Constitution of the New Hampshire Bar Association
The purposes of the New Hampshire Bar Association (Association) are to improve the administration of justice; to foster and maintain high standards of conduct, integrity, competence and public service on the part of those engaged in the practice of law; to safeguard the proper professional interests of the members of the Bar; to provide a forum for the discussion of subjects pertaining to the practice of law, the science of jurisprudence and law reform, and the relations of the Bar to the public; to carry on a continuing program of legal research and education; and to encourage cordial relations among members of the Bar; all without regard to race, national origin, religion, creed, gender or sexual orientation, and to the end that the public responsibility of the legal profession may be more effectively discharged. The Association shall confine its activities before the General Court to those matters which are related directly to the administration of justice; the composition and operation of the courts; the practice of law and the legal profession.
Section 1. All persons who are admitted to the practice of law in the State of New Hampshire, and all persons who shall thereafter become admitted to the practice of law in this State, shall thereby become members of this Association; subject in each case to due compliance with the requirements of membership. Residence in the State of New Hampshire shall not be a qualification for membership in the Association.
Section 2. Every person who becomes admitted to the practice of law in this State shall be enrolled in the Association by registering with the Association within twenty-four (24) hours after admission to practice. After such enrollment, each change in any member’s office or residence contact information, including email addresses, shall be promptly reported to the Association.
For purposes of official notification to the Association, information must be reported to the New Hampshire Bar Association.
Section 3. The membership of this Association shall consist of two classes known respectively as “active” members and “inactive” members. Every member shall be an active member unless, upon request and payment of any required Administrative Fee as set by the Board of Governors, that person is enrolled as an inactive member. No person shall be eligible for enrollment as an inactive member who is engaged in the practice of law in this State, or who occupies a position the duties of which require the giving of legal advice or service in this State. Any inactive member whose Association dues and court fees are current may change classification to that of an active member by contacting the Member Records Coordinator at the Association requesting transfer to the class of active member and by paying the dues and court fees required of active members and any required administrative fee as set by the Board of Governors. No inactive member shall be entitled to practice law in this State, or to hold office or vote in any membership meeting, election or referendum of the Association. An inactive member may attend meetings of the Association and participate in the debates of such meetings and shall be entitled to receive the official publications of the Association and such notices and other materials as are mailed to active members. Members of the judiciary including justices, judges and NH masters who are wholly prohibited by statute from engaging in the practice of law, or who are designated as “essentially full time members of the judiciary”, by the New Hampshire Supreme Court Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) and not engaged in the practice of law, shall be considered Full‑Time Judicial members. Part-time members of the NH judiciary, as designated by the AOC, including justices, judges and masters who are wholly prohibited by statute, or Court rule, from engaging in the practice of law, or sit on a part-time basis and are not engaged in the practice of law, shall be considered part-time Judicial members.
Section 4. Except for the right reserved to litigants by statute to prosecute or defend a cause in person or by any citizen of good character, no person other than an active member of this Association shall practice law in this State or in any manner hold himself or herself out as authorized or qualified to practice law in this State. Any court in this State may, by special permission granted by it, allow a member of the Bar of any other state or jurisdiction to appear and participate in any particular action or proceeding in association with an active member of this Association who appears and participates in such action or proceeding.
Section 5. Each member other than an Honorary Active Member or an Honorary Inactive Member shall pay membership dues for each year from June 1st to May 31st following, payable by July 1st of each year in advance, in such amount as may be determined by the Board of Governors following the procedure set forth in the By‑Laws. A newly admitted member shall pay membership dues for the fiscal year of original admission on or before the last day of the first full calendar month after the date of admission. All dues shall be paid to the Association. An Honorary Active Member or an Honorary Inactive Member shall be exempt from any payment of membership dues.
