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In a dozen New Jersey State Bar Foundation (NJSBF) virtual workshops this summer, more than 200 educators from across New Jersey engaged in earnest conversations about anti-Black racism and learned about steps to help end it. Prompted by the social unrest rocking the country and the national conversation about racism, Elissa Zylbershlag, NJSBF director of conflict resolution and anti-bias initiatives, partnered with Erin Lee, a co-developer and facilitator of several NJSBF training programs, to create the workshop, titled “Being an Antiracist.” The pair, with Donnetrice Allison, chair of the Africana studies department at Stockton University, conducted the ...
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Police Reform Bill Package The New Jersey Senate voted out a package of bipartisan bills addressing racial bias and increased diversity among police forces. The New Jersey State Bar Association’s (NJSBA) Commission on Racial Equality in the Law is tasked with studying policies and initiatives, including legislation, to identify methods of addressing root causes of inequities in the profession and in the law. The package of bills passed last week include: S-401 (Turner), which requires law enforcement agencies in the State to establish minority recruitment and selection programs; S-415 (Turner) would require the Division of Parole to offer services to ...
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At its July meeting, the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) Board of Trustees supported numerous bills and directed the Pandemic Task Force Committee on the Resumption of Jury Trials to study the Judiciary’s recently issued plan to restart trials in September. The meeting was held via conference call because of the COVID-19 public health crisis. Although the Judiciary’s plan is laudable, the board said, numerous important practical and constitutional details have not been addressed. The NJSBA  issued a statement  outlining those concerns, in which it said, “The NJSBA's first and foremost concern has always been that the resumption of jury trials happen ...
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The New Jersey State Bar Association's Board of Trustees approved the Association’s budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, which begins July 1. The roughly $9.7 million budget reflects adjustments due to the ongoing financial crisis and public health pandemic. The plan continues to invest in producing events, seminars and conventions in an ever-changing landscape that keep members up-to-date and provide benefit to their practice and professional endeavors. Below is the budget plan, as per the NJSBA bylaws.  NEW JERSEY STATE BAR ASSOCIATION 2020-2021 Budget 7/1/20 ...
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The New Jersey Assembly Judiciary Committee voted out of committee A-4250 (Downey)/S-2508 (Gopal), which would revise the law regarding notaries and notarial acts and authorizes electronic signatures. The bill – dubbed the remote notary bill – was passed in a temporary form earlier this year to address emergent needs arising from the COVID-19 Executive Orders restricting personal contact. The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) supported the predecessor bill and generally supports the permanent bill. “At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was challenging for many New Jersey residents to get documents notarized and move forward with legal and financial ...
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Editor’s note: This is part of an ongoing series that looks at how New Jersey State Bar Association members’ work lives have changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.   Ever since the pandemic upended life and the way New Jersey attorneys work, Frances Nicotra has found the margins separating her work  and personal life have blurred. The Jersey City family law and elder guardianship attorney noticed she’s been getting more work emails late at night and on weekends. “Eventually, we’re going to have to make an adjustment and establish these boundaries,” said Nicotra, a New Jersey State Bar Association member and incoming president of the Hudson County ...
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The following is a sampling of recommendations contained in the nine reports made by the NJSBA Pandemic Task Force on what law firms should do to ensure employees’ safety when returning to the workplace.   Consider how best to conduct daily health checks and symptom screening of employees before they commence work on site. To the extent feasible, allow employees to work remotely if they can effectively perform their job duties and functions from that environment. Office doors should be kept closed while occupied. Office occupancy should be limited to one person at a time. Do not disclose the name or identity of an employee who has tested positive ...
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As law firms begin to reopen and staff begin to return to the workplace, the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) released a collection of online reports that provide practical recommendations and guidance. The NJSBA Pandemic Task Force Committee on Law Firm Opening and Operations prepared the reports, which are meant to help the New Jersey legal profession maintain safe and healthy law office environments for lawyers, employees, clients and other visitors. The collected guidance reflects comprehensive review and analysis of the best practices and strategies to help New Jersey’s lawyers. The material is interactive, with links to resources, case law, ...
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The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) has asked the New Jersey Supreme Court to amend mandatory continuing legal education (CLE) requirements for attorneys to include programs on diversity, inclusion and the elimination of bias. In a letter sent July 10 to Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, NJSBA President Kimberly A. Yonta wrote, “the murder of George Floyd and other unarmed African Americans, paired with the devastating disparate impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on communities of color, has left us all in search of ways to combat persistent racism in our society.” While there are no easy solutions, Yonta wrote, “any solution must include the element ...
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A supplemental briefing submitted by the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) following the Supreme Court’s grant of the organization’s petition for review, urges the Court to reconsider findings in the opinion rendered by the Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics 735 (ACPE 735), finding that an attorney can purchase a hyperlink in the name of a competitor lawyer to divert the user directly to the purchasing lawyer's website. An inquiry was made to the committee last year as to whether this practice violated the Rules of Professional Conduct. The committee found there was no violation. The Bergen County Bar Association filed a challenge to this finding ...
