The New Jersey Law Center. Annual Report THE IOLTA FUND OF THE BAR OF NEW JERSEY

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1 The New Jersey Law Center Annual Report THE IOLTA FUND OF THE BAR OF NEW JERSEY

2 Message from the Chairperson with Justice for All In 2006 IOLTA revenue grew to $52 million as a result of receiving a market rate of interest on the roughly $2.8 billion in attorney trust accounts on any given day in New Jersey. Operating under the "Best Customer Standard," financial institutions in the IOLTA program offer the same rates on high-balance trust accounts ($100,000 or more) that would be offered on similar non-iolta accounts. This new standard, in effect since February 1, 2006, was embraced by New Jersey banks of all descriptions in every geographic location of the state. The IOLTA Fund, its Board of Trustees and staff, together with all of the grant recipients and their clients and consumers owe a debt of gratitude to the leadership of the banking industry whose support of the standard helped IOLTA achieve its potential in Free legal help for low-income people is the principal service offered by IOLTA s largest grant recipient, Legal Services of New Jersey and the six regional Legal Services programs, which reported opening 55,000 new cases in Increased funding from IOLTA ensured that fewer income-eligible people had to be turned away for lack of capacity. Many additional thousands of people were helped by visiting LSNJ s website or attending a clinic or community workshop. These free resources help educate the public about the law. When someone is able to learn about the law and the justice system, better decisions can be made about going to Court with or without a lawyer, how to fill in legal forms, assist a relative in applying for social services, or determine where to go for more help. The priority of LSNJ and the regional programs is to assist families who, without legal assistance, would lose a critical human need such as housing, food, income, healthcare access, or safety. Thanks to the increase in IOLTA funding in 2006 the need for legal assistance is a little closer to being satisfied-one in every five potential clients were accommodated compared to one in six in Through its IOLTA award the NJ State Bar Foundation offers New Jerseyans free educational programming about the law and justice-related subjects. Through seminars, workshops, newsletters, pamphlets and mock trial programs the public, professionals, and attorneys receive information and training about diverse law-related topics such as wills, guardianship, starting a business, special education, disability law, construction or home ownership. Each year the Foundation s programs train hundreds of teachers, administrators and students in the skills and behavior essential to stopping bullying and teasing in schools. More IOLTA funding allowed the Foundation to increase many of their sponsorships: clinical fellowships, theatrical productions and newsletters for school audiences about respect, tolerance and the law, cable TV programs and Law Day events. IOLTA s discretionary grant recipients were also beneficiaries of higher revenue. These small organizations, often with limited access to federal or state appropriations and grants, rely on IOLTA funding for law-related program services, legal aid and advocacy. Many do not employ attorneys, but use trained advocates to help clients who cannot afford lawyers especially victims of domestic violence, children, immigrants, and the elderly and disabled. Advocates are called on to explain legal options, offer counseling about what to expect in court, assist with paperwork, provide information to judges making decisions about the permanent placement of abused and neglected children or set up an appointment with a pro bono attorney when the client absolutely must have a lawyer. Volunteer attorneys help them meet the demand for assistance by offering their time in clinics allowing clients to get individualized help for specific legal problems. The IOLTA Board is responsible for annually registering attorney trust accounts, collecting IOLTA interest from authorized participating financial institutions, and disbursing the funds according to Court Rule 1:28A. The rest of this report explains in greater detail how IOLTA funds are deployed in New Jersey. We have much to be happy about and a long road ahead in the journey towards "justice for all." I wish much success to Barry S. Goodman, Chairperson and the rest of the IOLTA Board of Trustees in meeting those challenges. Richard T. Fauntleroy Board Chair

