Search News & Press Releases

NJSBA weighs in on rule changes for civil arbitration, legal guardian background checks

December 5, 2022
Contact: Thomas Nobile
Director of Communications
Tel: 732-937-7527
[email protected]
NEW BRUNSWICK – The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) has submitted comments on two rule changes proposed by the Judiciary.
The two letters, issued to the Judiciary on Nov. 21, outline the NJSBA’s positions on amendments to Rule 4:86-2(b)(3)—involving the appointment of legal guardians for incapacitated people—and Rule 4:21A-4(a)—which would require civil arbitration statements to be submitted in advance of the hearing. 
The NJSBA supports the clarifications in the state’s background screening policy for guardians, particularly one that exempts court-appointed attorneys from the background screening requirements, according to the letter.
“We believe the clarifications will help to ensure the background screening is implemented in the manner it was intended,” the NJSBA stated.
The NJSBA recommended the following changes to create more uniformity in how the background screening processes are applied in each county:
• Clarify the nature of a judgment search on potential guardians.
• Implement standard fingerprinting protocols.
• Amend the rules to clearly delineate those individuals to whom the background screening certification is inapplicable.
• Disclose the results of a background screening to each party through a secure portal or secure email system.
Under the proposed changes to Rule 4:21A-4(a), parties to a civil arbitration would be required to submit their arbitration statements to the arbitrator before the hearing date. The NJSBA fully supports this requirement, as it would allow the arbitrator and all parties sufficient time to review and prepare for the hearing, according to the letter.
“We believe that three days before the hearing would provide sufficient time and recommend that the requirement apply to both virtual and in-person hearings,” the letter states.
Beyond the latest rules changes, the NJSBA said further reforms are needed in the civil arbitration system, according to the letter. The NJSBA recommended that the Judiciary consider the following revisions:   
• Restrict arbitration submissions to five pages, with an index not to exceed 35 pages.
• Allow an in-person “opt-in” for virtual hearings.
• Limit arbitrators to no more than eight cases in a single day. Fees should be provided to reflect the level of responsibility, with single arbitrators earning $500 for up to five cases, or $750 for six to eight cases.
• Ban telephonic arbitrations.
• Extend the time to file for de novo review from 30 days to 60 days.
• Allow for 60 days’ notice that a matter is being scheduled for arbitration, to provide the parties with adequate time to prepare.
• Require the arbitration award to be transmitted to the civil division manager on the day of the hearing, with a copy sent via email that day to the attorneys for the litigants or by email for the pro se and clarify when the time to file for de novo review begins to run.

Contact: NJSBA Communications Department
Tel: 732-937-7527
Email: [email protected]


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 attorney 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.

Learn More


The NJSBA Legal and  Government Affairs Department serves as the liaison between NJSBA members and the state’s three branches of government.


New Jersey State Bar Association

Contact NJSBA

NJSBA Contact Us Form

Contact Info

One Constitution Square
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday - Friday

Fax 732-249-2815

Email us

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.

View Calendar

2023 Mid-Year Meeting

The New Jersey State Bar Association is thrilled to announce the 2023 Mid-Year Meeting will be held in the City of Light.

From Nov. 4-11, meet us in Paris to experience the unforgettable elegance and excitement of one of the world’s greatest cities for one of the Association’s premier gatherings.  For more information, or to register today, visit the links below:

Register Today

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.

Practice HQ Training Events


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.

Decisis Training Events

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.

Upcoming Networking Events

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.



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.

Become a Member Today!


Membership helps you build and maintain a powerful network through our in-person and online events with attorneys all over the state.


Become a Member Today!

Become A Partner Organization

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.


News and Press Publications

Learn more about the accomplishments of the Association, its members and events from regular news updates, press releases, and our award-winning magazine.



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.


Photo Galleries

Check out photos from recent NJSBA events.

View Photo Albums

You do not have permission to view this form.