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By Theodore M. David, Chair, Tax Law Committee

Current Items:                                                                                    

1) Tax Cops   

2) Inflation Hooray

3) A Turkey Tribute

1). Over 2,500 criminal investigations, the identification of more than $10 billion from tax fraud and financial crimes, and a nearly 90% conviction rate are just a few highlights from the IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Fiscal Year 2021 Annual Report. The report details statistics, important partnerships, and significant criminal enforcement actions from IRS-CI, the criminal investigative arm of the IRS, for the past fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, 2020, and ended Sept. 30, 2021. Read More

This Order addresses whether court events should be conducted in person or virtually, both now and when the COVID-19 pandemic ends. For the past 18 months, judges have conducted more than 260,000 virtual court events involving more than 2.7 million participants, and municipal courts have conducted more than 3 million events. Based on that experience, as well as input from judges, attorneys, and members of the public, this Order outlines a framework for the future of court operations.

Attorneys, parties, and judges have praised the reduced time and cost associated with virtual proceedings for brief and straightforward matters. They also noted there are fewer scheduling conflicts and requests for continuances. At the same time, commenters highlighted the value of bringing parties together in person at certain critical junctures, including settlement conferences and proceedings that involve especially serious penalties or consequences. In addition to those considerations, it is important to balance consistency and predictability in court operations with the need to exercise discretion based on the facts and circumstances of individual cases.

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The Supreme Court has authorized a framework for court events to continue to be conducted both in person and virtually, now and after the COVID-19 pandemic, as set forth in the attached November 18, 2021 Order.

The Court in a July 16, 2021 notice invited written comments as to how court proceedings should be conducted in light of lessons learned during COVID-19. Having considered 132 comments, including from legal associations and an array of individual attorneys and members of the public, the Court has approved a structure for the future.

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The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) Working Group on Jury Selection has formally submitted its interim report to the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Judicial Conference on Jury Selection that will be conducted on November 10th and November 12th.  The report reflects the collective wisdom, analysis, and extensive experience in the courtroom and in thought leadership in the New Jersey Legal Community. See below to read the report in its entirety.

The Bergen County Bar Association ( BCBA) leadership has made significant contributions to the interim report and we will continue to support the NJSBA and our allies in preserving peremptory challenges and proposing meaningful reform to the jury selection process to eliminate or substantially reduce the impact of implicit and explicit bias in selecting a fair and impartial jury from a fair cross-section of the community.  

The filing of this interim report is just the beginning of our joint efforts to reform the jury selection process and, if any member wishes to share an experience during jury selection where explicit or implicit bias affected the jury selection process, please share your experience with the BCBA and we will consider how that experience may be helpful in demonstrating the needs for historic reforms in New Jersey’s jury selection procedures.

Members of the BCBA and the public are invited to attend the virtual Judicial Conference. Information can be found by clicking here.

To pre-register (which is encouraged), please click here

Jury Selection Interim Report – Final Version

 

Pursuant to Rule 1:40-12(c), all individuals wishing to serve as arbitrators in the court-annexed civil arbitration program must complete at least three classroom hours of initial training in a course approved by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). To remain eligible for continued inclusion on the roster, arbitrators must complete two hours of training after the first two years, and two additional hours of training during each subsequent four-year period. Read More

The July 14,2021, Order of the Supreme Court requires the use of a new Landlord Case Information Statement (LCIS) and Tenant Case Information Statement (TCIS). The LCIS and TCIS are to be filed in all pending and newly filed cases. Attorneys are instructed to file the LCIS or TCIS in eCourts. Self-represented landlords and tenants must file the LCIS or TCIS in JEDS.

The LCIS and TCIS must be filed with the Court five (5) days prior to mandatory case management conference or any other scheduled Court proceeding, whichever comes first. To ensure your case is not delayed, please be sure to timely file the LCIS or TCIS as required. Please be guided accordingly.

/S/ John D. O’Dwyer P.J.Cv.

On October 4, 2021, the Bergen Family Division will continue with a gradual expansion of scheduled in-person events for Domestic Violence Cases. First appearances will continue on a remote basis, thereafter, all subsequent scheduled hearings will be conducted on-site and in-person. Parties wishing to dismiss their matter in advance of a scheduled hearing may contact the Domestic Violence Unit to request a remote hearing. Attorneys and litigants with concerns or considerations are directed to contact the respective Judge handling the matter. Read More

By Bruce E. Chase, Esq.,                                                                                                                                                    Co-Chair, Family Law Committee

All of us have had to provide our medical history to our doctors.  Amongst the questions, “Do you smoke?  Do you drink?  If so, how much/how often?  What do you drink?”  Next comes the question that leads to this short article, “Do you use recreational drugs/substances?”  Should this same question now become an essential part of our divorce, custody and parenting time initial consultation?

As you will soon come to know, the answer is a resounding YES!

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