Every year, the NH Bar Association recognizes those members that have been in the practice of law for 50 years. This year, there were 13 such members. Following is a series of brief biographical sketches of some of the members. Honorary status members are recognized at the Annual Meeting.
Brian G. Bardorf Pierre O. Caron James A. Connor Hon. Philip S. Hollman Willard G. Martin, Jr.
Clifford J. Moody Hon. Walter L. Murphy Hon. Joseph P. Nadeau John B. Pendleton
Wilfred L. Sanders, Jr. Henry F. Spaloss Frederick J. Sullivan John Tateosian
Hon. Walter L. Murphy
Judge Walter L. Murphy
Born in Boston, Judge Walter L. Murphy has served on the bench and spent roughly 40 years on the benches of several New Hampshire courts. Most notably, Murphy served as the Chief Justice of the NH Superior Court from 2000 until he retired in 2004.
Despite a long and illustrious career, his proudest moment professionally was outside the courtroom: "I was honored to be recognized by the Bar Association as recipient of the William A. Grimes Award for Judicial Professionalism the same evening that my eldest daughter was the recipient of the Robert E. Kirby Award."
Judge Murphy began his career in 1962 after graduating from Boston College Law School when he opened a law firm with William Batchelder, with whom he later served on the Superior Court bench before Batcheldor went on to the Supreme Court. He also worked privately at Murphy & Deachman from 1970 to 1975 and at Murphy & Foley from 1978 to 1983.
Murphy was first as a special justice for the Plymouth District Court in 1966. In 1978, he was appointed to the Superior Court and became its Chief Justice in 2000. Though he is now retired, he serves as a chair of medical negligence screening panels for the Superior Court.
Walter Murphy married his wife Joan in 1962. The couple raised five children, and now have numerous grandchildren.
Brian G. Bardorf
Born and raised in Connecticut, Brian G. Bardorf is still practicing law in Newport, RI.
"I am very gratified with my professional career, and slightly surprised that the 50-year milestone has approached so suddenly," he says. "My immediate plans are to continue my practice."
Bardorf says he became a lawyer thanks to his uncle, an attorney who worked with the Roosevelt Administration during the New Deal era. After graduating from Georgetown Law School, he joined the US Navy and worked in the Judge Advocate General corps.
Following his service in the Navy, Bardoff opened a practice in Newport, RI, where he still practices today. Throughout his career, he has cultivated numerous long-standing clients who he is proud to say are "still active, satisfied clients."
"The most memorable cases are those in which excellent results have been achieved for a very satisfied client to recognized the degree of effort, skill and strategy involved in achieving that result."
Bardorf does have one critique of the practice of law, however: "In too many instances, the current practice of law is governed by business priorities rather than professional motivations."
Overall, though, Bardorf says he’s enjoyed his career and his family, which includes his wife of 48 years, Mary, and their three sons.
Pierre O. Caron
Pierre O. Caron
Pierre O. Caron is a lifelong Nashua resident and has spent the past 50 years dedicating his life to the practice of law in New Hampshire.
"It’s a bit surprising how fast the time has gone by," he says. "I have to look back on all that has transpired to grasp the reality."
Caron majored in economics and business in college, and initially had no intention of becoming a lawyer, but that changed when he took a labor law class taught by a new lawyer. "The way he taught his classes gave me a desire to go on to law school," he said.
He began his career, following graduation from Boston College Law School, as a staff attorney for National Grange Mutual Insurance Company. He later joined the legal staff of Public Service of New Hampshire, where he worked for 27 years.
"Although most of my career was with corporations, I handled primarily real estate, tort, environmental and labor matters," he says. "In some ways, I was the general practitioner on the staff."
Caron has another 50-year anniversary this year as well: a wedding anniversary. He lives with his wife, Jeanne, and the couple has three children.
He currently serves on the Compensation Appeals Board.
A native of Haverhill, MA, John Tateosian has retired after practicing as a sole practitioner in Haverhill, MA, and Hampstead, NH, for most of his career.
