The Office of Attorney Ethics welcomes applicants to apply for appointments by the New Jersey Supreme Court to the District Ethics and Fee Arbitration Committees. Please submit application materials directly to the Office of Attorney Ethics for appointment for the four-year term to begin on September 1 of the upcoming year.  Click below for more information.

Ethics and Fee Arbitration Committees

The Supreme Court in the attached October 24, 2022 Order has concluded the temporary suspension of the requirement to submit paper “courtesy copies” to the judge in Civil and Family matters. Accordingly, effective January 1, 2023, attorneys must send paper copies to the judge as required by Rule 1:6-4 (“Superior Court; Place for Filing Motions, Orders to Show Cause and Orders”).

Questions on the Court’s Order may be directed to the Civil Practice Division at (609) 815-2900 X54900 or the Family Practice Division at (609) 815-2900 x55350.

/s/ Glenn A. Grant

Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: October 25, 2022

Notice – Civil and Family – Resumption of Courtesy Copy Requirement as of January 1, 2023 – Notice Dated 10-25-22

Order – Rescinding Temporary Suspension of Courtesy Copy Requirement – Dated 10-24-22 – Effective 01-01-23

 A request has been made by the Honorable Michael R. Dressler, Bergen County Surrogate to establish a list of those attorneys who would be willing to serve as the administrator of an Estate where the decedent died without next of kin. Where the Estate has little or no assets, the administration would be pro bono and would fulfill the pro bono requirement for attorneys in the State of New Jersey. Where the Estate has substantial assets, the administrator would be able to collect statutory commissions and legal fees as permitted by N.J.S.A. 3B:18-6. The Surrogate requests that any attorney interested in serving should communicate by either letter or email to be accompanied by their resume. The email address is Dressler52@yahoo.com. 

We thank you for your service to the Bar Association and to the Bergen County Surrogate’s Court. 

UPDATES TO IN-PERSON AND VIRTUAL COURT EVENTS

The Supreme Court has updated the framework for court operations to allow more in-person proceedings. The Court’s attached October 27, 2022 Order, which is effective immediately, supersedes its November 18, 2021 Order.

Special Civil Part trials and most Family matters will be in person. Effective March 1, 2023, initial hearings for involuntary civil commitments will also be in person. Routine conferences and motions will continue to be virtual.

Questions may be directed to the Office of the Administrative Director at (609) 376-3000.

/s/ Glenn A. Grant, Administrative Director of the Courts
Dated: October 27, 2022

Notice – Future of Court Operations 2.0 – w Order dated and effective immediately – notice dated 10-27-22 – w link

Order – Future of Court Operations 2.0 – as signed – dated and effective 10-27-22

As of November 1, 2022, the standard hourly fee in guardianship matters for court appointed counsel shall increase to $275.00 per hour.

In matters in which individuals have greater financial resources, Chancery Judges shall consider augmenting that hourly amount.

For those individuals who have contributed their time and energies at a reduced rate, your efforts and generosity are recognized and appreciated.

/s/ Hon. Bonnie J. Mizdol, A.J.S.C.
Dated: October 21, 2022

Notice to the Bar – Guardianship Matters

Written by: Theodore M. David

Current Items:                                                                                    

1) Hurricane Scammers   

2) Adjust Withholding?

3) Annual Turkey Tribute

1). September 28, 2022, was a nasty day for South Florida. What has become known as the largest and strongest hurricane ever to hit Florida made landfall over some really beautiful places like Captiva and Sanibel islands? In Naples, seawater, rainwater and sewer discharge made for an ugly glop they say may take years to remove before things can get back to normal. The losses are in the billions. If you have seen the pictures of a place like Fort Myers Beach, you know the extent of the damage that a nasty hurricane can do. Relief centers were set up almost immediately and neighbors trying to help neighbors were out amidst the devastation. Now I don’t know about your feelings about scammers, but I can guess you feel as I do. The IRS declared October 17-21 to be charity fraud alert week. It seems these lowlifes have been contacting people and fraudulently requesting money donations to help in the Florida relief. Organized charities lose about 5% of their annual donations every year to scammers. This is an international problem and IRS continues to work with global agencies on the issue. IRS says cybercrime is on the rise including attacks on charities, their supporters and beneficiaries. If you are thinking of making a donation to any charity, IRS encourages donors to verify a charity’s tax-exempt status at IRS.gov/TEOS before donating goods, services or money. Fake charities are part of the IRS’s dirty dozen tax scams for 2022. If apprehended, I would suggest taking these fine folks to some of the places that have been hardest hit by the hurricane and allowing neighbors who have lost everything to have a chat with them.

