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Bar Journal - Summer 2006

Introduction

By:

 

        The 2006 Annual Survey of New Hampshire law, produced in collaboration with Franklin Pierce Law Center and featuring articles by students at the law school, covers an array of topics and areas of the law. Two of the articles, one by third-year student Denise Jobe, and the other by 2006 Pierce Law graduate Scott Kumpf, were judged by a panel of the Bar Journal Editorial Board as especially worthy, and were named Editor’s Award co-winners for 2006.

 

        Denise Jobe analyzes the current debate and concerns over assessors’ practices in valuing real estate property based on the enhanced value provided by scenic views. The issue of “view assessments” highlights a persistent problem in New Hampshire: many tax assessors in the state do not provide sufficient documentation of their assessment practices. Jobe’s research went beyond the traditional sources of recent decisions by the Supreme Court to incorporate reviews of Department of Revenue Administration rules and decisions of the Board of Land and Tax Appeals.

 

        Kumpf takes on a Supreme Court decision that apparently has changed the relationship between landlords and tenants, creating a new standard for eviction that extends residential tenants’ occupancy rights beyond the expiration of leases.  The decision is a controversial one, and Kumpf methodically examines the state of landlord-tenant law, the decision, its apparent impact and the unanswered questions it raises.

 

        The first article appearing in this issue, by third-year student David Hall, also looks at a decision that changes the legal landscape for litigation. It examines the Court’s adoption, through two recent decisions, of the doctrine of judicial estoppel, which Hall carefully delineates from its better-known cousins, collateral estoppel and equitable estoppel. 

 

        Also from Franklin Pierce, is an article dealing with a recent Supreme Court decision regarding the balancing of a domestic violence victim’s rights to protection and the defendant’s right to due process. The author, third-year student Jennifer Chase, argues that the majority in McCarthy v. Wheeler overlooks the public policy purposes of the domestic violence statute and fails to consider remedies other than dismissal of a protective order.

 

        And Michael Litzau, a 2006 Pierce Law graduate, looks at the Court’s handling of another delicate balancing act: the privacy rights of litigants in a divorce matter and the public’s right to know.

 

        All of this year’s student authors, in the process of their research and writing, benefited from the valuable guidance of faculty supervisor David Rothstein and other faculty members, and also from mentoring by practicing members of the Bar. Students were matched up with mentors either through their own initiative or through the efforts of the Bar Journal Committee and editorial staff. The level of mentoring ranged from in-person conversations and multiple reviews of each manuscript to brief comments on early drafts. The most important aspect of mentoring was the early involvement of practicing lawyers helping the students identify key issues in their topics. The Bar Journal Committee hopes that in future years, Bar members will respond to calls for help from the Bar Journal in finding mentors for  students working on the Annual Survey. These students  are seeking not only to educate themselves but to provide useful information and practice pointers to the bar in New Hampshire. 

 

This issue also features an article that will be of interest to family law practitioners. Psychologists Benjamin Garber and Laura Landerman-Garber provide insights on the role of the child’s voice in court proceedings where the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities is being contested. It provides a psychologist’s perspective on children and families in the legal context.

 

        Many Bar members call our office asking for assistance in locating past articles in the Bar Journal, and we are always happy to help. Some of you may not be aware that past articles of the Bar Journal (dating back to 1999) can be found in the Publications Archives in the Publications area of the Web site at http://www.nhbar.org. And, just recently added to the Web site  is the Lex Loci Archive, a compilation of Lex Loci articles dating back to 1963.  Except for a handful of articles by G. Peter Guenther and Charles Abbey, the Lex Loci column has been exclusively written by Charles DeGrandpre. Over 40 years, he has never failed to provide astute analysis presented with brevity and wit. We hope that this cataloging of historical articles online will help researchers gain insights into the development of NH legal thought in the late 20th century. 

 

        Enjoy these articles – whether you read them in print or online.

 

– Dan Wise

Communications Director

New Hampshire Bar Association

 

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