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Bar Journal - Spring 2006

Introduction

By:


Litigation is the main focus of this issue of the New Hampshire Bar Journal with an emphasis upon practical “how-to” suggestions and guidance.  The authors were encouraged to dwell more on process and practical aspects rather than on extraordinary developments in their areas of expertise. Our hope is to do more “bread and butter” articles in future issues, and we are interested in readers’ feedback on what you find useful and what articles and topics you would like to see more of.  Perhaps you will be encouraged to submit an article yourself.

 

Attorney Lauren Simon Irwin of the Upton Hatfield law firm chronicles the step-by-step process of tracking the life of an employment discrimination lawsuit in the state courts from the plaintiff’s perspective, taking the litigation from initial case selection, to issues dealing with choice of venue, pleadings, discovery and motions, witnesses, and, in this case, settlement. Although she did not want a byline, we know that attorney Heather Burns helped contribute to the high quality of Lauren’s article.

 

Our issue contains two articles dealing with federal practice: The first is a candid and comprehensive discussion of the experience to date of the electronic case-filing system in the United States District Court, District of New Hampshire.  The article is by Chief Deputy Clerk Daniel J. Lynch, who oversaw the implementation of electronic filing and who continues to field calls that come into the electronic filing “help desk” at the courthouse.

 

Also on the federal side, and from a defense perspective, is an article on trademark protection by New Hampshire Bar member Timothy Ervin, of Gallant & Ervin, in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, whose clients include the estate of reggae legend Bob Marley.  Attorney Ervin describes the process of defending trademark infringement in today’s sprawling, multifaceted marketplace, with particular emphasis on the rationale for ex parte seizures of allegedly infringing material.  It is a practical, hands-on-analysis with insights into practice in the federal district courts.

 

The last of our litigation-themed articles is by attorney Cameron Shilling, from the law firm of McLane, Graf, Middleton, who has written the first of a two-part series on the increasingly important–and dynamic–area of e-discovery. His mission is to present what lawyers need to know about electronic documents and discovery, and his analysis is persuasive. You will come away convinced that you ought to know a lot more about this emerging area. His follow-up article, coming in the Summer issue, will focus on helping to advise clients on the policies they need to establish to responsibly manage their electronic documents.                                                

 

A significant article for all readers of Bar Journal is an analysis of the overhaul and modernization of the “New Hampshire Rules of Professional Conduct,” a project of the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Ethics Committee.  This project was more than five years in the making and is the work product of many experienced attorneys, who devoted much time and effort to this difficult area.  The proposal is a comprehensive rewrite of nearly every Rule–and the addition of several new rules.  The project is now pending before the New Hampshire Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules.  

 

The Ethics Committee version addresses interpretations of the Rule and inadequacies in the current wording, reconciles New Hampshire’s rules with some prevailing trends in the legal profession, and incorporates some of the thinking contained in the American Bar Association’s “Ethics 2000,” a rewriting of the ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

 

This article does not analyze every change, but it should serve as an introduction to your own reading of the proposal, which is presented, complete with references to the ABA rules and the current New Hampshire rules, on the Bar Association’s Web site at www.nhbar.org. (See Legal Links/Ethics Committee).                                                        

 

This issue of Bar Journal also features a meditation on the issue of age limits as a form of term limitation for judges. Given the longer life expectancies and the drastically different nature of aging in the 21st century, attorney Michael Lewis asks whether the limitation of judicial tenure as “lifetime until age 70” as established 200 years ago still make sense.  He reasons that it does not, and proposes an uncommon but sensible alternative.

 

And, of course, no modern-era bar journal is complete without the insights of Charles DeGrandpre in his Lex Loci column.

 

Lastly, we need to report that a constitutional law article by Attorney Eugene Van Loan, promised in the last issue (as part of his introduction to Timothy Lawrie’s exploration into the origins and early exercise of judicial review in 18th century New Hampshire) has been postponed until the next edition of Bar Journal. Van Loan’s analysis will likely be published first on the Bar Association’s Web site.

 

For those readers who are not familiar with the online publication of Bar Journal, we urge you to check out the articles available there.  It is becoming a useful tool for attorneys interested in keeping up with legal developments in New Hampshire. Look for the Publications Archives at the Publications tab on the home page of www.nhbar.org.

 

Michael S. DeLuciaAuthor

Michael S. DeLucia is the Director of Charitable Trusts and Senior Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice, Concord, New Hampshire.

 

 

 

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