On April 6th, Eileen P. Mulroy, a native of Bergen County, was sworn in as the 123rd President of the Bergen County Bar Association (BCBA). Ms. Mulroy is the fifth woman to lead the organization. She has been a member of the BCBA since 1983. In 2007, she became a Trustee, where she served for 9 years, and in 2016, she was elevated to the position of Secretary of the BCBA. Over the years, Ms. Mulroy has served on several BCBA committees, including Bench/Bar, By-Laws, Continuing Legal Education, Membership, Memorial Service, and is the current co-chair of the Workers’ Compensation Committee. Ms. Mulroy served as President of Women Lawyers in Bergen (WLIB) from 2003-2005 and recently completed her two-year term as President of the Bergen County Bar Foundation. She also served as a member and Chair of the New Jersey Supreme Court District IIB Ethics Committee. Ms. Mulroy remains an active member of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) and is a frequent presenter on the topic of workers’ compensation and insurance at the NJSBA’s mid-year meeting.
It has been one year since the pandemic lockdowns began and since my term as the 122nd president of the Bergen County Bar Association commenced. We have all endured difficulties and losses over the year, both personally and professionally. Our year as an Association was markedly different from years past: there was no beefsteak, no annual dinner, no in-person meetings or CLEs. It has been a full year since we have shaken hands with each other. My swearing-in was a quiet private event conducted by Judge Mizdol and attended by my wife Demetra, Frank, and Tyler. Neither my children nor my father could attend due to the newly imposed restrictions. Every one of our officer and trustee meetings was conducted via Zoom. The honorary gavel, which has passed down to each bar president, has remained silent in its velvet pouch. The COVID restrictions not only challenged our members but put the Association in a precarious financial position. From day one, we had to rethink and reimagine how to conduct Bar business and bring value to our members amidst this great challenge. As my term comes to a close, I am pleased to state that we met every challenge and prevailed as an Association. This was not an individual accomplishment but one shared by the Association’s employees, officers, trustees, and members. We did it with the support of our Bergen County Judiciary and our local elected officials. We did it with the support of the officers and trustees of the Bergen County Bar Foundation. We did it with the financial sacrifice of our employees. We did it as an Association. Thank you.
Please follow the link below and read the attached notice below from the Supreme Court of New Jersey in regards to guidelines on remote proceedings in the Trial Courts, obtaining audio and video records, and the extent of the court’s authority to suspend the commencement of certain custodial terms.
Please see the link below and read the most recent notice from Bergen County Assignment Judge Bonnie J. Mizdol in regards to Allowing Remote Video Subscription of Probate Documents in the Surrogate’s Court.
Please follow the link below and read the most recent Notice to the Bar from the Bergen County Surrogate’s Court and their status of operations in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
NOTICE TO THE BAR
In its March 27, 2020 Omnibus Order, the Supreme Court continued the postponement of all Civil Arbitration sessions through April 26, 2020. Beginning April 27, 2020, all counties will begin scheduling arbitrations, which will be conducted remotely. This notices provides guidance on how to conduct remote arbitration events either by video or by telephone.
The following steps should be taken to ensure that arbitration sessions are scheduled and conducted remotely, using technology as agreed upon by the participants and the arbitrator(s). Vicinages are encouraged to follow these procedures, but may deviate with the approval of the Assignment Judge or designee.
NOTICE TO THE BAR
The Supreme Court Omnibus Order on COVID-19 issues, entered March 27, 2020, in response to the growing health crisis worldwide involving the COVID-19 coronavirus, affirmed, continued, or supplemented provisions established in a series of prior orders, including the Court’s prior March 17, 2020 Order, which were necessitated as part of the Judiciary’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Omnibus Order extended a number of deadlines and tolled time periods. This notice provides guidance as to the effect of the Omnibus Order on specific Appellate Division practices and procedures.
MESSAGE FROM THE BCBA PRESIDENT
I am happy to report that Governor Murphy has recently signed into law A.3903 as amended, which allows notaries, attorneys, and other officials in New Jersey to perform notarial acts remotely using technology. The legislation is now in effect and will remain in effect throughout the duration of the COVID-19 health emergency.
The Association recognized the importance of this legislation many weeks ago and has been working with Bergen County’s Senate Delegation and the State’s Division of Revenue to encourage it’s adoption. Our Officers and Board of Trustees held its first video conference meeting last week to approve my letter urging our legislative representatives to approve the bill.
This law will now enable many of our members to effectively represent the vital interests of their clients in a variety of practice areas. Though we had urged a sunset period to coincide with the COVID-19 public health emergency, the revised legislation still requires recordings of notarial acts to be retained for ten years. I urge BCBA members to review the legislation and let us know if further refinement is necessary to otherwise effectuate its intent during the COVID-19 public health emergency. A copy of the approved legislation is attached for your information.
Please stay safe and healthy.
Warmest personal regards,
SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and the need to adhere to crucial social distancing measures recommended by the New Jersey Department of Health (“NJ DOH”) and the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”), the Court has entered orders, including Orders dated March 17, 2020 and March 27, 2020 (“Omnibus Order”), that inter alia extended deadlines and tolled time periods.
This Order is to clarify that the Court’s extension of deadlines and tolling of time periods as set forth in those earlier orders did not apply to pretrial detention filings, including appeals filed pursuant to Rule 2:9-13 (“Appeals from Orders Granting Pretrial Detention”), responses to those appeals, and motions for leave to appeal pursuant to Rule 2:5-6 (“Appeals from Interlocutory Orders, Decisions and Actions”).
To the extent that a party may have interpreted the tolling provisions of prior orders otherwise, that party may pursue an appeal and submit an accompanying motion to file as within time.
For the Court,
/s/ Stuart Rabner
Dated: April 9, 2020
NOTICE TO THE BAR
New Jersey Judiciary Launches Expanded Electronic Filing System
The New Jersey Judiciary has expanded its court filing system to better accommodate attorneys and self represented litigants during the COVID-19 health emergency. The Judiciary Electronic Document Submission (JEDS) system allows attorneys and self-represented litigants to submit their filings electronically in most areas of the family and special civil parts as well as general equity. The Judiciary will continue to add case types as the system is developed further. While the JEDS system was in development before the pandemic, it has been made available sooner in light of the courts’ suspension of most in-person proceedings and matters to prevent the spread COVID-19. The link to JEDS is through the njcourts.gov website at https://njcourts.gov/selfhelp/jeds.html
Please know that you can continue to utilize eCourts for most divisions and you can still mail documents to the courthouse. If you need to drop off documents, there still is a drop box located in the lobby of the Court Street entrance in front of the security office. Documents are picked up a few times a day from the drop box.
Please note that the most up to date information about the Judiciary can be found online at njcourts.gov.
/s/ Laura Simoldoni
Trial Court Administrator
Dated: April 9, 2020