Report of the New Jersey State Bar Association Board of Trustees
June 16, 2022
New Jersey Law Center, New Brunswick
NOTE: This does not constitute official minutes
Recommendations to the Committee of the Judicial Conference on Jury Selection: The trustees approved comments sent to the state Supreme Court’s Committee of the Judicial Conference on Jury Selection, a body convened following last fall’s historic Judicial Conference to broaden participation and representativeness for jury selection in the state and reduce discrimination and bias in jury selection. NJSBA trustees supported the majority of the committee’s recommendations, but expressed concerns about the inclusion of reduction of peremptory challenges by consent in a proposed pilot project that would also expand attorney conducted voir dire. The trustees also suggested that the Judiciary provide parties in a trial with more specific demographic data of potential jurors and that the state Supreme Court establish a permanent committee that monitors the effectiveness of implicit bias training for judges, jurors and attorneys.  

2022-2023 budget approved: The trustees approved the operating budget for fiscal year 2022-2023, which starts July 1. The budget reflects about $11 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 a resumption of in-person events, but will also continue to offer virtual and hybrid options for events and meetings that keep members up-to-date and provide benefit to their practice and professional endeavors. The Association will continue to provide meaningful membership experiences, including printing New Jersey Lawyer magazine and installing additional enhancements of the technology at the New Jersey Law Center to better serve the legal community.   

Government affairs: The trustees supported the following legislation: 
• S1652, a measure that establishes greater discretion in court concerning child support related license suspension and credit reporting.
• A2129, a measure that requires certain common interest community associations to publish certain information; require that homeowners’ association contracts for management and maintenance include 24-hour emergency services.  

Amicus: The NJSBA trustees agreed to seek to participate in the state Supreme Court case of W.S. v. Hildreth, a civil case where the plaintiff alleges sexual abuse by an elementary school teacher when he was a child. The case focuses on whether the plaintiff’s complaint, which asserts claims under the Child Sexual Abuse Act (CSAA), was filed in a timely fashion following amendments to the CSAA that extended the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse matters and eliminated a requirement to file a notice of tort claim on public entity defendants.  

Section bylaws: The Board supported changes to the Individual Rights Section’s bylaws to include language promoting diversity; clarifying information about officers; and removing mention of General Council, among other issues. The changes will be finalized at an upcoming meeting of the section.   

Amendments to Rule 1:38 on medical records: The trustees endorsed proposed amendments to Rule 1:38 regarding public access to court and administrative records. The amendments would shield certain medical records from public access, including medical, psychiatric, psychological, and alcohol and drug dependency records, reports and evaluations. They would be available only by separate court order. Excluded from confidentiality are statements required for medical billing that do not include descriptions of medical diagnoses, conditions or services.  

Special speakers: The trustees approved requests to engage two special speakers for a pair of upcoming New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education seminars. The Board approved a request to have a NJICLE seminar featuring former U.S. Congressman Brian Baird, The United States Congress on “An Owner’s Manual – An Insider’s Guide to Politics, Legislation, Advocacy and the Future of America.” The Board also approved a request to have Amy Herman present “The Art of Perception for Lawyers” which uses works of art to help attorneys sharpen observation, analysis, and communication skills. It is likely it will be a virtual seminar. Visit njicle.com for details soon.    

New committee to support attorneys with children, family who have disabilities: In a nation where one in five households care for a person with disabilities, it’s important that parents struggling with work and family life remember they aren’t alone. The trustees approved a new special committee to help support those members. The NJSBA is seeking members who wish to join a new committee meant to foster a community for network to provide support and guidance. To join, send a request to [email protected].   

Resolutions: The board approved two resolutions, including one honoring former NJSBA President Evelyn Padin ahead of her swearing-in as a U.S. Federal District Court judge in July. Padin was a trailblazer in the legal community, advancing diversity and inclusion efforts throughout the profession, according to the resolution. She also became the NJSBA’s first Latina president in 2019.   

A second resolution honored Eileen O’Connor, who retired from the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education after a 35-year career, having planned over 3,500 educational seminars that enriched the New Jersey legal community.
 

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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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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