Tateosian served during the Korean War in the United States Air Force, where he operated IBM machines and wired panel boards. After his service, he attended Suffolk University and Suffolk University Law School.
Tateosian is active in his community, serving as the Charter President of the Atkinson Lions Club and as a member of the Haverhill Board of Appeals. He is married to Constance (Gianoukas) Tateosian. The couple has one son.
"I find it quite extraordinary, almost an out-of-body experience, realizing that I have been practicing law for 50 years, as the time has gone by so quickly." said Jack Sanders, who still practices law at Pierce Atwood.
Like several of this year’s 50-year members, Sanders cites the McCarthy hearings as pivotal events which drew him toward law practice.
"I was fascinated by the cross examination of witnesses," he said, "particularly Boston attorney Joseph Welch’s cross examination of Senator McCarthy."
Sanders worked with attorney Richard P. Dunfey when he started in the profession and when Dunfey was appointed to the Superior Court, he was joined by Ed McDermott. Their firm, Sanders & McDermott, eventually grew to 12 lawyers and in 2003 they took an opportunity to merge with Pierce Atwood.
Some of Sanders’ most memorable moments, he says, include his involvement in establishing the structure of the Seacoast Science Center at Odiorne Point and his chairmanship of the National Teams Committee that ran the sport of freestyle skiing under the United States Skiing Association.
"While I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my professional career, nothing in life compares, however, to the joys of having three wonderful children...combined they have seven lovely children with whom I spend as much time as possible." he says. "I continue enjoying my lifelong sport of skiing...God willing, I will continue pursuing these activities for many more years."
Clifford J. Moody
Clifford J. Moody
Born and raised in Lebanon, NH, Clifford J. Moody received his undergraduate degree from the University of New Hampshire and his JD from George Washington University Law School. He is also a published fiction author.
Moody began his career in 1962 as an associate at McLane, Carleton, Graf, Greene and Brown in Manchester and became a partner at Eaton, Moody, Solms & Mills in 1963. He later became a partner at Moody & Goodrich in Concord.
In 2000, Moody published his first novel, Cast Down the Waters, A Bosnia in Flames, which tells the tale of two American secret agents dropped behind enemy lines in Bosnia. In 2004, he published a sequel, Sneak Attack.
Of law practice in New Hampshire, Moody recalled: "We all seemed to grown up in the practice in an atmosphere of good will and mutual trust that only seemed to grow and strengthen over time and affect us all, an atmosphere that made coming to the office each day something you looked forward to."
John B. Pendleton
John B. Pendleton
John B. Pendleton is a past-president of the NH Bar Association (1976-77) and he is particularly proud of his service in this area, remembering fondly his work to establish the judicial selection committee and the formation of NHBA•CLE.
Pendleton began his career at Sulloway & Hollis in Concord and worked there for 17 years. Following that role, he moved to Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell in Concord.
"As was the practice then in larger firms, my first few years afforded a broad exposure to most areas of practice, everything from murder to bond financings," he said. "However, my practice soon came to focus on banking, utility and real estate law."
Pendleton cites several highlights in his career, including co-authoring the NH Condominium Act in the early 1980s and his involvement in two of the first conversions in the country of mutual savings banks to stock forms of ownership.
He retired from law practice in 1997 to become an English teacher at Proctor Academy. "I loved the law," he said, "but always wanted to teach."
He is the father of four children, two of whom – Elizabeth Donovan and John T. Pendleton – practice law together in Portsmouth, NH.
"After nine years of teaching, I retired again in 2006. We moved into a home in Truro on Cape Cod. We are active in our church and I serve on the Truro Planning Board and as a trustee of its Conservation Trust. I play tennis, shellfish and kayak. We hike with our Labrador retrievers, entertain grandchildren, enjoy the vast array of arts available here, and travel whenever we can. Retirement is all it’s cracked up to be."
Frederick J. Sullivan
Frederick Sullivan retired from practice in 2005, but he says that he enjoyed all of his years working as an attorney.
Born in Cranston, RI, Sullivan grew up in New Bedford, MA. As a young man, he served in the US Air Force during the Korean War.