Section 6. If the membership dues or any court/mandatory fees collected by the Association of any member for any year are not paid when due or in compliance with any policies set by the Board of Governors, that member shall be assessed a delinquency penalty as set periodically by the Board of Governors and the Association shall thereupon give notice by first class mail, electronically, or any technologies that can accomplish the same result, to such member who is in arrears advising that member thereof and of the provisions of this Section. If the arrears in dues, court fees and/or delinquency fees remain unpaid, the Association will forward those member names to the NH Supreme Court per Rule 42A (I) A and 42A (II) A whereby the Court shall require the members reported to show cause why they should not be suspended from the practice of law in this State for non-payment of the court fees or bar dues. If the Court determines that a member has not shown good cause for non-payment of court fees or bar dues, an order shall be issued suspending that member from the practice of law in this State. No person whose membership is so suspended shall be entitled to practice law in this State or exercise or receive any of the privileges of membership during such suspension. Whenever a member so suspended for non-payment of membership dues or court fees makes full payment of the arrears, and in addition a sum as set periodically by the Board of Governors as a charge for reinstatement, the Association shall notify that person and the Supreme Court that the amounts in arrears have been paid, and that person may then make a motion to the Supreme Court for reinstatement. The full amount of annual membership dues for the year in which reinstatement takes place shall be paid, regardless of the number of months suspension was in effect during that year.
Section 7. The Board of Governors may in any case in which to do otherwise would result in hardship or injustice, abate dues in whole or in part, and waive delinquency fees assessed for non-payment of membership dues, provided the request is made before delinquent payor’s names have been forwarded to the NH Supreme Court as mandated by NH Supreme Court Rule 42A. The NHBA Waiver Committee (Committee), a subcommittee of the NHBA Board of Governors, will consider the waiver requests. Such decisions by the Committee are deemed representative of the Board of Governors as a whole. The NHBA Board of Governors will receive a list of waiver decisions made in the months of June, July, August, and September at the October Board of Governors meeting. Any member whose waiver request is denied by the Committee may submit a written request for review of the denied request to the Board of Governors Executive Committee. Such requests must be made in writing and sent to the attention of the NHBA Member Records Coordinator within 30 days from the date of the waiver committee decision. Those members contacting the NHBA after delinquent payor’s names have been forwarded to the NH Supreme Court will be directed to contact the Clerk of Court.
Meetings of the Association
Section 1. The Association shall hold at least two regular meetings in each year, an Annual Meeting sometime between April 15th and October 15th and a Mid Winter Meeting. The regular meetings shall be held at such times and places as shall be fixed by the Board of Governors.
Section 2. Special meetings of the Association may be called and held at such times and places as may be determined by the Board of Governors. In addition, the Board of Governors shall call a special meeting of the Association upon petition signed by not less than ten percent of the active members and specifying the purpose of the meeting and such meeting shall be held within thirty (30) days after said petition is filed with the Association.
Section 3. Written notices of any regular or special meetings of the Association shall be printed in the New Hampshire Bar News and/or mailed by first class mail, periodicals rate mail, standard mail, electronically, or any technologies that can accomplish the same result as technologies specifically listed in this section at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date of such meeting, and the notice shall specify the purpose of the meeting. The Association shall include in such notice as a purpose of the meeting any matter requested by petition signed in the manner specified in the preceding section.
Section 4. At any membership meeting of the Association, the right to vote shall be limited to active members present at the meeting and those active members present shall constitute a quorum.
Officers and Employees
Section 1. The officers of the Association shall be a President, a President Elect, a Vice President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer, who shall be nominated and elected respectively in the manner provided in the By Laws, and the Immediate Past President. Only active members of the Association shall be eligible to serve as officers. No person may hold more than one office at one time. The term of office of the President, President-Elect and Vice President shall be one year, and said officer shall be eligible for election to that office a second time, for a non-consecutive term, no less than ten (10) years after completing the first term. The Secretary and Treasurer shall serve for terms of three (3) years and having won a regular, full-term election, shall serve not more than two (2) consecutive terms. The terms of officers shall commence with adjournment of the Annual Meeting of the Association next following election and end with the adjournment of the next succeeding Annual Meeting, except that the Immediate Past President shall, without election, serve for the one-year period following vacating the office of President. The officers shall receive no compensation for their services. The duties of the officers shall be as prescribed in the By Laws.
Section 2. If the office of President becomes vacant, the President Elect shall perform the duties of the office of President during the unexpired term without vacating the office of President Elect. In the event that the office of President becomes vacant at a time when the office of President Elect is also vacant, the Vice President shall perform the duties of the office of President during the unexpired term without vacating the office of Vice President. If any other office becomes vacant, the office shall be filled by the Board of Governors for the unexpired term.
