Friday: October 5, 2018: The Essentials of Handling a Pro Bono Matter in the District Court of
New Jersey -Tenets, Ethics Issues and More
The Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey, together with the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, partnered with ICLE to present the First Annual Federal Pro Bono Institute at the New Jersey Law Center. This joint effort, spearheaded by Ed Kole (Chairman of the Business Litigation Department at Wilentz and President-Elect of the Association) and U.S. Magistrate Judge Lois Goodman (who also chairs the Court’s Pro Bono
Committee), was designed to further bolster and bring a notoriety to the Court’s pro bono program, as well as the aspiration to provide fair access to the courts and the overall benefits of the program.
Moderator: Edward T. Kole, Esq., Wiletnz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A., Woodbridge
Hon. Anne E. Thompson, Former Chief Judge, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
Hon. Stanley R. Chesler, United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey
Hon. Lois M. Goodman, U.S.M.J., United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Trenton
Natalie J. Kraner, Esq., Lowenstein Sandler LLP, New York
Jack O’Brien, Chief Deputy of Operations, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
Prof. David White, Director, Conflict Management Program, Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark
Both Mr. Kole and Judge Goodman discussed the need for attorneys to give back to the community and to those less fortunate, and the benefits the program provides attorneys, with the opportunity to handle matter before the District Court. Judge Chesler, the original Chair of the Court’s pro bono program, discussed the principles of professionalism and ethics in handling such matters. And, Mr. O’Brien discussed the resources of the Court to provide financial assistance for expenses with the handling of pro bono matters and how to obtain such reimbursement.
Judge Arpert and Ms. Kraner provided a case study discussing the matter of Wells v. Nelson, et al., involving the release of an incarcerated individual being held in involuntary protective custody for several years. Lastly, Professor White touted Seton Hall Law’s Conflict Management Program, which allows student advocates the opportunity to represent pro bono clients in non-criminal matters for settlement purposes.
As Ed Kole noted, “this effort is the first of what we hope will be an annual event to promote the benefits of this program.” Judge Chesler described the program as a win/win situation in that it provides quality legal representation and access to the courts for those that cannot afford it, while at the same time providing younger attorneys with tremendous experience at the federal court level.