New Jersey State Bar Association 
Board of Trustees Report 
October 16, 2020 
New trustee: Prior to the start of the business session, NJSBA President Kimberly A. Yonta swore in Valerie Jackson as the Middlesex County Trustee. Jackson is a deputy Public Defender and managing attorney of the agency’s Office of Parental Representation’s central regional office. Prior to joining the Public Defender’s Office, she spent over a decade in the private sector – including at her own firm in New Brunswick and the Wilentz firm. Jackson has been active with the Association through its Diversity Committee and Child Welfare Law Section. She is a trustee of the Middlesex County Bar Association, where she also serves as secretary of the Middlesex County Bar Foundation. She is active with the Garden State Bar Association and Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey.  
   
Resumption of in-person jury trials: The NJSBA continues to be an active stakeholder in discussions regarding the resumption of in-person jury trials through the work of its Pandemic Task Force Committee on the Resumption of Jury Trials and the role Association members are playing on various Judiciary committees that are discussing the logistics of jury trials, grand juries and related matters. The NJSBA filed as an amicus party in State v. Dangcil, the first in-person criminal jury trial to be held since the pandemic shut down all trials in March. The NJSBA brief was written by Lawrence S. Lustberg, Director of the Gibbons Fellowship program, and Michael R. Noveck, Associate and Gibbons Fellow at Gibbons, P.C. The Appellate Division ended a stay imposed in the case and affirmed the jury selection process used by the trial court in the matter as comporting with the statutory authority for pre-screening jurors and in compliance with the Supreme Court’s order for approving an interim plan for resumption of jury trials. The Association participated as amicus curiae out of concern that the selection procedures used raised constitutional concerns and should have been conducted in a more transparent way that preserved the defendant’s rights to participate in it. The New Jersey Supreme Court has since denied defendant’s request for an emergency appeal. The Court acknowledged the importance of the issues raised, but concluded defendant failed to make a sufficient showing for emergent review at this stage. The Court noted it would entertain a direct appeal post-trial, if defendant were to file one. The NJSBA will be automatically granted amicus status, if there is an appeal. 
   
Audit: The Association received a clean slate from its auditors. WithumSmith+Brown conducted the audit for the NJSBA's financial transactions in fiscal year 2019. The auditors said they will issue an unmodified opinion, which provides the highest level of assurance that the financial statements are accurate and free of any misstatements. The auditors also confirmed that all policies and procedures are up-to-date with current accounting standards. The audit did reveal a reduction in revenue and expenses as a result of the cancellation of all in-person events for the final quarter of the fiscal year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Association has a roughly $12 million annual budget to serve its over 18,000 members and offer hundreds of educational of programs through the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education.
   
Name change rule: The Board adopted the LGBT Rights Section’s recommendation to support the amendments to Rule 4:72 that eliminate the newspaper publication requirements in name change applications. The proposed rule change would provide consistency for all court users and protect the safety and interests of individuals seeking court approval to use a name consistent with their gender identity and lived experience. 
   
Government relations: The board voted to support several measures pending in Trenton. They are: 
• A1111 Murphy, which would establish Office of Child Advocate. The office would seek to ensure effective, appropriate and timely services for children who are at-risk of abuse and neglect, as well as children who are under state supervision for those issues. This measure would restore the office, which has been viewed as independent and helpful in the child welfare community.  
• A2245 Dancer, which would establish procedures for involuntary civil commitment of children. It provides for the commitment through parental and voluntary admission to an inpatient psychiatric unit or facility serving children and amends current law to include children so they will be afforded rights and protections during the civil commitment process.  
• A2711 Vainieri Huttle /S1103 Vitale, which would clarify the Legislative intent to protect certain senior tenants; and aligns housing age restrictions with federal law. The bill will provide clarity to the application of certain legal provisions designed to protect senior tenants.  
• A3327 Conaway, which requires the state registrar in the Department of Health to permit a county surrogate to provide certified copy of death certificate to an authorized person, since obtaining a death certificate is one of the first steps to an estate administration.  
• A4640 Mukherji / S2886 Ruiz – The Board agreed to support the measure, which would allow parents and guardians to appoint temporary guardians without giving up their rights, and advocate for amendments to ensure the final bill addresses concerns the Administrative Office of the Courts raised. 
 

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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The New Jersey Law Center is located at 1 Constitution Sq, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901. Need directions to the Law Center? Click on the button below to get started right away.

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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 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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2024 Mid-Year Meeting


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

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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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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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Reports


Read the comments, reports, resolutions and Board of Trustee news from the state’s largest organization of lawyers, judges and legal professionals.


 

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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