The following is a summary of actions taken at the March 11, 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.
Arbitration program: After extensive review of the comments New Jersey State Bar Association sections and committees submitted on the Judiciary’s proposed Final Offer Arbitration Program, the trustees opposed its implementation in the New Jersey courts. Members and association groups expressed several concerns with the program, including that it is antithetical to the idea of providing access to the courts since it takes clients away from the jury system; would discourage meaningful discussions between parties; would deprive litigants of an objective and independent evaluation of the case; and that cases would be referred to the program without regard to the complexity of the issues. Read the letter here.
NJSBF Trustees: The New Jersey State Bar Association’s Board of Trustees approved the selection of members to serve on the New Jersey State Bar Foundation’s governing body. Paulette Brown, who is chair of the association’s Labor and Employment Law Section and president of the American Bar Association, Norberto Garcia, who is the foundation’s treasurer, and Ralph J. Lamparello, a former NJSBA president, were reappointed for one-year terms. Thomas Manzo, of Szaferman Lakind, and Brian Neary, a criminal defense attorney based in Hackensack, were appointed to new one-year terms.
Budget: The trustees approved a preliminary budget that projects roughly $12 million in revenue and a nearly equivalent amount in expenses for the coming fiscal year. The plan reflects no increase in dues or fees, and continues to invest in infrastructure upgrades and producing events, seminars and conventions that keep members up-to-date and benefit their practice and professional endeavors. The budget will be published in the New Jersey Law Journal in the coming weeks and will be the subject of a public hearing at the Annual Meeting and Convention. The trustees will make final recommendations and adopt the budget in June.
New Jersey Lawyer: The association’s award-winning magazine is now available in an electronic format that allows members to flip through articles, use hotlinks to directly access citations and other information in articles, and easily share information. The association will ask members to indicate whether they wish to continue receiving both the print and electronic versions.
Family Law Section bylaws: The trustees agreed that the Family Law Section should amend its bylaws to update the way nominations are shared with members, to include the position of treasurer, to tighten up the attendance requirements for members of its Executive Committee, and to create a young lawyers division for the section.
Senior lawyer recognition: Former NJSBA President Saul Wolfe will receive the annual Senior Lawyer of the Year Award for his work with the association, as well as the American Bar Association. The recognition will be bestowed at the Senior Lawyers Conference being held on April 11 at the New Jersey Law Center.