3 Grants GRANTS The purpose of New Jersey s IOLTA program is to make grants to qualifying organizations, which in turn provide law-related services. As specified in Rule 1:28A grants are made only for the following purposes: Legal Aid to the Poor Improvement in the Administration of Justice Education of Lay Persons in Legal and Justice-related Areas New Jersey Supreme Court Rule 1:28A specifies that not less than 75% of net revenue be awarded to Legal Services of New Jersey, Inc. ("LSNJ") and, through sub-grants, to its local member Legal Services programs, to support the delivery of civil legal services to the poor throughout New Jersey. In addition, an award of not less than 12.5% of net revenue is made to the New Jersey State Bar Foundation to be used for the purposes as stated in the Rule. The IOLTA Board of Trustees allocates the remaining net revenue to other grants supporting the purposes of the Rule. Since 1989, the first year IOLTA grants were made, over $250 million has been awarded to non-profit organizations in every county of New Jersey. The grants have provided free civil legal assistance for the poor, victim assistance and advocacy, alternative dispute resolution, as well as legal help and advocacy for special populations including persons with disabilities, abused and neglected children, homeless youth, victims of domestic violence, and immigrants. These funds have helped agencies develop pro se programs for family law and guardianship problems, law-related education for school children, professionals and senior citizens, together with free publications about a variety of legal matters. The legal aid and education programs supported by IOLTA funding help individuals and families confront problems caused by homelessness, loss of a job, disabilities, domestic violence, consumer fraud, abuse and neglect. Resolution of those civil legal problems promotes family stability and economic success. While there remains a large unmet need for legal assistance, IOLTA funding makes a tangible difference in the lives of low-income New Jerseyans GRANTS In 2006, total grants paid amounted to $42,292,869. In addition to the Legal Services of New Jersey and the New Jersey State Bar Foundation allocations, seventy-eight discretionary grants were approved for a total of $2,965,910. Allocations to Legal Services and the Bar Foundation are paid four times each year from the revenue collected in the preceding months, while the discretionary grants are paid from funds accrued for the program in the prior fiscal year. LEGAL SERVICES AGENCIES $33,708,822 In calendar 2006, Legal Services of New Jersey ("LSNJ") received $33,708,822, compared to $18,001,094 in The statewide Legal Services system consists of Legal Services of New Jersey (LSNJ) and six regional Legal Services programs, serving all 21 counties through 25 offices. The Legal Services system annually provides representation to more than 55,000 lowincome people. LSNJ reports that on average, 31.7% of their annual caseload is devoted to housing cases, primarily tenant matters. Family law (divorce, separation, support and custody) accounts for 22.7% of the caseload, while consumer law (bankruptcy, collection, warranties, unfair sales practices and disputes with public utilities) and Income Maintenance matters (Social Security, SSI, food stamps) account for 16.1% and 14.9% respectively. Other legal problems including education, healthcare, employment, and individual rights account for 14.5% of the annual volume. Some cases are resolved by obtaining a brief service, counseling session or telephone call, while others may require more involved litigation assistance. IOLTA funds also support statewide coordination and centralized services including telephone hotlines and shared technology, as well as special projects with statewide impact. Through its community legal education program, LSNJ publishes the newsletter, "Looking Out for Your Legal Rights" with a monthly circulation of 10,000, a series of legal rights handbooks, and several pro se manuals; and maintains a special website, to assist the public with resources, legal information, forms, and publications. IOLTA funding generally represents more than one-third of the entire statewide budget for the Legal Services system. NEW JERSEY STATE BAR FOUNDATION $5,618,137 The New Jersey State Bar Foundation received $5,618,137, compared to $3,000,182 in The New Jersey State Bar Foundation promotes public understanding of the law through a free, comprehensive public education program. Among its activities, the Foundation conducts seminars for the public and specified groups, conflict resolution and teasing and bullying training for teachers, publishes informational materials for consumers and classrooms, operates a videotape loan library and speakers bureau, and coordinates elementary, middle and high school mock trial competitions. Free public seminars in covered legal topics such as wills, landlord-tenant matters, divorce, special needs trusts, special education law, real estate, taxes, retirement planning and health care. The Foundation also underwrote the cost of several law clinic positions at New Jersey law schools and public interest law organizations. Programs for students included The Legal Eagle, a newsletter for middle school and high school students distributed to more than 325,000 students at 2,700 schools and a tolerance and diversity newsletter, titled Respect, which is distributed to more than 268,000 middle and high school students in 1,500 schools. Both publications are published three times a year. The Foundation coordinates the statewide mock trial competition for high school students, which attracted more than 242 teams this year. The competition began in 1982 and has taught more than 72,000 students about the fundamentals of our court system. The Law Fair and Law Adventure programs for grades 3-6 and 7-8 attracted 183 and 122 entries respectively. The Bar Foundation's educational publications and programs reach tens of thousands of children and adults annually. 2

