The state’s largest lawyers group is putting its best foot forward for the New Year.
 
The New Jersey State Bar Association is kicking off 2013 with a wide range of programming and special events, and appearing as a friend of the court before the New Jersey Supreme Court.
 
May it please the Court
 
While many people were still brushing off the last of holiday parties, representatives from the New Jersey State Bar Association appeared before the New Jersey Supreme Court in a case about when lawyers can solicit retained clients. Shalom Stone argued the association’s amicus position before the court in a matter.
 
The case involves Frank J. Nostrame who sued the law firm Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman LLC in Roseland for tortious interference with a contract after a former client in a medical malpractice case ditched him.
 
The New Jersey State Bar Association urged the court to reject Nostrame’s claim and affirm an attorney’s right to solicit retained clients, so long as proper means are used.
 
“Mr. Nostrame hopes to recover from the successor attorney the value of the legal services that (he) expected to perform. (This) suit would undoubtedly have a chilling effect upon the client’s fundamental right to choose and discharge counsel,” states the brief, which was signed by Susan A. Feeney, immediate past state bar association president, and written by Stone and Stacie Powers.
 
The state bar association brief noted the Rules of Professional Conduct expressly permit lawyers to initiate personal contact with a prospective client.
 
“Nostrame argues that ‘practicing attorneys believe they are not at liberty to solicit retained clients.’ To the contrary,” the brief states. “The text of Rule 7.3(a), and the overarching principles at stake … fully support an attorney’s right to solicit retained clients, so as long as proper means are used.”
           

Arthur Miller
A parade of professionalism
 
An eminent professional who treated all with kindness and was generous with his expertise will receive the top professionalism award in the state’s legal community.
 
On Jan. 16, Arthur Miller will posthumously receive the 2012 Daniel J. O’Hern Award from the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law. The award is presented annually to a senior member of the bar in recognition of commitment to the highest ideals of the profession, career achievement, and service to the bar and community. The event had been scheduled for November, but was delayed due to Hurricane Sandy.
 
Miller’s family will receive the award at the Professionalism Awards Luncheon, to be
held at the Pines Manor in Edison. Chief Justice Stuart Rabner is expected to deliver they keynote address.
 
In addition to Miller, a host of other attorneys will be honored for their service at the gathering. County and specialty bar associations from around the state will also recognize attorneys who have made a difference in the profession. Two former New Jersey State Bar Association presidents Richard H. Steen and Lynn Fontaine Newsome are among the award recipients.
 
GLBT Symposium
 
The New Jersey State Bar Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Section will hold a symposium to explore issues facing the state’s youth.
 
The event to be held Jan. 17 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick will bring together lawyers, judges, social workers and other professionals to discuss issues of concern, including the juvenile justice system, bullying and homelessness.
 
In addition to the association’s GLBT Rights Section, the event is presented by LifeTies/Triad House, and cosponsored by the association’s Family Law Section. It is sponsored by Emerald Financial and Wells Fargo in partnership with The Pride Network.
 
Attendees will also be able to browse a photo exhibit on “Becoming Visible”, featuring the work of Josh Lehrer.
 
 
To register and learn more about the event, visit njsba.com.