2). The Internal Revenue Service has suggested that taxpayers take a look at their withholding to make sure there will be no surprises during tax filing season in 2023. Changes in withholding will be treated as made during the entire tax year and should avoid any underestimation penalties. The IRS provides a tool at its website called the “tax withholding estimator,” which can help taxpayers determine if they have too much income tax withheld and how to make an adjustment to increase the cash in their own pocket. It will also guide taxpayers to increase withholding or make an estimated tax payment if necessary. According to IRS, about 70% of taxpayers withhold too much every year. This results in a refund which averages about $3000. For some people, this may be a forced savings plan, but it amounts to an interest-free loan to your favorite tax agency.

With regard to 2022 tax returns to be filed in 2023:

  • The standard deduction for married couples filing jointly for tax year 2022 is $25,900. For single taxpayers and married individuals filing separately $12,950, and for heads of households, $19,400
  • The personal exemption for tax year 2022 remains at 0, as it was for 2021
  • Marginal Rates: For tax year 2022, the top tax rate is 37% for individual single taxpayers with incomes greater than $539,900 ($647,850 for married couples filing jointly). The other six brackets are 35%, 32%, 24%, 22%, 12%, and the lowest rate is 10%.

There are new inflation-adjusted amounts that will apply to tax year 2023. The standard deduction for married couples will be $27,700. For single individuals and those filing married, filing separately $13,850 and for heads of household, $20,800. There will continue to be the seven tax brackets but there are increases for inflation at the breakpoints. View them in detail at IRS.gov.

 Thank God You’re Not a Turkey

Wouldn’t it be pleasant

To perhaps be a pheasant?

Or maybe a goose

Out on the loose.

But when leaves turn red,

You’d be filled with dread

If you were a turkey.

Why, if you were a turkey,

You’d be on the phone all day,

Talking with your lawyers,

Having bills to pay

To settle up the life jams,

Waiting for the roast yams.

So when it’s time to dine and sip,

Include this prayer upon your lip:

“Be grateful for all you see

And that a turkey, you will never be.

Thank God for birds* who don’t mind the loss,

When plucked and stuffed

And cooked in sauce.

*It may be time for a soybean alternative. Just ask any turkey what they think.

Be Thankful and Do Some Good

Questions or Comments should be sent to:

Theodore M. David, e-mail: Tdavidlawyer@gmail.com.

The Judiciary in October 2021 announced the creation of a new eCourts user access role for attorneys’ staff using an independent user ID; see the October 1, 2021 Notice. Initially limited to Criminal eCourts, this user access role for attorneys’ staff was expanded in March 2022 to also include eCourts for Civil Law, General Equity, Special Civil Part, and Tax Court, as well as the eCourts Expungement System; see the March 24, 2022 Notice. This notice is to advise that this user access role for attorneys’ staff is being further expanded to eCourts Family effective September 30, 2022.

To acquire this user access, attorneys’ staff must first register via the Judiciary website at the self-registration portal. Once registered, the attorneys’ staff person must provide that new user ID to the attorney so that the attorney can associate the staff person’s account to the attorney’s bar ID. Once that has been done, the attorneys’ staff may electronically file documents, view the case jacket, and save and print documents using their user access without the need to use the attorney’s credentials.

Questions regarding this notice may be directed to the Superior Court Clerk’s Office at SCCO.mailbox@njcourts.gov or 609-421-6100.

/s/ Glenn A. Grant,

Administrative Director of the Courts

September 29, 2022

Notice – User Access Role in eCourts for Attorneys’ Staff Expanded to eCourts Family – as signed – 09-29-22

 

Early Disposition Court (EDC) is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Bergen County.  During the pandemic, we have continued to make this pre-indictment court a priority and carved out new protocols to effectuate case dispositions in a virtual manner.  With the elimination of social distancing, it has been determined that a return to in-person proceedings is now warranted.  Effective OCTOBER 3, 2022, all appearances from stakeholders and litigants will be required to be in person for both sessions (Tuesdays and Thursdays).

EDC Supplemental Information

This is a supplement and modification to the previously submitted announcement regarding EDC.  Effective 10/3/2022, ALL defendants, including those that are detained in the Bergen County Jail, will be present for their court appearances in EDC on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Written by: Theodore M. David, Chair, Tax Law Committee

Current Items:

1) Fun Times at the FBI
2) IRA? Or Whatever You Call It

1) You may have noticed that no bar bulletin filled your inbox for June, July or August. I have dealt with the onslaught of my lawyer colleagues demanding answers to why I have been so lax. I have responded to each of them in a handwritten letter, including a fist full of sand as an explanation. During the summer, laziness is more contagious than the coronavirus. It starts with one ice-cold beer and before you know it, it’s September. Read More