Report of the NJSBA Board of
Trustees
January 2022 
Note: This does not constitute
official minutes.  
Fee-shifting retainer agreements: The
Board made nine specific comments about proposals in a Court report related
to fee-shifting retainer agreements.  
In response to Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics'
recommendation for explicit disclosure of identifiable fees or costs and oral
review of such provisions, the NJSBA urged reconsideration of the oral review
provision. “This new requirement would constitute a significant and unjustified
departure from current contract law and would raise potential statute of fraud
issues,” said the NJSBA in its letter.   
The ACPE recommended that estimated fees and costs and a range of
value of the case be set forth in the initiation of representation, to which
the NJSBA cautioned could lead to a multitude of issues including the
impossibility of such a mandate due to the number of variables in each case;
the unpredictability of costs and case values at or near the onset of the
matter; and the implicit promise an attorney may be forced to make of the
outcome of a case.   
With respect to keeping clients apprised of rising costs and fees
and requiring informed consent when a client’s fees and costs will likely
exceed a client’s recovery, the NJSBA agreed that a continuing obligation to
keep a client reasonably informed of fees and costs is consistent with a
lawyer’s obligation under the Rules of Professional Conduct. However, it urged
the ACPE to consider letting attorneys use their best judgment and discretion
about the specific information that is necessary to meet their obligations to
communicate with a client to ensure that the client can make informed decisions
about the case.  
Government affairs: The Board supported A-1978 (Mukherji), which would provide that a defendant who participated
in a ­diversion program for certain marijuana offenses on
prior occasion may again participate under certain circumstances. And the
trustees supported S-660 (Oroho)
which would establish that “100% disabled veterans” are not
required to submit to the Motor Vehicle Commission certain documentation to
renew parking privileges. 
Pro bono representation: The Board also supported
a Court proposal, but with adjustments, to allow some law students to
appear pro bono in tax court in certain instances
and with attorney supervision. The NJSBA recommended the proposal define law
student as someone who has completed one-third of their course requirement for
graduation and include law graduates and a role for a student’s law
school. 
“The
NJSBA applauds the efforts of the Court to expand access to legal assistance at
all levels, while providing pro
bono opportunities for law students early in their careers.
The proposal will also introduce law students to one of the many ways they can
give back from their first days in the profession,” NJSBA President Domenick
Carmagnola wrote in the letter.
 
The Board recommended that a
separate Court proposal to allow out-of-state attorneys to provide pro
bono legal services to New Jersey clients be further developed before
it is adopted. In a letter to the Judiciary, the NJSBA
said it did have significant concerns about how a proposed amendment to a rule
that would permit attorneys not licensed in New Jersey to provide pro bono legal services would be structured and
whether it would provide the anticipated benefit to litigants. 
Vacancies filled: The Board filled a pair of vacancies, which included swearing in John
Macce as a Hunterdon County
trustee on the board. Macce, a founder of Macce & Cresti in Clinton, filled
a vacancy created when Diana Fredericks resigned. The Board also approved Michael G. Donahue III, managing shareholder of Stark &
Stark in Princeton, to fill a vacancy on the NJSBA Nominating Committee. 

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 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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Diversity


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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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 Mid-Year Meeting


The New Jersey State Bar Association is thrilled to announce the 2024 Mid-Year Meeting will be held in Dublin, Ireland at The Shelbourne Hotel, Nov. 2-9.

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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

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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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Networking Events


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!

Practice Management Tools


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.

 

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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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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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