversity Committee recommendation the Mel Narol Award should be awarded to past-NJSBA President Evelyn Padin (for the bar year 2020-2021) and the Garden State Bar Association (for the bar year 2021-2022). The awards will be presented at the Diversity Committee’s luncheon at the Annual Meeting and Convention, which will be held May 19 at the Borgata, Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City.
Comments on court reports: The Trustees voted to submit comments on proposals from several New Jersey Supreme Court committees, including the Family Practice Committee on child support guidelines; Civil Practice Committee on various issues including appellate briefs and interrogatory forms; Criminal Practice Committee on jailhouse informants and discovery issues; the Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics recommendation on arbitration provisions in retainer agreements and its proposal to revisit Opinion 685 related to ethics violations and the use of peremptory challenges.
New member benefits: The Board approved two new member benefits. One provides ticket discounts for the Somerset Patriots, and the second provides discounts on online coffee purchases from LeGrand Coffee House, a company started by former Rutgers start Eric LeGrand, who suffered a severe spinal cord injury on the field. Details about the new benefits will be posted to njsba.com shortly.
Government affairs: The Board took action to support several pieces of pending legislation, including:
A320 Dancer, which would add aggravating factor of committing crime against person because of status as servicemember.
A2347 Mukherji, a measure that would permit a marriage or civil union license to be issued and solemnized via audio-visual technology.
A1356 Mosquera which would establish the “Female Inmates’ Rights Protection Act.” The NJSBA will work with the sponsors to consider amendments to address concerns about presumptions in custody matters.
A1475 Lopez/S1809 Ruiz, which would add coercive control to definition of domestic violence. The NJSBA will seek to work with the sponsors to make amendments to fine-tune the proposal.
Special speaker: The Board approved speaker Michael Dobbs, an author and journalist, to present about the hidden secrets of the Cuban Missile Crisis at an upcoming New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education seminar. Details and registration will be available at njicle.com.
Resolutions: The Board adopted a trio of resolutions recognizing achievements in the legal community. One resolution honors retired New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Faustino Fernandez-Vina for his impressive career in public and private service that has improved the lives of the residents of New Jersey and 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. Two additional resolutions recognized the Passaic and Monmouth vicinages in the state Judiciary and county bar associations for exemplary programming that earned each an award from the American Bar Association related to its Law Day celebrations.