NJSBA Board of Trustees Report
June 15, 2023
Note: This does not constitute official minutes    

NJSBA Budget: The Board approved the fiscal year budget for 2023-2024 that allows the Association to continue providing meaningful membership experiences to better serve the legal community. Funding in the budget allows for new member benefits like the Member Assistance Program for mental health services, the legal research tool Decisis and enhanced CLE programming. The budget projects roughly $11 million in revenue and a breakeven bottom line.

Putting Lawyers First recommendations: The Board approved a series of recommendations from the Putting Lawyers First Task Force. The recommendations ask the Judiciary to allow attorneys to ethically respond to negative online reviews, be relieved as counsel with the litigant’s consent at any stage of a case, create a procedure for the presiding judge of each division or part to decide motions to be relieved as counsel so attorneys can address the issue without prejudicing their client to the judge hearing the case, and amend RPC 1.6 to permit the denial of withdrawal from representation where good cause and exceptional circumstances exist. The Board also supported a series of recommendations that address counsel fees and funding attorney’s fees, money held in escrow for a client and making the fee arbitration process more efficient.

Madden Assignments: The Board agreed to submit comments to the Supreme Court’s Working Group on Attorney Pro Bono Assignments. The comments, recommended by the NJSBA’s Judicial Administration Committee and largely due the NJSBA’s Right to Counsel report, call for the abolishment of the Madden assignment system of mandatory pro bono representation and provide a series of recommendations to achieve effective representation for litigants who are unable to afford counsel.

Judge Thornton Award: The Board voted to create an award for the late Assignment Judge Lisa P. Thornton that would be presented annually at the Diverse Judges Reception. Judge Thornton, the state’s first Black female assignment judge, passed away unexpectedly on May 27. Criteria for the award will be established by the NJSBA’s Diversity Committee. The New Jersey State Bar Foundation also created a scholarship in her memory, intended to aid young women attorneys of color attending law school.

State v. Cunningham: The Board agreed to seek amicus status in State v. Cunningham, a case that will decide the evidentiary reliability of the new Alcotest machine for use in DWI prosecutions.

Legislation: The Board supported the following reports and/or legislation:

NJ Law Revision Commission Draft Tentative Report Regarding the Mandatory Attorney Review Provision in the NJ Statute of Frauds, N.J.S. 25:1-5(h) – The report examines the Supreme Court decision in Moynihan v. Lynch, which addressed the validity of the mandatory attorney-review requirement for palimony agreements, and recommends changes to the statute for the Legislature to consider.


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.



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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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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2025 Family Law Retreat

The New Jersey State Bar Association is thrilled to announce the 2025 Family Law Retreat will be held in Mexico, San José del Cabo from March 23-27.

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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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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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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.



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