Professional Malpractice Fairness

FAIRNESS FOR PROFESSIONALS 

PROTECTION FOR CONSUMERS 

Thousands of licensed professionals help New Jersey residents resolve problems every day. These professionals are a huge part of their communities and drivers of the state’s economy.
 

But they often struggle to meet overhead expenses — one of the most costly, but important, is professional liability insurance. The NJSBA continues to advocate for a measure to provide critical stability and predictability to professional malpractice cases, protect consumers and put all professionals on a level playing field.

The measure is supported by representatives from the insurance industry, several county and affinity bar associations and other professional groups that believe it is important to level the playing field the legal community, in particular to young lawyers, solo and small-firm lawyers and those from diverse backgrounds.   

Key highlights include:

The time is now for fairness in professional malpractice.

The NJSBA proposal would:

  • Provide stability to the cost of doing business;
  • Reduce the statute of limitations to bring a malpractice claim against a professional to two years — similar to what it is for doctors and what it is for professionals in New York and Pennsylvania;
  • Give consumers two years from the date they reasonably discover a problem to file a malpractice claim;
  • Make New Jersey a more competitive place to do business for insurance companies;
  • Eliminate fee shifting in legal malpractice claims; and
  • Protect citizens by making professional liability insurance more accessible and more affordable to professionals.
 
WHAT IT MEANS FOR ATTORNEYS
 
The status quo is not viable.
 
Despite the fact that over 25 insurance companies the state Department of Banking and Insurance authorizes to write legal malpractice coverage, just a handful are actually writing and renewing policies.
 
The base rate for a New Jersey lawyer to get coverage starts at 49 percent higher than in New York and 33 percent higher than in Pennsylvania.
 
Because of the overly long statute of limitations, New Jersey has the highest number of claims in the region and exceeds the national average.
 
Meanwhile, New Jersey has fewer private practice attorneys than either of those neighboring states.
 
So what is making the New Jersey insurance market so restrictive? Two things: a statute of limitations for professional malpractice claims that is longer than the neighboring states and fee shifting.
 
The result is a restrictive insurance market and higher malpractice insurance rates for lawyers — most of whom work in solo or small firms that form the backbone of their communities and fuel local economies.
 
The measure would bring the statute of limitations in-line with neighboring states and eliminate fee shifting in professional malpractice matters, which would make the New Jersey insurance market place more attractive and would protect consumers. This will provide accessible and affordable coverage to those small business owners who need it most.
 
Click here to read the key findings of a New Jersey State Bar Association Report from the Working Group on Professional Malpractice.
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
 
Check out legal malpractice data highlights New Jersey’s outlier status here.
 

Learn more about the New Jersey small business community here.

Read statements from small business owners on the hardships they face due to New Jersey’s restrictive insurance market here.

Read “Professional malpractice stability needed: New Jersey attorneys share their experiences” here. Read “OP-ED: Insurance Bill Would Be Fairer to Professionals, Protect Consumers,” NJ Spotlight here.

About


Founded in 1899, the NJSBA is the largest organization of attorneys, judges and legal professionals in New Jersey. At the core of our mission is improving the lives of our members, advancing the rule of law and serving as the voice of the profession. With 85 sections and committees, the NJSBA allows attorney to benefit from being part of the most wide-reaching legal association in the state, while still cultivating expertise and building networks within specialized practice areas.

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The New Jersey State Bar Association is committed to promoting and fostering a diverse and inclusive bar association. The Association recognizes that the broad concept of diversity includes race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, age and disability. The NJSBA fosters and promotes an inclusive environment that gives value to the unique contributions of diverse individuals and organizations in all aspects of the Association.

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Advocacy


The NJSBA Legal and  Government Affairs Department serves as the liaison between NJSBA members and the state’s three branches of government.

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New Brunswick, NJ 08901

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NJSBA Meetings and Events Calendar


From section, committee and division meetings with valuable CLE credit, to receptions and dinners and special events, the New Jersey State Bar Association regularly holds meetings so our members can meet their mandatory CLE requirements and network with the state’s largest attorney membership.

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2024 Family Law Retreat


The New Jersey State Bar Association is thrilled to announce the 2024 Family Law Retreat will be held in Costa Rica!

For more information, or to register today, visit the links below:

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2024 Annual Meeting & Convention


The New Jersey State Bar Association is thrilled to announce the 2024 Annual Meeting & Convention will be held at the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa May 15-17

For more information, or to register today, visit the links below:

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Practice HQ Training Events


Lawyers aren't taught practice management skills, and the NJSBA is here to fill the gap — no matter whether you are just starting out, mid-career or thinking about wrapping up their practices. Our PracitceHQ is here to help with webinars, informative articles, free consultations, comparison charts and so much more.

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Decisis


The new NJSBA member benefit Decisis will help you level-up your legal research.

Decisis gives members access to a robust database of local and federal case law is necessary information often used to structure your case. Decisis provides industry-leading tools to make legal research easier and more intuitive, and it’s a free benefit to all active New Jersey State Bar Association members.

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The NJSBA provides a host of networking events so members can maintain relationships with existing colleagues and make new connects. Join us at a baseball game, the hockey arena, for a community service project, or another event.

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Benefits Of Membership


As a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA), you will join a powerful network of 16,000 legal professionals across the state of New Jersey. NJSBA membership grants you access to year-round virtual and in-person networking events, leadership and professional development opportunities, member-only discounts, educational resources to help you stay in the know and much more!

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The NJSBA provides tools lawyers need to improve their practice, from our comprehensive PracticeHQ library of resources; a career center to find your next colleague or opportunity; an intuitive and high-powered legal research platform; and a robust Member Assistance Program to connect members, and those who live in their households, with experienced counselors and resources to address mental health needs.

 

Advocacy


As an NJSBA member, you'll become part of the collective power of the NJSBA network, giving you the ability to influence legislation and caselaw in New Jersey. Let’s work together to shape the future and solve critical issues facing attorneys and the public.

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Membership helps you build and maintain a powerful network through our in-person and online events with attorneys all over the state.

 

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The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) offers an exclusive partnership opportunity to amplify your organization’s impact and drive success. By harnessing the power of the NJSBA legal community, you can connect with our vibrant network of 16,000 legal professionals from 35+ different areas of practice, unlocking unparalleled opportunities for growth and achievement.

 

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Reports


Read the comments, reports, resolutions and Board of Trustee news from the state’s largest organization of lawyers, judges and legal professionals.


 

Statements and Positions


The NJSBA is the voice of the profession and takes public positions on a range of issues with the legal community and government officials. It also takes positions on legislation and files friend-of-the-court briefs on matters that impact the profession. 

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