Following his service, he pursued what he calls "an inherent interest in the law," and finished law school. He worked for most of his career as a solo practitioner in Portsmouth, where he practiced primarily estate planning, real estate and personal injury law.
Active in his community, Sullivan served as the chairman of the Portsmouth Board of Education.
His family includes his wife, Loretta, a son, three daughters and a stepson.
Willard "Bud" Martin
Willard "Bud" Martin
Born in Boston, but raised in New Hampshire, Willard "Bud" Martin still practices and is a judicial fellow at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Martin served in the NH Air & Army National Guard from 1963 to 1969. He is a graduate of Bates College, Harvard University and Boston University. For the past 50 years, he’s been a partner at Martin, Lord & Osman in Laconia. He has also served as a special justice for the Laconia District Court and as a judge in the NH Family Division.
Martin is very active in the legal community and in the state government. He’s a past member of the NH Bar Association Board of Governors and serves as a New Hampshire bar examiner and as a member of the Character & Fitness Committee of the NH Supreme Court.
He has won several awards for his civic engagement, including the Children’s Trust Fund Award, the Conservation Farmer of the Year for New Hampshire, the Salvation Army William Booth Award and the Belknap County Citizens Council on Children and Families Award.
James A. Connor
James A. Connor
"The first job that I had after graduating from Holy Cross College, "In Cursu Honoris," and Boston College Law School, was as Special Assistant Attorney General attached to the Department of Employment Security. After some months on that job, I interviewed with a number of law firms and decided to strike out on my own in Manchester where I have lived all of my life. I ultimately ended up in the Kennard Building on Elm Street, which was full of individual practitioners who had plenty of assignments for me.
"I became the first Assistant County Attorney in Hillsborough County in state history and subsequently was elected for three terms as Hillsborough County Attorney. Along the way, I had hundreds, if not thousands, of bench and jury trials. Out of many matters that I handled, I was co-counsel for the first medical malpractice verdict in New Hampshire history. (Bernier v. Dr. B, Coos County); an acquittal of murder (State v. Motoh, Rockingham County); "St Patrick’s Day Luck," (State v. O’Mally, 120 N.H.); and the negligent infliction level of emotional distress, (Corso v. Merrill, 119 N.H).
"Along the way, I was treated with kindness and patience by hundreds of judges, lawyers, clients and court and governmental officials.
"I tried to stay current on the statutes, case law and procedure and left the concept of marketing to the used car dealers."
Retired Justice of the NH Supreme Court, Justice Joseph P. Nadeau has largely retired from law practice, but he has spent much time volunteering to do judicial work with the American Bar Association Rule of Law programs across the globe, which has included consulting work in Indonesia and Ukraine.
Nadeau says he’s lucky to be celebrating 50 years in the law and that when he joined the NH Bar, there were only 750 members.
"We all have been not only legal colleagues, but good friends," he says.
Nadeau says he became a lawyer because or his father, James P. Nadeau, who served for many years as a member of the NH Liquor Commission. "My father talked a lot about the importance of the law. He was always my hero and instilled in me a high respect and admiration for lawyers," Nadeau says. "He felt that with a law degree a person had unlimited alternatives."
Nadeau began his career with attorney Stanley Burns in Dover before starting his own office. After some time in practice, he was appointed part-time presiding judge of the Durham District Court by Governor John King, thus beginning his long judicial career. He was later appointed to the Superior Court, eventually becoming its chief justice. He was later appointed by Governor Jeanne Shaheen to the NH Supreme Court, where he says he witnessed some of the state’s best lawyers writing and arguing for their clients with energy and professionalism.
"I’m proud to be a member of the legal profession," he says.
Nadeau today lives in Durham with his wife Cathy, who he says "floods [him] with youthful exuberance and provides our lives with enthusiastic excitement." He has three daughters, Tina, current Chief Justice of the NH Superior Court, Diana an actress and mom, and Brianna a session singer in Los Angeles.
The entire group was recognized at the Annual Meeting banquet on Friday, June 22, 2012, at the Omni Mt. Washington Hotel.