Section 3. The Board of Governors shall hire an Executive Director. The compensation of the Executive Director shall be fixed by the Board of Governors. Any duties imposed by this Constitution or the By Laws of the Association upon the Secretary or Treasurer may be performed by the Executive Director or other employees of the Association as designated by the Executive Director.
Board of Governors
Section 1. There shall be a Board of Governors of the Association. The Board shall consist of the President, the President Elect, the Vice President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Immediate Past President of the Association, and the following additional members:
One (1) Out-of-State Governor. An Out-of-State Governor shall be an active member of the Association whose primary office is located in a state outside of New Hampshire. Out-of-State Governors shall be nominated and elected in the manner provided for in the By-Laws.
One (1) Governor elected from each County of this State, except that Hillsborough County shall have two (2) Governors who shall be elected each from the Northern and Southern Division as defined by the Administrative office of the Courts, by the active members of the Association having their principal offices in such County or Division.
Five (5) Governors elected from the membership at large by the active membership of the Association.
Each elected Governor shall be an active member of the Association. The principal office for the practice of law of each Governor shall be in the County that Governor represents, and if following election such principal office is removed the position shall become vacant automatically. Not more than three Governors at Large shall have their principal offices within the same County. Elected Governors shall be nominated and elected in the manner provided in the By Laws.
One (1) Public Sector Governor elected from the membership at large by the active membership of the Association.
Each elected Public Sector Governor shall be an active member of the Association that meets the criteria as established by the Public Sector/Public Interest Task Force for representing the public sector members of the Association and if following election no longer meets the criteria as established by the Public Sector/Public Interest Task Force, the position shall become vacant automatically. Elected Governors shall be nominated and elected in the manner provided in the By-Laws.
Section 2. Except as hereinafter provided, the elected Governors representing Counties shall serve for terms of two (2) years and the Governors elected at large shall serve for terms of three (3) years, and the terms of all elected members of the Board of Governors shall commence with the adjournment of the Annual Meeting of the Association next following their election. Except as provided in Article IV, Section 2, no member of the Board of Governors, having won a regular, full-term election, shall serve more than two (2) consecutive terms.
Section 3. The Board of Governors shall fill any vacancy in the ranks of its elected membership, including any created by the absence of a qualified nominee submitting the required petition for an annual Board election subject, however, to the provisions of Section 6, Article VI of the By-Laws. Such vacancy shall be filled from the county in which the vacancy occurs in the case of vacancy in the office of Governor elected from a county or division and otherwise, from the membership at large, until the next regular election and the Board shall provide for an election at that time for the balance of the unexpired term.
Section 4. Between meetings of the membership of the Association, the Board of Governors shall be the governing body of the Association, and shall have the power and authority to do and perform all acts and functions which the Association might itself do or perform, not inconsistent with the Rules of the Supreme Court, this Constitution and the By Laws or with any action taken by the Association.
The Association shall adopt Bylaws for the conduct of its affairs, not inconsistent with the Rules of the Supreme Court or this Constitution.
Subject to the approval of the Supreme Court, this Constitution may be amended at any meeting of the Association by the vote of two‑thirds of the active members of the Association present and voting. Copies of the proposed amendments shall be mailed, faxed, emailed or provided via any technologies that can accomplish the same result as technologies specifically listed in this section to the entire membership of the Association at least fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting.
This Constitution, in its original form, took effect on July 1, 1969.
Article V – Board of Governors
Sections 1 and 3 amended with approval of the NH Supreme Court in 2001.
Article V – Board of Governors
Sections 1 and 2 amended with approval of the NH Supreme Court in 2001.
Article II – Membership
Section 3 amended with approval of the NH Supreme Court in 2003.
Article II – Membership
Section 6 amended with approval of the NH Supreme Court in 2005.
Article I – Purposes, amended; Article II – Membership, Sections 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, amended; Article III – Meetings of the Association, Sections 2, 3 amended; Article IV – Officers and Employees, Sections 1, 3, amended; Article V – Board of Governors, Sections 1, 2, 3, amended; Article VI – Interim Officers and Board of Governors, deleted ; Article VII – By-Laws, renumbered; Article VIII – Amendments, amended & renumbered; Article IX – Adoption, deleted; Article X – Takes Effect amended & renumbered. Approved by the NH Supreme Court December 2008.
