NJSBA Officers Support Proposed Bylaws Amendments

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For Immediate Release
October 1, 2015
Contact: Kate Coscarelli
Senior Managing Director Communications
They approve: NJSBA Officers Support Proposed Bylaws Amendments: Here’s Why

Next week, NJSBA general members will be asked to vote on a slate of proposed bylaws changes to make the nomination process more open and any elections less intrusive and shorter. Voting will be open Oct. 5-26. The association's officers shared their thoughts about why the proposals should be adopted.
“This is an important opportunity to move the New Jersey State Bar Association forward. Approving these changes means approving a streamlined process to select future leaders that our members can have faith in and won’t overrun their email inboxes with unwanted campaign information."
Miles S. Winder III, President 
“The proposed bylaws amendments are a huge, positive step forward for the NJSBA, and address many of the concerns raised by the members in recent years, including me. I will be voting for them myself, and I am asking everyone who knows me and knows that I strive to make our association a better and stronger voice for New Jersey attorneys to vote yes.”
Thomas H. Prol, President-Elect 
“The central goal of these proposed changes is improving the bar association and the work it can do for the members. These changes level the playing field for all members. They do not diminish any voices contributing to the work of the state bar association. Rather, they allow the insight and experience of a wide range of people to make this a stronger, more representative organization.”
Robert B. Hille, First Vice President 
“Our members overwhelmingly told us the nomination process was a closed process known only by insiders, and that they lacked confidence in the process. These proposals open the nomination process to allow members not only to witness the Nominating Committee’s questioning of potential candidates but also address inequities in the election process by reducing the influence of monetary and firm resources in an election due to limits on the stream of campaign literature and the limitations on endorsements. Even more, the system will now have checks and balances because it permits the Board of Trustees to grant their affirmation of the selections of the Nominating Committee, thereby making the nominees candidates of the NJSBA.”
John E. Keefe Jr., Second Vice President 
"While these proposals mean the Nominating Committee will no longer consider endorsements, a change based on feedback that they did not add to the decision-making process. The proposals do substantially expand the due diligence process, including the expansion of references candidates may provide and a more robust questionnaire. Additionally, during due diligence the Nominating Committee will be directed to consult with all relevant sections, committees, or divisions and the officers of any diversity bar association. These changes mean every voice will be heard and candidates will be evaluated on the contributions they have made to the profession."
Evelyn Padin, Treasurer
"As someone who knows what it takes to be a leader of this great organization and the realities that face solo and small-firm practitioners, I believe these proposed bylaws amendments are necessary and fair. In my time as an officer we have endured three difficult and unpleasant elections. These proposed changes will help to ensure that only the most qualified are considered and chosen, without the unintended politicization that has polluted our process to date.”
Paris P. Eliades, Immediate Past President