CAMDEN — For those practicing in the Garden State’s criminal courts, your job just became somewhat more manageable. Thanks to a Rutgers Law–Camden professor’s careful research of thousands of New Jersey statutes, there is now one comprehensive resource that allows the practicing bench and bar to efficiently identify the numerous collateral consequences of criminal convictions.
J.C. Lore, a clinical professor at Rutgers Law–Camden, where he directs the trial advocacy program, has co-authored the 2014 edition of New Jersey Collateral Consequences, a LexisNexis Practice Guide. The guide serves as a first attempt to organize the more than 1,000 separate statutes and administrative code regulations that establish civil collateral consequences following a criminal conviction.
“It was a big task because of the review of thousands of civil statues that previously could not be found from one source in a consolidated and organized format,” says Lore, who co-authored the book with Todd Berger of the Syracuse University College of Law. “Then, these statutes had to be applied to the hundreds of crimes in New Jersey. These consequences can have such an impact on the lives of New Jersey citizens. Organizing and interpreting these statutes means lawyers can be aware and better advise clients when it matters most.”
While outcomes in criminal court sentencing might be common knowledge, from probation to fines to jail to restitution to community service, civil consequences are less generally understood, but could bring about life-changing situations like loss of a license, job, or residence.
According to the authors, “statutes have been located, analyzed, and summarized to include relevant information relating to the particular consequence at issue as well as any opportunities for rehabilitation that might exist under that particular statute.” The American Bar Association has strongly encouraged states to organize their collateral consequences into one organized source. However, the massive amount of information that needs to be found, interpreted, and organized has made the task difficult for any state.
“This book is the first of its kind,” says Lore. “It would not have been possible without the tireless work of Rutgers students, especially Lauren Alfaro and Kevin Holleran.”
Lore, who has taught in top trial advocacy programs in the country, including those offered by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Northwestern University School of Law, and Emory University School of Law, also notes that criminal lawyers are not obligated to tell clients of most civil consequences, except immigration consequences. The authors are excited to be adding immigration consequences to the second edition, which will be published in early 2015.
“With the difficulty to understand all of the various civil collateral consequences of criminal convictions that weren’t uniformly located, and the outcomes for clients so severe, it will be nice for criminal attorneys now to have all of these consequences in one resource.”