(Concord, NH) –
The NHBA is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 President’s Awards, to be presented at the 2022 Annual Meeting on June 17:
Justice William A. Grimes Award for Judicial Professionalism
Hon. M. Kristin Spath
Award for Distinguished Service to the Legal Profession
Mitchell M. Simon
E. Donald Dufresne Award for Outstanding Professionalism
Pamela E. Phelan
The Justice William A. Grimes Award for Judicial Professionalism is presented to a judge that best fits the following:
“The judges therefore should always be men of learning and experience in the laws, of exemplary morals, great patience, calmness, coolness and attention. Their minds should not be distracted with jarring interests; they should not be dependent upon any man or body of men.”
– John Adams, 1776
The Honorable M. Kristin Spath is a judge for the NH 6th Circuit Court in Concord where she has served on the bench since 2011. Prior to her judicial appointment, she was the Chief of Staff for the NH Department of Justice where she worked for 12 years, also serving as the Chief of the Consumer Protection Bureau. Judge Spath has had a diverse legal career. Before joining the Attorney General’s Office, she served as the Deputy Clerk of Merrimack County Superior Court and also worked as a New Hampshire and federal public defender. She received both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Maine at Orono. She earned her J.D. from Franklin Pierce Law Center in 1985. Noted for her compassion and humor, Judge Spath treats everyone in her courtroom with dignity, kindness, and respect, and makes them feel heard.
The Distinguished Service to the Legal Profession Award is given to an individual who best exhibits service to the legal profession.
Mitchell M. Simon has been of counsel at Devine, Millimet & Branch, PA in Manchester, NH for 18 years. During that time, he represented lawyers in disciplinary cases and counseled law firms on ethical questions. He is also an Professor of Law emeritus at UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law in Concord, NH. For over 30 years, he taught courses on torts and professional responsibility and published numerous scholarly articles on professional responsibility issues. He earned his J.D. from Boston University School of Law in 1977. Prior to joining the law school staff in 1988, Mitch was the Litigation Director at New Hampshire Legal Assistance. He also served as a Director of the Senior Citizens Law Project and was supervising attorney of the Health and Elder Law Clinic. In these roles, he argued many cases on behalf of low-income persons before the New Hampshire Supreme Court, the United States District Court, and Circuit Courts. Mitch is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Ethics Committee, and was its chair from 1988-1993.
The E. Donald Dufresne Award for Outstanding Professionalism is bestowed to an attorney who best fits the following:
“A professional lawyer is an expert in law pursuing a learned art in service to clients and in the spirit of public service; And engaging in these pursuits as part of a common calling To promote justice and public good.”
Pamela E. Phelan is currently the Litigation Director at the Disability Rights Center-NH where she has worked since August 2018. She has dedicated the majority of her legal career to public service, previously working for the New Hampshire Public Defender and as Chief Deputy Clerk at the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire. Pam received her J.D. from Creighton University School of Law in 1993 and began her legal career as a Law Clerk for the Hon. C. Thomas White (deceased) of the Nebraska Supreme Court, and then as a lawyer with Orr and Reno, P.A. In addition to her advocacy for clients, Pam enjoys working with the next generation of attorneys, teaching pre-trial advocacy and trial advocacy skills to Daniel Webster Scholars at the UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law. She serves on the Board of Directors for the NH Public Defender, represents the Disability Rights Center-NH on the Access to Justice Commission and has served as Chairperson for the New Hampshire Bar Association Committee for Cooperation with the Courts. Pam has dedicated her career to tireless advocacy for her clients and the promotion of justice in New Hampshire, while always exemplifying the utmost professionalism.
Says NHBA Pesident Richard Guerriero, “Law is about service and the responsibility to serve. As guardians of the law, lawyers play a vital role in the preservation of society, reflecting honor, integrity, civility, and commitment. These qualities notably elevate the profession above and beyond the means to earn a living. These three award recipients embody those qualities and more. They demonstrate a clear commitment to justice and the betterment of society, and they are true role models for new and younger attorneys. I am proud to be their colleague. Congratulations.”
About The New Hampshire Bar Association
The New Hampshire Bar Association (NHBA; Concord, NH; nhbar.org) is a non-profit 501(c)(6), court-mandated organization. Its members are all attorneys licensed to practice in the state, as well as all New Hampshire judges. Founded in 1873, the NHBA serves our members, the public, the justice system, and the profession.