4 DISCRETIONARY GRANTS $2,965,910 The 2006 grantees by program area were: LEGAL INFORMATION AND EDUCATION Consumer Credit Counseling Service of New Jersey $9,000 Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless ,000 Jersey City Connections ,300 New Jersey Center for Civic and Law-Related Education...18,100 NJ HUD Tenants Coalition ,500 Project Self-Sufficiency of Sussex County, Inc ,000 Women s Center at the County College of Morris ,600 Women in Transition These agencies provide information to individuals about a variety of law-related issues, especially housing and family law matters. The groups served include displaced homemakers, families at risk of homelessness, consumers with credit problems, tenants in subsidized housing complexes and single parent heads of households. Through legal clinics, workshops, newsletters, printed information and referrals, individuals unable to hire attorneys can learn how to make informed decisions about family law matters or consumer issues like housing and credit and then get help in resolving those problems. The Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless provided information about the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords, and offers self-advocacy training to clients receiving public assistance. The NJ Center for Law Related Education provided teachers with unique training opportunities, lesson plans, and classroom materials for teaching about the New Jersey Constitution and Courts, Law and Literature, and related subjects. DISABILITIES AIDS Coalition of Southern New Jersey $45,000 Community Health Law Project ,500 Hyacinth AIDS Foundation ,500 Lifetime Support, Inc ,000 PLAN/NJ ,000 SCARC Guardianship Services, Inc ,000 These agencies provide assistance to the disabled and their families. Pro bono (volunteer) and staff attorneys assist clients with both simple and complex legal issues arising as a result of their disabilities. Individuals who have AIDS or who are HIV-positive often face legal problems involving access to housing and job discrimination, and two of these organizations specialize in that area of law. The families of disabled individuals need in-depth information about legal guardianship, requiring both the assistance of lawyers and the involvement of families or guardians. Three of these programs help families arranging guardianship of developmentally disabled or chronically mentally ill family members. They are guided through a pro se (self-help) program that prepares them for guardianship proceedings. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 180, Turning Lives Around, Inc. (Monmouth) $35,000 Alternatives to Domestic Violence (Bergen) ,000 Atlantic County Women's Center ,000 Camden Center for Law and Social Justice ,000 Center for Family Services (Gloucester) ,000 Coalition Against Rape and Abuse (Cape May) ,760 Cumberland County Women s Center ,000 Domestic Abuse and Rape Crisis Center (Warren) ,000 Domestic Abuse Services, Inc. (Sussex) ,000 Jersey Battered Women s Service (Morris) ,770 Manavi, Inc ,000 New Jersey Association on Correction (Camden) ,060 New Jersey Association on Correction (Passaic) ,000 Partners for Women and Justice, Inc ,000 Providence House-Ocean ,630 Providence House-Willingboro (Burlington) ,580 The Rachel Coalition ,690 Resource Center for Women and their Families (Somerset)..43,760 Salem County Women s Services ,000 Womanspace, Inc. (Mercer) ,350 Women Aware (Middlesex) ,000 Women Rising, Inc. (Hudson) ,000 Women s Crisis Services of Hunterdon County, Inc ,000 YWCA of Eastern Union County ,000 These grants support a variety of legal advocacy and court liaison programs assisting victims of domestic violence throughout the statewomen, men, senior citizens and young people are all represented in their caseloads. IOLTA funds enable both staff lawyers and legal advocates to provide education and assistance to victims of domestic violence during times of crisis. Few victims arrive in court with prior knowledge of domestic violence laws or of the relief available to them under the law. Legal advocates provide information regarding domestic violence laws, court accompaniment and assistance in obtaining restraining orders. Many advocates also work to educate