To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel
I want to update you on the progress we have made with respect to Senate Bill 2784 (Sarlo/Buono) and Assembly Bill 3544 (Diegnan/Barnes/Greenstein/Russo) which would create a Commercial and Technology Court in New Jersey.
First, the NJSBA has been privileged to work with a distinguished assemblage of business associations on this issue, including: the Association of Corporate Counsel, the Association for Corporate Growth-NJ, the National Association of Corporate Directors-NJ, the National Federation of Independent Businesses-NJ, the NJ Bankers Association, the NJ Business and Industry Association, the NJ Cable Telecommunications Association; the NJ Chemistry Council, the NJ Commerce and Industry Association, the NJ Corporate Counsel Association, the NJ Petroleum Council, the NJ Retail Merchants Association, the NJ Society of CPAs, the South Jersey Chamber of Commerce, the NJ State Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Second, the bill received much attention and support in the prior session of the Legislature. It passed the General Assembly 78-0 with one abstention. When introduced in the State Senate, more than 25% of the senators cosponsored the legislation. We expect even more support in the next session.
Finally,in the NJ Business and Industry Association's 2005 Business Outlook Survey (available at www.njbia.org), NJ employers expressed deep concern about the near-term outlook for the state and national economies as New Jersey's business climate received only a 28% favorability rating. Its NJ Employment Watch also was not promising.
The creation of a business court and its attendant benefits are among those factors which might attract business to New Jersey. A number of jurisdictions including New York, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island have created business courts in order to attract business and improve their states' business climate. All jurisdictions that we are familiar with who have created business courts have reported an enhanced business climate as a result. Given the economic realities disclosed in the NJBIA reports, this legislation offers an excellent opportunity to improve the present business outlook in New Jersey now.
The growing size and determination of our coalition partners, the state of New Jersey's business climate and the hopeful signs which presage any incoming gubernatorial administration make us believe that the momentum we have built will lead to major action in this new session of the NJ Legislature. However, our effort cannot and will not succeed without the continued participation of those who recognize the real value of this initiative, the readers of The Metropolitan Corporate Counselwho are among the nation's leaders in the field of business law. I urge all of you to contact NJ legislators in this regard and Governor Jon Corzine to share your voice of support. I invite you to visit our website at www.njsba.com for more information.
Stuart A. Hoberman