Article II – Membership, Sections 3, 6; Article III – Meetings of the Association, Section 4; Article V – Board of Governors, Section 3. Submitted to the NH Supreme Court for approval 8/4/11. Approved by the NH Supreme Court September 16, 2011.
Article II – Membership, Sections 3 & 6; Article IV – Officers & Employees, Section 1; Article V – Board of Governors, Section 1 new category. Submitted to the NH Supreme Court for approval 12/19/2013. Approved by the NH Supreme Court January 15, 2014.
Article II – Membership, Sections 3, 6, 7 & 8; Article III – Meetings of the Association, Section 3.
Submitted to NH Supreme Court for approval 3/14/2016. Approved by the NH Supreme Court March 30, 2016.
Article II – Membership, Section 7. Submitted to the NH Supreme Court for approval 4/15/2021. Approved by the NH Supreme Court 4/28/21.
Article II – Membership, Section 5. Submitted to the NH Supreme Court for approval 7/14/2021. Approved by the NH Supreme Court 8/9/21.
Article I, Purposes amended; Article II, Membership, Section 2, 3, 6, 8 ; Article III, Meetings of the Association, Section 4, Article V, Board of Governors, Section 4. Submitted to the NH Supreme Court for approval 4/21/22. Approved by the NH Supreme Court June 16, 2022.
Bylaws of the New Hampshire Bar Association
Section 1. Membership. The Association shall maintain a membership register for enrollment of members of the Association which shall contain as to each member a record showing address, registration date, class of original membership and each subsequent change of membership status, and such other information as may be required by the Board of Governors from time to time.
Section 2. Enrollment. Each member shall enroll in the Association by signing and filing with the Association a registration card showing the following information concerning the registrant:
(a) Full name.
(b) Residence address.
(c) Address of principal office.
(d) Date of birth.
(e) Date of admission to practice in New Hampshire.
(f) Date of admission to practice in any state or states other than New Hampshire.
(g) Name of law school and year of graduation, if any.
(h) Class of membership.
(i) Email address for all Active status members.
Every change after enrollment in respect of the residence or principal office address of any member shall be promptly reported to the Association. Communications from the Association to any member shall be sent to the latest email address furnished by such member.
Section 3. Certification. The Association shall from time to time certify to the Clerk of the Supreme Court any changes in the roll of active members.
Section 1. Fiscal Year. The fiscal year of the Association shall be from June first to May thirty‑first following, and all membership dues or any court/mandatory fees collected by the NHBA as referenced in Article II of the NHBA Constitution shall be payable within thirty (30) days of the date of the Association’s invoice for such or in compliance with any policies as set by the Board of Governors.
Section 2. Effective with the 2003 fiscal year and thereafter the annual membership fee for all classes of members of the Association, except Honorary Active and Honorary Inactive members, shall be established by a 3/5 vote of the Board of Governors except that the authority to adjust annual membership fees, without a vote of the membership, shall be limited to 15% of the prior year’s dues in each membership category.
Section 3. Honorary Members. Any member of this Association shall, on the fiftieth anniversary of the member’s first admission to the Bar of this or any other state, become an Honorary Active Member of the Association entitled to all privileges of active membership or an Honorary Inactive Member of the Association whereby annual membership dues are waived, with the exception of any voluntary section fees.
Section 4. Newly Admitted Members. Newly admitted members of the Bar shall be required to pay a prorated membership fee for the fraction of the Association’s fiscal year during which such original admission shall occur. Such proration shall commence on the first day of the first calendar month following admission such that each newly admitted member shall pay one‑twelfth of the annual fee for each full calendar month after admission in the initial fiscal year. The annual fee for newly admitted active members for the fiscal year of original admission and the next two fiscal years of the Association shall be set at a reduced level from that of members with four (4) or more years practice. The number of years that a new admittee has already spent as a member of any other Bar shall be subtracted from this three-year period. “Newly admitted” shall not include persons re‑admitted after suspension.
Section 5. Inactive and Inactive Retired Members. To be eligible for this membership category and pay the correlating dues , a request to change to Inactive membership status must be made within sixty (60) days of the annual membership dues billing. Those members requesting a change in membership status after sixty (60) days of the membership dues billing may do so, but will incur the dues and fees rate for their current membership status. The Board of Governors may waive this 60‑day deadline for good cause shown.