court and law enforcement personnel to promote better handling of domestic violence cases. Manavi provides culturally appropriate domestic violence advocacy to women of South Asian origin who must overcome language and other barriers to get help. Partners for Women and Justice provides clinic services to women who need to go to court pro se (without a lawyer) for various family law motions as a follow-up to domestic violence issues. EDUCATION LAW Association for Children of New Jersey $53,600 Education Law Center- Student Rights Project ,000 Education Law Center- Abbot Student Rights Project ,000 New Jersey Protection & Advocacy ,000 Statewide Parent Advocacy Network ,000 These grants provide legal assistance and information to income eligible families having problems with education providers and to children receiving special education services. Most low-income families cannot access the specialists who work in the complex field of state and federal education law. IOLTA grants permit these programs to advocate for children and to inform community providers and school district personnel about education law and children s rights at the same time. The staff attorneys often accompany parents and children to Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings with school personnel to ensure that the student s special educational needs are met. IOLTA funding enables Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN) to draw from the law for its up-to-date self-help materials for special education students about the transition from school to adult life and to offer assistance with that transition to students and parents in every region of New Jersey. FAMILIES AND CHILDREN Bergen County CASA $25,000 CASA of Atlantic and Cape May Counties ,000 CASA of Camden County, Inc ,000 CASA of Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties ,400 CASA of Mercer County ,000 CASA of Monmouth County ,000 3

5 CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties ,000 CASA of Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren Counties ,000 CASA of Union County ,000 Covenant House Youth Advocacy Center ,550 Essex County CASA, Inc ,000 Hudson County CASA ,000 IOLTA grants to CASA programs support their investigational and reporting objectives, providing family court judges with accurate information about individual children in care of the state. With the help of a Court Appointed Special Advocate (a trained volunteer), adoption cases can be expedited so children who have suffered abuse or neglect can reach safe, permanent, nurturing homes as quickly as possible. Appointed by a judge, the CASA volunteer looks into the living conditions in foster homes, ensures that children receive medical and dental attention and needed educational services (children in the foster care system often experience interruptions in their education) and then, reports on their needs and problems directly to the court. The Youth Advocacy Center assists homeless and at-risk youth who come to Covenant House s residential facilities and drop-in centers. There, young people in crisis can get help with civil legal problems related to growing up in the foster care system or life on the streets. Covenant House attorneys advocate for disability benefits, special education transition services, immigration, consumer law and housing needs. IMMIGRATION American Friends Service Committee- Immigrant Rights Program $68,960 American Friends Service Committee- Detention Representation Collaboration ,200 Boaz Community Corporation ,000 Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark- Statewide Consortium ,000 Hispanic Development Corporation ,000 International Institute of New Jersey ,000 Jewish Family and Vocational Services of Middlesex County ,300 La Casa de Don Pedro, Inc ,000 Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey ,000 Servicios Latinos de Burlington County ,970 These agencies provide services to income eligible legal immigrants seeking assistance for family reunification, representation in Immigration Court, citizenship applications, and work authorization, as well as Temporary Protective Status and refugee/asylee applications. The programs provide linguistically accessible legal advice, assistance for battered immigrant women and special relief for immigrant youth. Through the leadership of these grantees, volunteer attorneys in private practice receive training enabling them to accept pro bono cases, and paraprofessionals at other agencies are trained so they can obtain their certifications and credentials for handling appropriate immigration cases. The Detention Representation Project is a collaborative project that provides legal information to detained asylum seekers and detainees who are eligible for relief from detention or deportation. Following the initial screening and consultation, meritorious cases are referred to pro bono attorneys and established providers of immigration legal services for