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The New Jersey State Bar Foundation (NJSBF) has awarded $100,000 in emergency grant funding to 21 nonprofit organizations in New Jersey that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foundation’s Emergency Community Law Grants support nonprofit agencies as they assist New Jersey residents to better understand the laws that affect them every day. “For more than 25 years, it has been the Foundation’s mission to serve the public by providing free, law-related education. The Foundation couldn’t be prouder to carry out this important mission during this unprecedented time when the legal community and nonprofits are also being impacted by this pandemic,” ...
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As society becomes more digital – and cyberattacks become more sophisticated – lawyers must have the technology to protect their information Editor's note: The following is excerpted from a longer article in the June issue of New Jersey Lawyer, a publication of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA). Members can read the complete article and others in the latest issue of New Jersey Lawyer under the members section tab at njsba.com. By Maryam Meseha The extensive and ongoing integration of technology in the workplace requires a contemporary understanding of data privacy and the laws that govern digitally stored information. As e-commerce and ...
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After the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, and as thousands demonstrate for social justice, many report feeling anxious and depressed during this time of social unrest. The New Jersey Lawyers Assistance Program (NJLAP) knows that attorneys and judges are uniquely positioned at times like this. We are important helpers to others. This role makes lawyers subject to heightened anxiety, depression and vicarious trauma. A National Institute of Health (NIH) article titled, “Mental Health During and After Protests, Riots and Revolutions: A Systematic Review,” published in January, noted a 7% increase in major depression following a major ...
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The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) released a report and recommendations for the resumption of jury trials in the New Jersey courts following the systemic disruption of trials due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposals are meant to aid the restart of jury trials while accommodating and preserving essential constitutional protections and protecting the health of all involved in the justice system. The NJSBA Pandemic Task Force Committee on the Resumption of Jury Trials conducted a comprehensive review of best practices in many jurisdictions and devoted hours of collective thought, analysis and debate among practitioners who are regularly engaged ...
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Group will study legal system to identify methods to address root causes of inequities in the profession, law New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) President Kimberly A. Yonta has created the NJSBA Commission on Racial Equity in the Law, a panel of leaders in the profession that will take an incisive look at the legal system to identify methods of addressing root causes of inequities in the profession and in the law. “The murder of George Floyd, the disparate impact of COVID-19 and numerous other events have put the nation’s structural inequities into sharp focus,” Yonta said. “This is an inflection point after centuries of oppression and inequality. ...
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By Jake Koch, researcher and writer at Affinity Consulting Group. EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is from the NJSBA's PracticeHQ archives. PracticeHQ is a free benefit available to all NJSBA members and provides articles, comparison charts, videos and more with the sole purpose of helping you manage your law practice more efficiently and effectively. Find out more about PracticeHQ resources  here . Social media is an integral part of our modern world. There are many uses for social media both for professional and personal purposes, but ordinary social interaction continues to be the primary reason most people spend time on these platforms. In 2019, 71% of Americans ...
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As the ballots were counted in last week’s primary election, they included votes cast by probationers and parolees for the first time in New Jersey history. The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) supported the legislation that expanded the voting pool last year, urging the bill’s passage because of the disproportionate impact of the prohibition on people of color. The campaign to expand voting rights was championed by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ) and its 1844 No More Campaign. “Today was a historic day for democracy in New Jersey,” said Henal Patel of NJISJ. “Today, 83,000 people have the right to vote and we continue to work toward ...
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NJLAP On Lawyer Happiness

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The following is written by Noreen Braman,  Communications & Technology Manager for the New Jersey Lawyers Assistance Program, and was published as part of NJLAP's Lawyer Well-Being Newsletter. To have the newsletter come directly to your in-box, request to subscribe by emailing  [email protected] .  Definition of  happiness : 1a : a state of well-being and contentment : joy A  CNBC article  published on August 16, 2019 named three top things to be avoided in order to be happy. They are: Don’t retire early Don’t own a home Don’t be a lawyer The article cites a  Johns Hopkins  study from 1990, as well as the  2016 ABA lawyer well-being ...
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By Jennifer Ramovs EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is from the NJSBA's PracticeHQ archives. PracticeHQ is a free benefit available to all NJSBA members and provides articles, comparison charts, videos and more with the sole purpose of helping you manage your law practice more efficiently and effectively.   Find out more about PracticeHQ resources  here . Learn why Microsoft 365 might be the right choice for you and your firm. The applications included in Microsoft Office - Word, Outlook, Excel, even PowerPoint - are must-haves for a law firm. Historically, people bought these programs when they bought a computer and often bundled the purchase of the software ...
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Senate passes bill to remove immigration status for professional/occupational licenses The Senate advanced a bill that would remove proof of lawful presence in the United States as a requirement to obtain a professional or occupational license. S-2455 (Pou)/A-4225 (Mukherji) permits immigrants who are otherwise qualified to obtain professional and occupied licenses to obtain them. The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) supports this legislation as a key to advancing New Jersey’s workforce, providing support to fill labor shortages and providing expertise. “In the midst of the pandemic our state extended emergency licenses to qualified men and women that ...
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