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Recent BCBA News
Archive for the ‘President’s Message’ Category
In mid-February, I attended a County Bar Summit with representatives from each of the twenty-one County Bars, as well as the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA). The full State Bar Executive Board attended and Ralph Lamparello, President of the NJSBA, addressed the representatives on numerous items, sharing information, and requesting feedback from the individual bar associations.
First on the agenda was judicial independence, which is the cornerstone of Ralph Lamparello’s presidency. The most recent permutation is the support for the re-nomination of Stuart Rabner as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Included in this issue of The Straight Word is a reprint of an op-ed piece by Ralph Lamparello which was published in the Newark Star Ledger and other papers throughout the state.
Secondly, we discussed the interplay between the county’s and State JPAC. (Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments Committee.) You may all remember prior to Governor Christie’s unilateral removal of County Bars from the judicial selection process, each County Bar had a County JPAC committee who vetted judicial nominees.
While the county JPAC committees have been removed from the judicial and prosecutorial selection process, they have been replaced in some small part by due diligence committees. Burlington County has a due diligence committee and the County Bar has determined if the local due diligence committee supports a judicial candidate and the State JPAC does not, representatives from the due diligence committee will be permitted to address the State JPAC on the subject. The converse is also true. If the due diligence committee feels strongly that a candidate is not qualified and State JPAC is going to make a determination that they are qualified, a representative from the due diligence committee will be permitted to speak at JPAC. The JPAC representative from the county will contact the due diligence committee regarding a recommendation for each judicial candidate.
With regard to legislative initiatives, the State Bar described the Family Law Section’s zealous advocacy with regard to the alimony reform bill currently pending in the New Jersey State Legislature. The Burlington County Bar Association passed a resolution on the subject of alimony reform in December, 2013. Additionally, the State Bar is actively supporting a legislation to standardize professional malpractice in New Jersey, creating a two year, rather than six year, statute of limitations in professional malpractice cases. The Burlington County Board of Trustees has passed a resolution in support of that legislation as well.
Regional bar dinners were resurrected this year, offering neighboring County Bar Associations the opportunity to meet with the State Bar Executive Committee. Those meetings will continue in the future.
I am delighted that the State Bar has taken an interest in the County Bar Associations so that we can work together, rather than at cross-purposes. This County Bar Summit was extremely worthwhile and will become an annual event according to NJSBA President-Elect Paris Eliades. We have a very committed and capable State Bar Trustee in Ed Hoffman and I encourage you to reach out to him if you have any suggestions, complaints, questions or comments about the State Bar.
It is my hope that we shortly be developing some discounts for Burlington County Bar Association members which will make joining the State Bar and attending the annual convention more affordable for our members. Stay tuned.