Earlier this year, the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute finished renovating and restoring its new office building in the heart of historic downtown Trenton. While the new office is reason enough for excitement, it is but one part of a larger transformation we are excited to share with New Jersey’s business, legal, and policy communities.


In 2007, the New Jersey Lawsuit Reform Alliance was formed as a bipartisan legislative advocacy organization focused on reforming New Jersey’s civil justice laws to make the state a more attractive place to do business. While legislative outreach remains a core function of the organization, we have broadened our mission in recognition of the fact that the courts, the executive branch, and the state’s attorneys all play a role in shaping the state’s civil justice system. We must be, and are, engaged with each of these bodies in order to meet our goal of being New Jersey’s go-to experts on legal reform and the liability implications of pending cases, proposed legislation, and Supreme Court rulemaking. We believe our new name – the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute – more fully encompasses this expanded mission.


We have also added another attorney to our team because we understand the importance of having people who intimately understand the legal system involved with efforts to reform it. Emily Kelchen, NJCJI’s new Director of Public Affairs, is a member of the Wisconsin bar, and as of last week, the New Jersey bar.


“Our new name reflects a more comprehensive approach to improving New Jersey’s civil justice system. Our goal is to represent business’ concerns in all three branches of government, as well as in the larger legal community,” said NJCJI President Marcus Rayner. “New Jersey needs legal reform if it is to continue to be home to the most innovative industries. Each day seems to bring additional news confirming what we already know: New Jersey needs to restart its economic engine. In the short run, legal reform can send an important pro-business message without the loss of tax receipts or an increase in spending. In the long run, states with improved litigation climates see more economic activity in high-paying jobs, leading to increased revenue collections.”


NJCJI and its members support a number of common sense legal reforms that will ensure the state’s legal system resolves disputes expeditiously and impartially, based solely upon application of the law to the facts of each case. Such a system fosters public trust and motivates professionals, sole proprietors, and businesses to provide safe and reliable products and services while ensuring that truly injured people are fully compensated for their losses.


If you are curious about or encouraged by our efforts, we urge you to visit our website http://www.civiljusticenj.org/ and to contact us at info@civiljusticenj.org with any questions or comments.




Click here to download a .pdf of this release.


Emily Kelchen, NJCJI Dir. of Pub. Affairs

609-392-6557 or ekelchen@civiljusticenj.org