Thousands of Attorneys and Judges Gather in Atlantic City
New Jersey State Bar Association Holds Legal Community’s Largest Annual Meeting Wednesday through Friday
The state’s legal community will come together next week at the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting and Convention for educational seminars, speeches and networking events. It is the largest annual gathering of the New Jersey legal community, with nearly 2,700 judges, lawyers, law clerks and law students expected to attend the three-day event held in Atlantic City.
Prominent legal experts, scholars, judges and legislators will take part in over 90 programs on topics ranging from trial tips, to a review of the Supreme Court’s biggest cases, to the history of the modern court system, to the future of bail reform. The event will also feature state-of-the-judiciary speeches from Chief Justice Stuart Rabner and Chief District Court Judge Jerome Simandle, as well as a spotlight panel on the state of judicial independence in today's political climate.
A series of programs will also focus on the importance of the legal system recognizing the dignity of every individual. Key among those are:
- A seminar about the legacy of the Boy Scouts of America v. James Dale decision that includes Dale, former Chief Justice Deborah Poritz and a representative of Boy Scouts of America; and
- A panel discussion on efforts to advance the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which will include remarks from Roberta W. Francis, founding chair of the ERA Task Force. A keynote address from Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno will immediately precede the panel.
Some of the featured speakers during the three-day event include:
• Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner and a majority of the Court, as well as dozens of state and federal judges;
• Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno;
• Former Chief Justice Deborah Poritz, James Dale, Evan Wolfson, and Richard Mason, the Boy Scouts of America's Greater New York council president will discuss the Boy Scout case;
• Judith Enck, a regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
• Former Gov. James E. McGreevey;
• Attorneys General from New Jersey and Massachusetts;
• Several legislators, including, Sen. Nicholas Scutari and Assemblyman Jon Bramnick;
• Judge Nelson Johnson, author of Boardwalk Empire and Battleground New Jersey; and
• Representatives of the Securities Exchange Commission and Southern Poverty Law Center and more.
The event will be held at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City. Journalists are welcome to cover the gathering. For day-by-day programming details, click here.
The following is a quick look at the signature events of the convention.
The event kicks off Wednesday with a keynote address from Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno at the opening business session.
Educational seminars include: A speech from the EPA’s Enck; Hot Issues in Global Warming; Inside Trenton; The Equal Rights Amendment: Why it Matters and Why Now?; DIY Parentage 2016; and Better, Smarter, Safer.
Thursday features the installation of a new slate of association officers, including Thomas H. Prol, who will serve a one-year term as president. American Bar Association President Paulette Brown will be recognized for her leadership in New Jersey and around the country. And a public hearing on judicial independence in the municipal courts will gather testimony from lawyers and residents.
Continuing legal education seminars include: Joyful Journey, Racial Identity Development and the Legal Context; Bail Reform Update; Supreme Court Year in Review; Morally Straight – James Dale on the Boy Scouts of American and Fighting for Equality in the 21st Century; and Forced Marriage and Child Marriage: Yes, They Happen Here.
On Friday, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner and U.S. District Court Chief Judge Jerome Simandle will give state-of-the-judiciaries speeches. The speeches will be followed by a spotlight session on intersection of politics and judicial independence featuring key legislators, legal scholars and journalists. Other seminars will be: The Constitutional Convention of 1947: From the Court of Errors and Appeals to Multicounty Legislation; Personal Courage in the Practice of Law; and The Power of Perception in Civil Rights Law.