Board of Trustees Report February 12, 2016

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The following is a summary of actions taken at the Feb. 12, 2016, meeting of the New Jersey State Bar Association Board of Trustees at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick. This summary does not constitute official minutes.

Leadership candidates: The New Jersey State Bar Association’s Board of Trustees issued a nominations report listing those candidates nominated for leadership positions for the term commencing May 2016 (Article IV, para. 7). All candidates were additionally vetted and reviewed by the Nominating Committee, as per the bylaws. The candidate list can be found at njsba.com. If no nominations by petition are received 30 days following circulation of the Feb. 12 notice (by March 14), in accordance with the NJSBA bylaws, the individuals will be considered elected by acclamation. The installation of officers and trustees will take place at the Annual Meeting and Convention on May 19.

Bylaws update: The Board of Trustees approved a slate of proposed changes to the association’s bylaws. The changes are the product of nearly three years of work by the Bylaws and Resolutions Committee. Prior to board adoption, the proposals were also shared with every section, commission and division of the NJSBA, as well as county and specialty bar associations. The changes are meant to modernize and streamline the bylaws that guide the state’s largest association of judges, lawyers and legal professionals. The chief goal of updating the bylaws is simple -- make them precise, consistent and, most importantly, easy for members to read and use.

In related action, the board approved Intelliscan Inc. as the election administrator for the voting on the proposed bylaws changes, and any potential candidate election. Voting will begin next month.

Future of legal services: With the American Bar Association’s adoption of Resolution 105 and increased attention on Internet-based legal services outlets, the New Jersey State Bar Association has formed a committee to examine how to address the intersection of unmet legal needs of the public and the unauthorized practice of law. The association has been an outspoken critic of proposals that would allow non-lawyers the ability to perform some legal work. The association believes that would pose significant risks to both the public and the justice system.

Amicus: The trustees agreed the association should participate as a friend-of-the-court in State v. Scott Robertson. The case asks what is the appropriate standard for a stay pending appeal in matters involving the suspension of a motor vehicle license from a judgment issued in the municipal court and is on appeal.

Pro bono rules: The trustees supported sending a letter to the Administrative Office of the Courts asking for clarification on the newly adopted Rule 1:21-11. The new rule has to do with the way pro bono organizations, other than those affiliated with Legal Services of New Jersey, report information to the courts about their volunteers each year.

Legislation: The trustees supported several pieces of legislation, including A-2342, which provides that certain personal identifying information may be redacted from various public records in special circumstances; S-319, which clarifies the right to recover certain uncompensated medical expenses under private passenger automobile insurance; and S-524, which authorizes courts to include protection of children who are born if a woman is pregnant when a domestic violence restraint is ordered.

In-house counsel committee: The association will form a new special committee for in-house counsel to help association members in the field come together to share their unique practice perspective. The committee will aim to provide professional development opportunities; offer networking for in-house counsel; and create educational programming specific to issues affecting in-house counsel like fulfilling ethical obligations to the corporate client or retaining private practice counsel.

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