Inactive members who at the start of the Association’s fiscal year are fully retired from the practice of law in all jurisdictions are eligible to request Inactive Retired Status for which the annual membership fee shall not exceed 10% of the highest assessed Active membership fee. Honorary Inactive Members are exempt from any payment of membership dues, see Section 3.
Section 6. Active Duty with the Armed Forces. Each year by May 1, members on active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States may upon written request receive a waiver of the upcoming year dues. Failure to make the written request will result in membership dues being charged. Any member on active duty with the Armed Forces has an affirmative obligation to promptly inform the NHBA when they go off active duty. The NHBA Waiver Committee will liberally grant waiver requests to members on active duty who report their status after the May 1 date.
Section 7. Limited Active Membership Status for unpaid volunteer pro bono service through, 603 Legal Aid, NH Legal Assistance (NHLA), and Disabilities Rights Center-NH (DRC). Members who are otherwise not engaged in the practice of law in any jurisdiction, or who occupy a position the duties of which do not require the giving of legal advice or services in New Hampshire or any other jurisdiction, are eligible to request Limited Active Membership Status for pro bono legal services for the sole purpose of providing unpaid volunteer civil pro bono legal services to indigent clients. The Director of the above-named legal service entities shall certify with the NHBA Member Records Coordinator those members continuing participation in the pro bono service programs along with identifying any new participants by April 20th of each year.
Section 8. Resignation. A member of the Association who is in good standing, meaning that all membership dues and NH Supreme Court fees, NHMCLE Affidavit filing, Trust Account Compliance filing are all current and there are no outstanding issues with the NH Supreme Court or the Attorney Discipline office, may resign from the Association by filing with the Association written notice of such election, and such person shall thereupon cease to be a member of the Association and the individual’s name shall be removed from the membership register. A member who has resigned shall not thereafter engage in the practice of law in this state unless again admitted to the practice of law upon compliance with such rules governing readmission to the Bar as may from time to time be promulgated by the NH Supreme Court.
Board of Governors
Section 1. Meetings. Regular meetings of the Board of Governors shall be held at least four (4) times a year and at such times and places as it shall from time to time determine. Special meetings of the Board of Governors may be held at any time upon the call of the President and shall be called by the President upon written request of at least five (5) members of the Board.
Section 2. Call. Notice of the time and place of all regular and special meetings of the Board of Governors shall be given to each member by the Association by mail, fax, telephone, email or any technologies that can accomplish the same result as technologies specifically listed in this section, at least forty‑eight (48) hours before the meeting. At any regular or special meeting of the Board of Governors, any business may be transacted which is within the power of the Board of Governors whether or not such business has been mentioned in the call or notice of the meeting.
Section 3. Quorum. At all meetings of the Board of Governors, a majority of the members must be present in person or by electronic means to constitute a quorum, and the action of a majority of those members voting, if a quorum is present, shall decide any question. Ex officio members of the board are not considered part of any quorum. If a quorum is not present at any regular or noticed special meeting of the Board of Governors, sufficient Board members to constitute a quorum must ratify in writing, by fax, email or any technologies that can accomplish the same result as technologies specifically listed in this section, any action taken by the Board at the meeting in question. Any action taken at any special meeting of the Board of Gov
Section 4. Written Approval. The approval in writing of all the members of the Board of Governors to any proposal presented to them for their consideration, in writing, by fax, email or any technologies that can accomplish the same result as technologies specifically listed in this section or otherwise, by the President or the Association shall be as effective for all purposes as the action of a majority at any duly held and constituted meeting of the Board.
Section 5. No Compensation to Governors. No member of the Board of Governors shall receive compensation for services rendered in connection with the performance of Board duties, but the Board of Governors may provide for the reimbursement of officers and members of the Board for their necessary expenses incurred in connection with the performance of their duties.
Section 6. Executive Committee. This committee shall be comprised of the six (6) Officers and the Executive Director (ex-officio, without vote). The Executive Committee shall oversee the work of the Executive Director and the implementation of Association policy between meetings of the Board of Governors and shall perform such other functions of the Board of Governors as shall be assigned to it by the Board.
