(L to R) NJSBA President Ralph J. Lamparello swears in Second Vice President Thomas H. Prol, and trustees Heather Suarez, Christine Amalfe, and William Mergner.
Photo by Jim Beckner.
The New Jersey State Bar Association’s governing body reached its full complement of members last week, when an officer and three trustees were sworn-in.
Association President Ralph J. Lamparello administered the oath of office to the quartet and all promised to “faithfully execute the duties of the office of the New Jersey State Bar Association.”
Thomas H. Prol returned to the Board of Trustee’s executive committee as second vice president.
Lamparello described the Sussex County lawyer as “someone who has a dedication and love of this bar association.”
In addition to Prol, Christine A. Amalfe, chair of the employment and labor law group at Gibbons PC, became an at-large trustee.
William H. Mergner Jr., managing partner of Leary Bride Tinker and Moran in Cedar Knolls, and Heather G. Suarez, a member of Walder, Hayden and Brogan in Roseland, will serve in section and committee trustee seats.
Prol and Amalfe joined the board after winning a runoff election. Mergner and Suarez took their places among the trustees after the board adopted the recommendations of the Nominating Committee to have the attorneys fill a pair of section and committee trustee seats left vacant last month when John Keefe became secretary and Robert Hille became treasurer.
Given the New Jersey State Bar Association’s core belief in the strength and integrity of the justice system, the trustees agreed that the association must advocate for its integral role in the republic. Lamparello announced that he would form a special committee to examine the issue of judicial independence and develop recommendations about how to educate the public on the crisis at hand and encourage those in Trenton to preserve the role of the Judiciary as a co-equal branch of government.
The trustees also agreed to hire a certified professional parliamentarian to review the New Jersey State Bar Association’s bylaws. The bylaws have been revised piecemeal from time-to-time, but have not been completely reviewed in over a decade. The consultant will review the bylaws and make recommendations on updates, which will be considered by the association’s Bylaws and Resolutions Committee and the Board of Trustees before a final determination is made.
Former Supreme Court Justice John Wallace was selected as the association’s professional lawyer of the year. Wallace was a highly regarded justice and a lawyer who has devoted his career to serving the underserved and promoting ethics in the legal profession. The award will be bestowed on Wallace, who is now with Brown and Connery, at the Commission on Professionalism in the Law’s annual luncheon on October 17.