Bench Bar Relations

Bench Bar Relations

Annual Meeting Bench /Bar Conference
Begun in 2003, the NJSBA has hosted a bench bar conference at the Annual Meeting featuring some of New Jersey’s top attorneys and judges in the civil, criminal and family law and municipal court practice areas.

Judicial Administration Forums
Since 1998, the New Jersey State Bar Association has sponsored annual Judicial Administration Forums, bringing together judges, judiciary managers, and lawyers (including bar leaders) for discussion on issues facing the bench and bar. Past forums have addressed access to justice and trial court practice/procedure reforms, judicial leadership, Court technology and dispute resolution.

Best Practices
The bar has been part of the Judiciary's strategic planning effort in a project to standardize civil court practices and procedures with the Judiciary. The NJSBA has expanded this participation to include involvement in civil, family, special civil part and municipal court standardization efforts. Presently, the state and county bars are participating on implementation committees with judges to implement the standards adopted by the Supreme Court and develop corresponding court rules.

Judicial College
Since 1998 the State Bar has participated in the New Jersey Judicial College with a program entitled The Case Management Waltz: Keeping In Step which fosters discussion on how the bench and the bar can better work together to promote the administration of justice. In 1999, the NJSBA became more active sponsoring two programs: in the area of judicial administration entitled Trial Management Standards Illustrated and Applied: Problems and Scenarios which for the first time ever engaged judges and lawyers in role plays involving the merits of a trial management conference; and in the area of complex commercial litigation entitled Complex Cases in Commercial Law which focused on banking, corporations, intellectual property, securities and class actions.

Criticism of Judges
The independence of the judiciary is the cornerstone of our legal system. That system, however, may be shaken by unfair attacks on judges, or the judiciary in general, which seek to influence judges' decisions and undermine public confidence in the administration of justice. In 1996, the NJSBA developed a procedure to respond to unjust criticism of judges. This protocol was commended by the American Judges Association for the development and utilization of this project. Recently, the Association objected to the "rankings" of judges by a legal periodical. Read the NJSBA procedure to respond to the unjust criticism of judges here.

Supreme Court Excusal Policy for Bar Association Events
Read Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner’s directive on the continuation of the Supreme Court’s Excusal Policy for Board of Trustees meetings and NJSBA Annual and Mid-Year Meetings.

NJSBA History Regarding the Practice of Invoking Senatorial Courtesy
The New Jersey State Bar Association’s historical background regarding the practice of “senatorial courtesy” whereby a sitting NJ State Senator from the county of a nominee’s residence may prevent a gubernatorial nominee from advancing to consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee and/or confirmation by the full Senate. Read the NJSBA History on Senatorial Courtesy here.