Section 7. Protocol. The Board of Governors shall adopt a protocol outlining how the Board, committees, sections, task forces, work groups, and any other Bar entities work together to establish, implement and evaluate new and existing projects and initiatives for the organization. The Board may, from time to time, amend the protocol, as necessary to accomplish the stated goals.
Officers, ABA Delegates and Employees
Section 1. President. The President shall be the chief elected officer of the Association, shall preside at all meetings of the Association and of the Board of Governors, and shall perform the duties usually belonging to the office. The President shall be the official spokesperson for the Association, and shall appoint and announce as soon as possible after taking office the membership of NHBA committees for the ensuing year, the appointment of which shall not have otherwise been provided for. The President shall be vested with full power to execute whatever functions may be necessary or incident to the full exercise of any powers bestowed by the Board of Governors, not inconsistent with the Constitution and these By‑Laws. It shall be the duty and obligation of the President to furnish leadership in the accomplishment of the aims and purposes of the Association.
Section 2. President‑Elect. In the absence of the President, the President‑Elect shall perform the duties of the President. The President‑Elect shall automatically succeed to the Presidency upon expiration of the President’s term of office. The President‑Elect shall assist the President in the manner prescribed by the President in furtherance of the aims and purposes of the Association. The President‑Elect shall also perform such other duties as shall from time to time be assigned by the Board of Governors and shall serve as Chair of the Association Finance Committee during the president-elect term.
Section 3. Vice President. In the absence of the President and President‑Elect, the Vice President shall perform the duties of the President. The Vice President shall also perform such other duties as shall from time to time be assigned by the President or by the Board of Governors and shall serve on the Association Finance Committee.
Section 4. If the President, President-Elect or Vice President is unable to serve their term due to any reason during the first 9 months of their term, each remaining Officer will accede to the next higher office, to the extent applicable, such that the vacancy shall be at the Vice-Presidential position. The Association will immediately post a notice in the NH Bar News and provide 30 days for any potential candidate to apply for the open position. Thereafter, within no more than 30 days, the Association will conduct a special election to fill the vacancy under the same terms and conditions as a regular election. The Officer so elected will fulfil the term of Vice President as set forth in Article IV, Section 2, and will accede to the position of President-Elect at the time of the next regularly scheduled election. If the Presidency becomes vacant 90 days or less from the end of their elected term, the President-Elect shall assume the duties of President, and the office of the President will remain vacant until the end of their elected term.
Section 5. Secretary. The Secretary, or designee, shall keep the minutes for all meetings of the Association and of the Board of Governors and shall perform all other duties assigned by the Constitution or these By-Laws or prescribed by the Board of Governors.
Section 6. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall meet regularly with the Executive Director or designee and assist in developing and presenting regular financial reports to the Board of Governors at Board meetings and to the membership, as appropriate and shall serve on the Association Finance Committee.
Section 7. Executive Director. The Executive Director shall assist the Board of Governors and officers of the Association in the performance of their respective duties, shall be in charge of the headquarters of the Association, and shall perform such duties as the Board of Governors may prescribe. The Executive Director, or designee, shall serve ex officio, without vote, on all committees of the Association.
Section 8. Immediate Past President. The Immediate Past President shall perform such duties as shall from time to time be assigned by the President or by the Board of Governors.
Section 9. State and Association Delegates to the American Bar Association shall serve ex officio, without vote, on the Board of Governors.
Meetings of Association
Section 1. Programs. The programs at regular Annual and Midyear meetings of the Association shall be arranged by the Board of Governors, with the advice and assistance of the Committee on Continuing Legal Education.
Section 2. President’s Annual Address. At any Annual Meeting of the Association, the President may deliver an address upon such topic as the President may select.
Section 3.  Resolutions. Every resolution offered for consideration of the Association by any member shall be in writing, shall be concise in form, and shall be pertinent to the legal profession or to the purposes of the Association or in relation to its internal affairs. Any resolution rejected by the Board of Governors may be presented to the membership if such presentation is requested by a petition signed by ten percent of the voting membership.
Nomination and Election of Governors and Officers
Section 1. Governors Representing Counties. Nominations for Governors representing counties or divisions shall be made by petition signed by at least ten (10) active members or 20% of the active membership of the county, whichever is less, having their principal offices in the county or division concerned and filed with the Association not later than March 1. Any nominee for county governor shall have Active membership status in the Association. No member may sign more than one such petition.
