RULE 1:39-1 - Board on Attorney Certification

RULE 1:39-1 - Board on Attorney Certification

(a) Appointment; Officers. The Supreme Court shall appoint a Board on Attorney Certification consisting of not more than eleven members of the bar of the State of New Jersey. Members shall be appointed for three-year terms. No member who has served four full three-year terms successively shall be eligible for immediate appointment. Members appointed to fill unexpired terms may be reappointed to four successive terms. The Supreme Court shall annually designate a Chair and a Vice Chair from among the members of the Board. The Secretary of the Board of Bar Examiners shall serve as Secretary. The Administrative Director of the Courts shall designate a member of the Administrative Director's staff with fiscal responsibilities to serve as Treasurer.

(b) Quorum. One more than half of the number of members sitting on the Board shall constitute a quorum and all determinations shall be made by a majority of a quorum except that a decision to grant certification or recertification shall have the concurrence of at least one more than half the members sitting on the Board.

(c) Regulations. The Board on Attorney Certification shall, subject to the prior approval of the Supreme Court, promulgate and amend Regulations governing the certification program and providing that the proceedings and files shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed to or attended by anyone except as authorized by these rules, the Regulations, or upon the direction of the Court.

(d) Operations. The Board shall, consistent with these rules and its Regulations, establish procedures, publish forms and maintain records as required for the conduct of the Board's operations and the certification of attorneys. The Board shall function as an appellate arm for Certification Committee decisions. The Board shall be responsible for the financial and administrative operations of the certification program. The Board shall maintain responsibility for policy, for making recommendations to the Supreme Court in respect of Rule and Regulation amendments, and for the general oversight of the functions of the Certification Committees.

(e) Legal Education Activities. The Board shall cooperate with law schools in this State, the Institute for Continuing Legal Education, and other recognized continuing legal education sponsors in developing and maintaining courses, clinics and other offerings by such institutions to enhance the skills and increase the knowledge of attorneys who seek to be certified by the Supreme Court. The Board may also cooperate with other law schools, bar associations and agencies interested in legal education.

(f) Reports. Reports as to the activities of the Board may be submitted to the Supreme Court from time to time.

(g) Staffing and Funding. To the extent that the Board is not self-supporting, funds necessary for the operation of the certification program for attorneys shall be provided by the Administrative Office of the Courts.

(h) Fees. Each applicant for certification and recertification and each certified attorney shall pay required fees to the Secretary for the use of the Board. The fees shall be established in amounts to be set from time to time by the Board, subject to the approval of the Supreme Court, and, to the extent possible, so as to enable the program to be self-supporting.

(i) Effect of Board Membership. While serving on the Board, no member shall apply for or be examined for certification in any of the designated areas of specialty in this State. A Board member who previously received certification may be recertified during the member's term of service on the Board.

(j) Immunity. Members of the Board and their lawfully appointed designees and staff shall be absolutely immune from suit based on their respective conduct in performing their official duties.


Note: Adopted January 26, 1979 to be effective April 1, 1979; paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), (g), (h), and (i) amended May 15, 1980 to be effective September 8, 1980; paragraph (i) amended November 5, 1986 to be effective January 1, 1987; paragraph (a) amended February 8, 1993 to be effective immediately; paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (g), (h), and (i) amended June 28, 1996, to take effect September 1, 1996; paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f) amended July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000; paragraphs (d), (f), (h), and (i) amended, paragraphs (e) and (g) caption and text amended, and new paragraph (j) adopted July 20, 2011 to be effective September 1, 2011.