On Friday, September 18, the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute is hosting a half day conference on New Jersey’s policy of outsourcing the enforcement of many business regulations to private attorneys. Outsourcing Enforcement? The Debate Over Privatizing the Role of Public Enforcement, is being held from 8:00-1:30 at the Hotel Woodbridge at Metropark. Many law-makers, business leaders, and attorneys will be in attendance.


What do we Mean When we say Government Enforcement has been Outsourced?


Since the 1960s, the state has allowed attorneys to bring regulatory enforcement lawsuits. These suits, known as “private attorney general actions” theoretically encourage compliance while appearing to save the state money by lowering the number of people employed in the Attorney General’s office, but their true effectiveness and actual cost is unknown. The mystery surrounding private attorney general suits despite their prevalence and significance is one of the reasons we have chosen to focus in on this issue at our September 18 conference.


Who is speaking?


Panelists include Senator Peter Barnes (D-Middlesex), Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris), the Acting Director of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Division of Consumer Affairs, and prominent practicing attorneys.


NYU Prof. Richard Epstein, “one of the most influential thinkers in legal academia,” will deliver the keynote address. Epstein is known for his research and writings on a broad range of constitutional, economic, historical, and philosophical subjects, and he literally wrote the textbook on torts.


The New Jersey Civil Justice Institute (NJCJI) advocates for a civil justice system that treats all parties fairly and discourages lawsuit abuse. NJCJI and its members believe that a fair civil justice 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. Visit civiljusticenj.org for more information.





Emily Kelchen, NJCJI Dir. of Pub. Affairs