The following is a summary of actions taken at the Dec. 9, 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.
New trustee: Diana N. Fredericks was selected to fill the vacant Hunterdon County Trustee position on the association’s governing body. Federicks is with Gebhardt & Kiefer and devotes her practice to matrimonial, divorce and family law. She is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney. She is also a trained collaborative lawyer and divorce mediator. She is president of the Hunterdon County Bar Association and a member of the state bar association’s Leadership Academy. She also serves as an adjunct professor at Raritan Valley Community College in the paralegal program. Fredericks will complete the term of Haekyoung Suh, who left the Board of Trustees after she was appointed as a Superior Court judge earlier this fall.
Bona fide office: The NJSBA will continue its advocacy in a case that involves the bona fide office rule. The association will file papers to support the writ of certification in Schoenefeld v. New York. The case involves a New Jersey practitioner who challenged a New York statute that required non-resident attorneys to maintain an office in New York in order to practice there. The statute was upheld by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and is Schoenefeld is planning to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The NJSBA advocates that as New Jersey has recognized through the evolution of its bona fide office rule, with today’s technological advancements, New York’s in-state office requirement for non-resident attorneys impermissibly discriminates against such attorneys.
Pro Bono reporting: The association will seek some changes and clarifications from the Administrative Office of the Courts related to the requirements of pro bono organizations to file for recertification each year. Specifically, the courts will be asked to relax or reconsider a requirement that pro bono organizations list all attorneys that did work for the organization in the year prior, since it is onerous and does not appear to implicate claims for a Madden exemption. It will also ask the court to eliminate the requirement that the certifications should be filed by the lead attorney who practices law in New Jersey, which some national organizations do not have.