Note: This summary does not constitute official
Attorney malpractice insurance: The board discussed
recent communication from the Judiciary regarding recommendations of the
Court’s Ad Hoc Committee on Attorney Malpractice Insurance. The letter
indicated that while there will not be a requirement that attorneys have
mandatory malpractice insurance; it will soon be required – as per a new Rule
of Court – that attorneys must report whether they have malpractice insurance
and, if so, file a certificate of insurance setting forth basic policy
information that will be accessible to the public. The Judiciary is still
considering an additional item that would require attorneys to disclose to
clients if they do not have professional malpractice coverage. The NJSBA
strenuously opposed these changes when the report of the Ad Hoc Committee was
released. That information can be found here. The NJSBA will continue dialogue
with the Judiciary on this issue and review how it may affect proposed
legislation, A4880, which seeks to level the playing field for professionals.
Budget: The trustees gave preliminary approval to the
2019-2020 budget for the association. The roughly $12 million includes several
proposals to help members. It contains a plan to allow young lawyers to join
substantive sections for free with the goal of providing them additional
reasons to stay invested in the organization throughout their careers. It also
continues the Mentor Match program to connect experienced attorneys and retired
judges with attorneys who are starting out or facing a career transition. The
budget anticipates creating a law practice management component so that members
can get valuable information and guidance about running their practice. And the
NJSBA also plans to conduct a survey of young lawyers to learn more about how
they want to communicate, what serves they need and what benefits they want
from their membership.
Diversity Summit 2019: As recommended by the Diversity
Committee, the board approved Robert Lattimer as a speaker at the June 26
Diversity Summit. Lattimer is a Non-Resident Scholar and Senior Fellow for
Diversity Studies at Rutgers University. This year’s summit will examine
“Diversity at a Crossroads: The Global Rise of Nativism, Nationalism and
Future Annual Meeting and Conventions: The trustees
approved hosting the 2020 and 2021 Annual Meeting and Conventions at the
Borgata, Hotel, Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. That has been the site of
the Annual Meeting for several years, and is where it will be from May 15-17.
Learn more about this year’s event here.
Attorney certification: At the request of the Real
Property, Probate & Trust Law Section, the trustees agreed that the NJSBA
will request that the Judiciary consider creating a certification program for
real estate law, which would be similar to the other areas of certification
that are already offered.
Cannabis law practice: With the legal landscape
surrounding marijuana changing in New Jersey, the board voted to ask the
Judiciary to review the Rules of Professional Conduct that may be implicated
for attorneys who handle cannabis law matters. Further, since the rules cycle
can be lengthy, the NJSBA will seek an interim opinion from the Judiciary’s
relevant committees for guidance.
Worker’s Compensation Judges: The Association will urge that
workers' compensation judges who have qualified for tenure be renominated and
that their names be submitted for Senate consideration, as it has previously
noting that not doing so harms the efficient operation of the courts, erodes
the morale of the judges currently serving in the Division of Workers'
Compensation, and diminshes the ability to attract qualified new judges to the
Government affairs: The trustees voted on several
measures. They agreed to support:
- S2441 Diegnan, which clarifies, under “The New Jersey
Alternative Procedure for Dispute
Resolution Act,” timeframe for party to seek judicial review of alternative
dispute resolution award after making request to modify award with umpire of alternative
- A4547 Lopez / S3120 Greenstein, which requires collection
and reporting of information concerning crimes against the elderly and
- A4556 Mukherji, which allows parents or legal custodians
separated from their children because of immigration matters to appoint standby
- S2982 Ruiz, a measure that clarifies that child may not
be excluded from public school based on membership in protected category under
“Law Against Discrimination” or immigration status.
- A1700 Dancer / S1583 Cruz-Perez, which would specify
vacant shopping malls and office parks as eligible for designation as areas in
need of redevelopment.
- A1117 Downey, a bill that aims to increase certain
minimum liability coverage required for motor vehicle insurance and abolishes
basic automobile insurance policy.
- A3311 Bramnick / S2430 Scutari, which requires motor
vehicle insurance policies to include certain underinsured and uninsured
- A4610 Dancer, which permits municipalities to require
registration of vacant and abandoned properties and use registration fee
proceeds to maintain these properties.
- A3150 Lampitt/S2133 Cruz-Perez, a measure that mandates
health benefits coverage for fertility preservation services under certain
health insurance plans.
- S477 Vitale, which would remove the statute of
limitations in civil actions that involve minor victims of sexual abuse.