Section 2. Governors‑at‑Large. Nominations for Governors‑at‑Large to be elected in any year shall be made by petition signed by any twenty‑five (25) or more active members filed with the Association not later than March 1. Any nominee for Governor-at-Large shall have Active membership status in the Association.
Section 3. Public Sector Governor. Nominations for Public Sector Governor, meeting the criteria as established by the Public Sector/Public Interest Task Force for representing public sector members, shall be made by petition signed by any twenty-five (25) or more active members filed with the Association not later than March 1. Any nominee for Public Sector Governor shall have Active membership status in the Association.
Section 4. Out-of-State Governor. Nominations for Out-of-State Governor shall be made by petition signed by any twenty-five (25) or more active members of the Association. Petitions shall be filed with the Association no later than March 1. Any nominee for Out-of-State Governor shall have Active membership status in the Association. If no valid petition is submitted, the position may remain vacant or be filled by the Board of Governors, at their option.
Section 5. Officers and American Bar Association Delegates. Nominations for Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and the Association Delegate(s) to the American Bar Association House of Delegates shall be made by petition signed by any twenty‑five (25) or more active members of the Association, filed with the Association not later than March 1. Any nominee for officers and the delegates to the ABA shall have Active membership status in the Association.
On or before December 31st in each year, the members of the Board of Governors shall nominate a candidate for President‑Elect.
Section 6. Ballots and Voting. The Association shall prepare separate ballots for each county or division which shall contain the names of all persons nominated for the office of Governor from that county or division and the names of those nominated for at large positions; officers of the Association, Association Delegate(s) to the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association, and Governors to be elected at large. A separate ballot shall be prepared for those counties or divisions without a county governor sitting for election which shall contain the names of all persons nominated for at large positions as noted above. The ballots shall list below each office the names of the nominees. Below the name of each office shall be printed the words “Vote for not more than” followed by a number designating how many persons are to be voted for. All ballots shall designate briefly the manner in which each nominee was nominated, as “Nominated by Petition,” or “Board of Governors Nominee.” The names of the nominees shall be arranged in random order. Following the names on the ballots, after the name of each office to be filled, shall be as many blank lines for write‑in votes, as there are persons to be elected to that office. The Association shall distribute, either by first class mail, electronically or any technologies that can accomplish the same result as technologies specifically listed in this section, the ballots to the active members of the Association having their principal offices in the county or division concerned and the ballots for elections at large to all active members, in each case not later than April 1. Voting shall be by secret ballot using electronic election software selected by the Executive Director, via electronic voting or any technologies that can accomplish the same result as technologies specifically listed in this section. The ballots shall be returned to the Association not later than April 15th unless it falls on a weekend or holiday, upon which the following business day will be used; and no ballots received after that date shall be counted.
Section 7. Certification of Elections. For ballots that are returned to the Association, the President or their designee shall as promptly as possible validate the ballots. The count shall be certified to the Executive Director, and the candidates receiving the highest number of votes for their respective offices shall be declared elected, subject only to the limitation that not more than three (3) Governors‑at‑Large shall have their principal offices within the same county. If any person is elected Governor‑at‑Large but is ineligible to serve because of such limitation, the person receiving the next highest number of votes for such office shall be declared elected. A write-in candidate must receive at least the same number of write-in votes as the number of signatures required on a Nomination Petition to be eligible for election to that office.
Receipt and Disbursement of Funds
Section 1. Receipt. Funds received by the Association shall be deposited in such depositories as the Board of Governors may designate.
Section 2. Approval. Unless specifically approved by the Board no funds of the Association shall be disbursed without the approval of the Executive Director or designee and in accordance with these By‑Laws, the approved budget and any regulations as may be adopted by the Board of Governors.
Section 3. Disbursement. The disbursement of funds of the Association may be made by check or electronic transfer of the Association executed by an authorized Association representative as approved by the Board of Governors.
Section 4. Reporting. The Executive Director shall designate a staff member to maintain a current record of receipts and disbursements, available for periodic audit by the Board, and shall make regular reports to the Board and Association as requested.
There shall be a New Hampshire Bar News publication, and such other publications as the Association may, from time to time, determine shall be published.
