STATE CIVIL COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES
Special Joint Meeting
June 16, 2004
The special joint meeting of the State Civil Committee, Compulsory Arbitration Committee and Medical-Legal Committee was called to order at approximately 4:15 p.m. by Co-Chair Kathleen Wilkinson of the State Civil Committee.
Kathleen Wilkinson welcomed everyone to the meeting and provided a brief introduction concerning the topic for the special joint meeting - formation of a State Civil Litigation Section. Ms. Wilkinson provided a brief overview of the efforts to form a Section and then turned the meeting over to Ronald Kovler and Richard Saidel to discuss the extensive efforts undertaken to establish a Section.
II. Efforts to Form State Civil Litigation Section
Ron Kovler, Chair of the Board of Governors, provided an overview of the historical efforts to form a Section. Specifically, Mr. Kovler noted that all three (3) committees had agreed to a Tort Section and, to that end, an Initial Petition was prepared and signed. After review, it was determined that there were certain technical deficiencies in the initial petition. Further, objections were raised to naming the Section a "Tort Section." Accordingly, it was decided to name the proposed Section the "State Civil Litigation Section."
The Task Force appointed by Chancellor Bevilacqua met several times to prepare a new petition and resolution as well as to draft by-laws to address various concerns raised as to the structure of the proposed Section.
Rich Saidel then provided an overview of the most significant aspects of the proposed by-laws, including the attempt to strike a balance between the plaintiff and defense bar; the creation of liaisons with the Court and the plaintiff and defense bar associations; the establishment of three (3) committees within the Section; and the structure of the Executive Committee. Mr. Saidel also identified the benefits of the proposed Section, including representations on the Board of Governors and self-governance.
Following the comments of Mr. Kovler and Mr. Saidel, a discussion took place concerning various aspects of the proposed Section, including the Co-Chairs of the Section and Committee and the necessary votes for approval of a Section Resolution by the members of the Section.
III. Approval of the Proposed By-Laws and Resolution to Board of Governors
Following the extensive discussion, motions were presented and seconded recommending that: (1) a Resolution be presented to the Board of Governors seeking to establish a Section; and (2) approval of the By-Laws as drafted by the State Civil Committee. By unanimous vote, both motions were approved. Thereafter, the necessary Petition for establishment of the Section was circulated for signature by the attendees.
The special joint meeting was adjourned at approximately 5 p.m.
Gregg W. Mackuse