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Frequently Asked Questions - Annual Assessment - New Jersey Attorneys (Rule 1:28-2)

  1. Am I exempt from payment because I practice out-of-state?
  2. Am I exempt from payment by virtue of being exempt from pro bono counsel assignment?
  3. Am I exempt from payment by virtue of being prohibited from private practice?
  4. Does the "military" exemption include other government service, e.g., foreign service?
  5. What happens if I neither pay the required fee nor receive either of the inactive exemptions from payment (retired or military)?
  6. Must I continue to respond to the annual billing even though I've been granted one of the inactive exemptions from payment (retired or military)?
  7. How do I activate my license if I no longer qualify for the exemption from payment previously granted?
  8. How do I officially change my name?
  9. How do I update my mailing address?
  10. How do I resign from the Bar?

Am I exempt from payment because I practice out-of-state?

No. You cannot claim an inactive exemption from payment solely by virtue of being out-of-state.

Am I exempt from payment by virtue of being exempt from pro bono counsel assignment?

No. Exemptions from payment are unrelated to exemptions from pro bono counsel assignment.

Am I exempt from payment by virtue of being prohibited from private practice?

No. Exemptions from payment are narrowly defined; all conditions must be met. Lawyers who cannot claim the retired exemption from payment include, but are not limited to, judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and other government lawyers.

Does the "military" exemption include other government service, e.g., foreign service?

No. The exemption is expressly limited to "full-time active duty with the Armed Forces, AmeriCorps, or Peace Corps."

What happens if I neither pay the required fee nor receive either of the inactive exemptions from payment (retired or military)?

Your name will be entered on a Supreme Court Order declaring you ineligible to practice law in New Jersey. Although this is not a disciplinary action akin to suspension or disbarment, ineligible attorneys are considered not in good standing in New Jersey and may neither practice nor be admitted pro hac vice. By Court Rules 1:28-2 and 1:20-1(d), you would be required to pay a $50 fee to be removed from one year's ineligible list or a $100 fee for removal from two or more years' ineligible lists, in addition to the regular and late fees required for each year.

Must I continue to respond to the annual billing even though I've been granted one of the inactive exemptions from payment (retired or military)?

Yes. The annual assessment package is sent to exempt lawyers each year to provide an opportunity to make changes to the billing address, attorney registration statement and pro bono counsel assignment questionnaire. If there are no changes, date and sign the "Certification of No Change" (Section C of the Registration Statement), complete the pro bono questionnaire, and return the entire form to us. Please access the Online Registration and Payment Center to respond online.

Once the Fund receives a duly executed retired or military certification and grants the exemption, the Fund will keep you in the corresponding exempt category without need of further certification. Thus, you will remain officially in retired or military status until you inform the Fund otherwise.

You have an ongoing duty to inform the Fund immediately if you no longer qualify for the exemption previously claimed, and to keep your address current with the Fund. You can access our Online Registration and Payment Center to activate your license or to update your address.

How do I activate my license if I no longer qualify for the exemption from payment previously granted?

Go to our Online Registration and Payment Center to update your registration information and pay the current year's fee OR contact us in writing with that notification and remit payment in accordance with the fee schedule.

How do I officially change my name?

Attorneys who change their names after admission to practice must file a name change affidavit with the Supreme Court through its Board of Bar Examiners.

How do I update my mailing address?

In accordance with Rule 1:28-2, keep your mailing address current with the Fund during the year. Please note that your mailing address is not confidential. Please access the Online Registration and Payment Center to update your address OR fax changes to (609) 394-3637 or mail to P.O. Box 961, Trenton, NJ 08625-0961. Include your full name, attorney ID# or old address, new address, and e-mail address. (See address change form.)

How do I resign from the Bar?

Please see the Office of Attorney Ethics FAQ.

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