New Jersey State Bar Association
Board of Trustees Report
April 16, 2021
Note: This is a summary of the recent Board of Trustees meeting, which was held virtually due to the ongoing public health pandemic. It does not constitute official minutes.
FY22 budget introduced:
The trustees approved a preliminary operating budget for fiscal year 2021-2022,
which starts July 1. The proposed budget reflects about $10.2 million in
projected revenue and nearly the equivalent in projected expenses. First-year
members will be offered free dues and free membership in the NJSBA Young
Lawyers Division. The plan anticipates continuing with virtual events into the
first half of the fiscal year and maintains the goal of investing in
infrastructure upgrades and producing events, seminars and conventions that
keep members up-to-date and provide benefit to their practice and professional
endeavors. The preliminary budget will be published, per the bylaws, and reviewed
by the Board before it is finalized in June.
Task Force: The Board
approved the NJSBA Pandemic
Task Force’s Practice of Law
Committee report. The Committee examined how the ongoing public health crisis
changed the practice of law and what steps should be taken as attorneys emerge
from it. The report’s findings will be shared with the New Jersey Supreme Court,
bar associations, the public, membership and other relevant groups. The Board
also adopted the NJSBA Pandemic Task Force Access to Justice Committee’s
recommendations. Key among those is a plan to release a resource guide for the
public that will be an aide to navigate legal issues that have stemmed from the
Right to
Counsel Report: The Board accepted the
Achieving Effective Representation in Right to Counsel Matters Report from the
ad hoc Right to Counsel Committee. Former NJSBA President Evelyn Padin created
the Committee to address growing concerns about Madden assignments in
matters where the Court has concluded indigent litigants are entitled to legal
representation. The Trustees granted final approval to the report and its
recommendations after reviewing comments from county and affinity bar
associations. The report will be shared with officials and a plan for advocacy and
the implementation of the recommendations is being developed.
affairs: The trustees
supported several pieces of legislation, including A729/S391 that expands categories of
individuals who can bring a claim under the wrongful imprisonment statutes. The
Board also supported bills, A3394/S854, known as “Laura
Wooten’s Law,” with
amendments. The bills require civics instruction in middle school and
authorizes the New Jersey Center for Civic Education to provide curricula,
professional development and technical assistance for middle and high schools.
The Association will seek to have the New Jersey State Bar Foundation included
on the list of potential groups to teach the curricula. A third pair of bills, A4618/S2876, would revise and update the law
pertaining to guardianship, was approved with amendments. The amendments would
include clarifying the scope of representation in guardianships, limiting the
necessity of formal accounting requirements and expanding protections to people
in civil unions and domestic partnerships. The bills are intended to encourage
ethical conduct by guardians and to provide stronger protections for wards and
proposed wards.
matters: The trustees
approved the NJSBA Dispute Resolution Section’s request to rename its
Distinguished Service Award after Lewis J. Pepperman, a titan in the practice
who died last year.
The trustees
also approved a recommendation from the Insurance Benefits Committee to send a
letter about the experiences of members
regarding health insurance affordability issues to a new working group Gov.
Phil Murphy convened.
Insurance help for members: The Board
approved USI Affinity as the exclusive administrator of the Association’s member
benefit insurance program. The agreement will be renewed for three
years. USI Affinity helps members research the best insurance plans for their
individual or firm needs and is available to work with members as they go through
the process of selecting insurance plans.
William Kane: The trustees
adopted a resolution honoring
William J. Kane, the first
and only director of the New Jersey Lawyers Assistance Program, who will retire
this summer.


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 attorneys 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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