low income people. The Catholic Charities Consortium project deploys immigration advocates and paralegals in four geographic areas while attorneys located regionally offer program oversight, continuing professional education and case representation when needed. Their reports consistently tell of the shortage of free or low cost immigration legal services and the need for authoritative, accurate community education to counteract misinformation and thwart unscrupulous practitioners known as "notarios." HOUSING Bergen County Housing Coalition $22,000 Catholic Charities Emergency Services ,700 These agencies serve families at risk of homelessness. Often lowincome families experience an illness or disability leading to loss of work and income, followed by loss of housing. By intervening with landlords and accessing emergency rental assistance, some crises can be avoided. Both offer information about the legal rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords. OTHER LEGAL AID Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund......$43,620 Cornelian Community Counselors ,000 Cumberland County College ,000 Essex County Legal Aid Association ,000 Legal Aid Society of Monmouth County ,000 Legal Services Foundation of Essex County ,000 Legal Services of New Jersey- Health Care Access Project..80,000 Legal Services of New Jersey- Public Interest Summer Legal Intern Program ,000 NJ Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts ,950 Rutgers Law School- Camden Pro Bono Program ,000 Rutgers Law School- Newark Pro Bono Program ,840 These grantees provide a variety of legal services to income eligible individuals. This includes direct legal aid, referral to volunteer attorneys, mediation, information, and education. Legal aid programs offer income eligible individuals the opportunity to discuss their legal problems with an experienced attorney. Each client s legal needs are assessed, and usually receive assistance through counsel, advice or brief services provided by an attorney. At Cumberland County College, mediation services are provided at no cost to lowincome litigants referred by the county courts to this program. Legal Services Foundation of Essex County started Volunteer Lawyers for Justice with funding from IOLTA. Now a broad pro bono coordination project, VLJ recruits, trains, and matches volunteer attorneys with individuals needing help with special education, immigration or family law problems. Grants to the law schools and LSNJ s summer intern program provide opportunities for students to contribute to the community through pro bono service or to work in the field of public interest law. The Health Care Access Project provides direct legal advice and representation for low-income individuals and families who cannot obtain health care or who have access-related problems. This statewide Project assists clients with eligibility and coverage of critical medical services in public benefit programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, NJ FamilyCare, PAAD, and Charity Care. Project staff provides training and support for staffs of community-based organizations serving poor and low-income clients. 4

6 Banks The IOLTA Fund received interest totaling $51,290,305 from 132 banks in 2006, compared to $32,917,851 from 134 banks in Three key factors contributed to this increase: the new Best Customer Standard adopted in late 2005 and put into effect in early 2006, increases in the federal funds target rate and stable balances in attorney trust accounts. The average rate on all IOLTA accounts regardless of size was 2.16% in 2006, a significant increase over the average of 1.45% in Having a portion of the balances in IOLTA accounts linked to an index such as the federal funds target rate produced this improvement in the average rate. About 65% of participating banks opted to pay 60% of the federal funds target rate on IOLTA accounts with average balances of $100,000 or more, one of the options included in the Best Customer Standard. In 2006, balances in all IOLTA accounts averaged $2.86 billion compared with $2.82 billion in As noted earlier, the commitment and cooperation of banks has been instrumental in increasing the resources available for the projects and services funded by IOLTA. Their voluntary participation touches the lives of tens of thousands of New Jerseyans with nowhere else to turn for help. We especially thank the bank personnel who do such a good job of reporting and remitting to IOLTA. For current information about bank participation, especially our Honor Roll of Banks, please visit us online at In determining how to meet the new Best Customer Standard at their own financial institutions, the following banks decided to pay their Best Customer Rate on all accounts designated as IOLTA, regardless of whether the account carries an average balance of more than $100,000. These banks are listed below on the IOLTA Honor Roll of Banks. Of those institutions, some also