Board of Trustees Report, July 18, 2019

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The following is a summary of the action the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Board of Trustees took at its July meeting. This does not constitute official minutes.

Government affairs: The trustees supported two pieces of pending legislation. The trustees backed A3456/S2100. The pending bill would remove the prohibitions on voting by people who are convicted of an indictable offense who are on parole, probation or serving a sentence, which would end the historic disenfranchisement of people with felony convictions and affects roughly 100,000 people. They also voted to support A4699/S2938, which would make it a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act for anyone to try to get companies and businesses to hire them to file an annual report, without saying that the state provides a portal that they companies can choose to use.

Guardianship laws: The NJSBA will submit comments on the proposed New Jersey guardianship statutes and portions of Title 3B. The proposal is an overhaul of the guardianship act and the association’s Elder and Disability Law Section expressed the belief that the existing statutes provide the necessary protections and noted that the changes may not accomplish the intended goals and could hurt New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents.

Special speakers: Several dynamic speakers were approved to offer programs for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education. The speakers include: historian Glenn LeBoeuf, who will address the role of the women who fought in the Civil War and the effect their participation has had on the law; Stephen Easton, who will revisit Irving Younger’s 10 Commandments of cross examination; Barron K. Henley will speak on mastering Microsoft Word for lawyers in the coming weeks; Marty Latz will return to the seminar line-up with advice on negotiation strategies this fall; comedian Sean Carter will provide an entertaining look at ethics dilemmas during the holiday season; and Tina Weber and Lisa Marcy will provide a Halloween offering called “The Psychopaths Among Us – Unveiling and Conquering Them to Win Your Cases.”

Amicus: The trustees also agreed to seek additional information in State v. Andrews to determine if the NJSBA will ask for amicus status. The case involves whether a criminal defendant can be forced to disclose the PIN numbers or passwords for their electronic devices.

Awards: Several award recipients were approved by the trustees. They were:

The 2019 Pro Bono Awards will be presented on Oct. 24 to the Nissenbaum Law Group for contributions from a small law firm; DLA Piper will be recognized as a large firm. David F. Roeber and Kaitlyn E. Stone will receive the new attorney awards.

The Diversity Committee this fall will present the annual Justice Thurgood Marshall Award to Assignment Judge Julio L. Mendez and Judge Joseph A. Turula.

Michael Noriega, the chair of the Immigration Law Section, as the NJSBA’s Professional Lawyer of the Year at the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law award reception on Oct. 20.