About the ACDL-NJ

ACDL-NJ Report Details Objections and Proposed Modifications to New Jersey Courts' 
Plan to Resume Jury Trials

August 13, 2020 -- The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) formally announced its plan for partially remote jury trials to the public on July 22, 2020. The ACDL-NJ now formally responds with its objections and recommendations to that plan.  A summary of ACDL-NJ’s objections and recommendations to the plan is below, and the complete report is here:
  1. The accused must consent.

  2. The Court must do everything possible to minimize the disproportionate impact a partially remote trial proceeding is likely to have on juror demographics.

  3. Jury selection must be primarily in person.

  4. The jury must be in the room with the parties during the trial.

  5. Attorneys must be able to communicate with their clients during the trial.

  6. One size does not fit all; the parties must have flexibility to do what works best in each courtroom and in each trial.

  7. New Jersey must improve jury selection post-pandemic.


The Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey roundly condemns the use of virtual Grand Juries, and rejects the Administrative Office of the Courts’ attempt to tell the public that virtual Grand Juries are good for our criminal justice system. 
Read the complete ACDL-NJ press release condemning the AOC for virtual Grand Juries, PR effort & announcing Pandemic Task Force here


The ACDL's History and Mission

The Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey (ACDL-NJ) was established in 1985 and has since become the primary organized voice for the criminal defense bar in New Jersey. The ACDL-NJ was formed, among other reasons, to respond to the continuing problems confronting criminal defense lawyers when they honestly, ethically, but zealously represent their clients; to protect and insure compliance with those individual rights guaranteed by the New Jersey and United States Constitutions; and to encourage cooperation among criminal defense lawyers engaged in the furtherance of those objectives. The criminal defense lawyer has a difficult job, which is poorly understood by the public and, on occasion, even by the courts. The ACDL-NJ's message to criminal defense lawyers has always been, and will continue to be: in your efforts to insure the basic rights and liberties of all people, you are not alone.

Message from the President

Linda Foster
The Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey is an active, The Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey is an active, engaged group of more than 500 members across New Jersey, assisting each other to become effective advocates on behalf of criminal defendants, especially in difficult situations. The ACDL-NJ continues to make its voice heard in the New Jersey appellate courts as amicus curiae on behalf of the interests of the criminal defense bar and its clients in important matters. Our Lawyers Assistance Committee has successfully advocated on behalf of ACDL members in state and federal court, and our Legislation Committee has continued to monitor and weigh in on pending legislation affecting criminal defendants. The ACDL-NJ listserv enables members to reach out to our entire membership and pick the brains of the finest criminal defense lawyers in this State. In sum, there has never been a better time to become a member of the ACDL-NJ. If you are already a member and have suggestions about how to make the ACDL-NJ more useful to its members, please let us know.

- Linda D. Foster, ACDL-NJ President

Forensic Science Summit update 3/10/20: We are working to reschedule the 2020 Forensic Science Summit (presented by the OPD, ACDL-NJ and the NJ Institute of Technology) previously scheduled for March 17-18, 2020  and hope to be able to bring you the same line up of incredible speakers. We will hold the conference fees until the new date is announced.  If you cannot attend on the new date, we will provide a refund at that time.  If you have any questions, please direct them to Judy Smith at judith.smith@opd.nj.gov.  Thank you for your cooperation.  Be safe and we will eventually see you at the Summit!

ACDL-NJ at LinkedIn