To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:
As president of the state’s largest lawyers’ group, I am committed to ensuring the New Jersey State Bar Association remains faithful to its core goals while also pursuing new partnerships and ways to promote our mission.
We will continue to be dedicated to issues of central concern, such as helping lawyers whose livelihoods have been hurt in the economic recession; promoting opportunities for lawyers of diverse backgrounds; and encouraging lawyers to give back to the community through pro bono service.
We will continue to stand firm in our support of the fundamental integrity and independence of our judiciary, which is a national model and must be fiercely protected.
In addition, I will focus on seeing that this association remains the legal profession’s leading voice in the state capitol and fosters a better public understanding throughout the state of civics and the essential role the courts play in a vibrant democracy.
An essential role the state bar association plays for its members is serving as the voice of the profession in Trenton. In the months ahead, we will continue those efforts of fighting for legislation that matters most to lawyers.
That work includes securing passage of the professional malpractice legislation that would benefit all lawyers by reducing the statute of limitations on legal malpractice claims from six to two years. That change will not only bring New Jersey in line with other states, but will also put the legal community on par with other professions. In addition, efforts should be made to ensure the independence, tenure and finality of decisions by administrative law judges, and we should do what we can to ensure the law ensures the protection of animals, which are truly innocent.
Our outreach efforts will not just be about evaluating legislation and advocating our position, but also about building and nurturing lasting relationships. In June, we held an advocacy town hall event that brought together our members with key politicians and government attorneys to find new ways to advance the association’s agenda. It was a meaningful day for all who attended.
We have also just launched Benchmarks Civics Project together with the New Jersey judiciary. The project aims to inform the public about the way the courts work; what it means to be a citizen; and the importance of an independent, fair and impartial justice system. New Jersey is now one of only a handful of states in the country to offer such a program.
It is easy for us to take those issues for granted. They are, after all, how we spend our days and earn our livelihood. Yet these are fundamental issues, and it is essential to our mission to ensure the public understands and embraces these values.
Fulfilling these goals and addressing the issues that develop in the coming days and months is what I promise as president of this association.
Kevin P. McCann