decided not to charge the IOLTA Fund of the Bar of New Jersey any type of service charge or bank fee. These special friends of IOLTA are our Amicus Banks, denoted by an asterisk. Honor Roll of Banks as of March 31, 2007 Allegiance Bank* American Bank of New Jersey* The Bank* Bank of New Jersey BNB Bank Boardwalk Bank* Boiling Springs Savings Bank Colonial Bank* Cornerstone Bank* Crest Savings Bank* Farmers and Mechanics Bank* Franklin Savings Bank* Freehold Savings and Loan Association* Gloucester County Federal Savings Bank Grand Bank* Greater Community Bancorp* Hopewell Valley Community Bank* Kearny Federal Savings Bank* Metuchen Savings Bank* Millington Savings Bank* Newfield National Bank* NJM Bank* Northfield Savings Bank Ocean City Home Bank* Pascack Community Bank* Penn Federal Savings Bank* Pennsville National Bank* Pennsylvania Business Bank Peoples Savings Bank* Provident Bank* Rumson-Fair Haven Bank and Trust* Saddle River Valley Bank Somerset Hills Bank* Somerset Valley Bank* Sovereign Bank* Spencer Savings Bank* Sterling Bank* Sturdy Savings Bank* Susquehanna Patriot Bank Synergy Bank* The Town Bank* Union Center National Bank* Union County Savings Bank* Woori America Bank* 2006 Other Bank Participation The following banks also remitted interest to IOLTA during 2006: Amboy National Bank Atlantic Stewardship Bank Audubon Savings Bank Banco Popular North America Bank of America The Bank of New York Bayonne Community Bank Bogota Savings Bank Brunswick Bank & Trust Cape Savings Bank Central Jersey Bank Chinatrust Bank Citibank Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania Citizens Community Bank City National Bank of New Jersey Columbia Bank Commerce Bank Community Bank of Bergen County Crown Bank Enterprise National Bank N.J. First Bank Americano 1st Colonial National Bank 1st Constitution Bank First Hope Bank First Morris Bank & Trust First National Bank of Absecon First National Bank of Elmer First State Bank First Washington State Bank Glen Rock Savings Bank GSL Savings Bank Harvest Community Bank Hilltop Community Bank HSBC Bank USA Hudson City Savings Bank Hudson United Bank Independence Community Bank Interchange Bank Investors Savings Bank ISN Bank JP Morgan Chase Bank Lakeland Bank Liberty Bell Bank Llewellyn-Edison Savings Bank Magyar Savings Bank Manasquan Savings Bank Mariner's Bank Mellon Bank Millennium bcpbank Millville Savings & Loan Association Minotola National Bank Monroe Savings Bank New Millennium Bank New York Community Bank North Fork Bank North Jersey Community Bank Northern State Bank NVE Savings Bank Ocean First Bank Oritani Savings Bank Pamrapo Savings Bank Parke Bank Peapack-Gladstone Bank PNC Bank Ponce De Leon Federal Bank The Provident Bank Republic First Bank Royal Bank of America RSI Bank Select Bank Shore Community Bank Skylands Community Bank Somerset Savings Bank Summit Federal Savings & Loan Association Sun National Bank Sussex Bank TD Banknorth Team Capital Bank Third Federal Savings Bank Two River Community Bank United Heritage Bank Unity Bank Valley National Bank Wachovia Bank Washington Mutual Bank Wawel Savings Bank Yardville National Bank Only financial institutions that are Court-approved trust account depositories may offer IOLTA accounts. 5

7 Financial Information 2006 FINANCIAL INFORMATION* Revenue Net IOLTA Interest Earned $ 51,290,305 $ 32,917,851 Investment Interest Income 766, ,236 Total Revenue $ 52,056,773 $ 33,208,087 Expenses General and Administrative Expenses $ 431,848 $ 415,162 Authorized Grant Allocations 46,977,692 28,912,236 Emergency Grants Net of Returned Grants (43,993) (8,000) Total Expenses $ 47,365,547 $ 29,319,398 Net Increase/(Decrease) in Temporarily Restricted Net Assets for the Year $ 4,691,226 $ 3,888,689 *Figures are excerpted from the 2006 audited financial statements prepared by Koenig, Russo & Associates, L.L.C. The audit may be examined by appointment during business hours at the Fund s offices. IOLTA GRANTS ($) LEGAL SERVICES OF NJ NJ STATE BAR FOUNDATION DISCRETIONARY GRANTS 50,000,000 40,000,000 30,000,000 20,000,000 10,000, IOLTA REVENUE ($) 60,000,000 50,000,000 40,000,000 30,000,000 20,000,000 10,000,

8 The IOLTA Fund of the Bar of New Jersey NEW JERSEY LAW CENTER ONE CONSTITUTION SQUARE NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ Administration A nine member Board of Trustees governs the IOLTA Fund of the Bar of New Jersey. The Court appoints six members. Ex-officio members are: President, Legal Services of New Jersey, Inc.; President, New Jersey State Bar Association; and President, New Jersey State Bar Foundation or designee BOARD OF TRUSTEES STAFF Richard T. Fauntleroy, Chair Edwin J. McCreedy Ellen D. Ferrise, Executive Director Barry S. Goodman, Treasurer Ellen O Connell Robert A. Ackerman Elizabeth Siso Bair Mary Lou Parker JoAnn Telemdschinow John E. Keefe, Sr. Lawrence A. Yodice Ammara Basheer Melville D. Miller, Jr. 7

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