Committees, Task Forces or Other Work Groups
Section 1. Classes. The classes of Committees of the Association shall be:
(a) Standing Committees, created by the By‑Laws for the investigation and study of matters relating to the accomplishment of the general purposes, business and objects of the Association of a continuous and recurring character, within the limitations of the power conferred.
(b) Task forces or other work groups will be created by the President, by resolution of the Association or by the Board of Governors. Any groups so created will investigate and study matters relating to specific purposes, business and objects of the Association of an immediate and non‑recurring character. The scope and duration of the group’s effort will be specifically described in the proposal for new action authorizing the group.
Section 2. Appointments. Unless otherwise stated in the creating provision, appointment of members to serve shall be made by the President. The Chair shall be designated annually by the President, and the President shall have the power to fill vacancies. Voting membership shall be limited to active and inactive in good standing members of the Association.
Section 3. Composition. The number and tenure of members of the Committees, Task Forces or Other Work Groups of the Association shall be:
(a) Standing Committees. Unless otherwise stated in the creating provisions, the size of the Standing Committees shall be determined by the President, and each member shall serve until the adjournment of the Annual Meeting or until a new committee is appointed.
(b) Task Forces or Other Work Groups. The size of each Task Force or Other Work Group shall be set forth in the creating resolution, and each member shall serve until the adjournment of the Annual Meeting following his or her appointment unless reappointed.
Section 4. Meetings. Meetings shall be held upon the call of its Chair or upon written request signed by three or more members. No report, recommendation, or other action of any Committee, Task Force or Other Work Group shall be considered as the action of the Association or publicized as such, unless and until it shall have been approved or authorized by the Board of Governors.
Section 5. Meetings. Standing Committees. There shall be Standing Committees on:
Continuing Legal Education
Cooperation with the Courts
Lawyer Referral Services
Law Related Education
Section 6. Jurisdictions of Standing Committees. The jurisdiction and special tenures of Standing
Committees shall be as follows:
(a) Continuing Legal Education Committee. It shall be the duty of this committee to arrange for and advise on the content of, and to facilitate production of lectures, seminars, institutes and other instruction on legal subjects to keep the members of the Association abreast of progress of the law and encourage lawyers to exercise the highest level of professional integrity as Officers of the Court. The committee shall also assist the Board of Governors in planning the programs at regular meetings of the Association.
(b) Committee on Cooperation with the Courts. This committee, which has both Bench and Bar representation, monitors the rules, practices and procedures of the New Hampshire courts and serves as a conduit for information and discussion about such matters between Association members and other entities within the organization and the profession. The committee may make recommendations to the NHBA Board of Governors regarding the need for appropriate actions, meetings, conferences, studies, surveys or dialogue which will ensure an ongoing cooperative relationship between the Bench and the Bar. The committee’s focus may also include work to enhance communication and cooperation with various administrative agencies.
(c) Dispute Resolution Committee. The committee shall administer a procedure, as approved by the Board of Governors, for the resolution of disputes between attorneys or between New Hampshire lawyers and their clients. The committee shall also be responsible for recommending amendments to such procedures as necessary.
(d) Ethics Committee. This committee has three functions. The primary function of the committee is to render opinions and publish articles to provide guidance to the members of the New Hampshire Bar Association (“Bar”) in interpreting the New Hampshire Rules of Professional Conduct. As a secondary function, the committee proposes amendments to the New Hampshire Rules of Professional Conduct. A tertiary function of the committee is to respond to Court inquiries, and to comment on or participate in the review of ethical issues of concern to members of the Bar. The committee shall adopt rules and procedures approved by the Board of Governors, appropriate to the carrying out of its charge.
(e) Finance Committee. This committee shall consist of at least eleven (11) members, the following three (3) members from the Board of Governors: President- Elect, Vice President, and Treasurer and eight (8) additional Association members. The President-Elect will chair the committee. It shall be the duty of this committee to prepare and submit a proposed budget to the Board of Governors for each fiscal year. Except by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Governors, no unbudgeted commitment exceeding $10,000 shall be authorized by the Board until the Finance Committee has vetted the proposal and provides its recommendation to the Board of Governors.
Unless undertaken by the Board of Governors, or a committee thereof, the Finance Committee shall annually oversee an audit of the books and records of the Association and shall review the financial procedures and policies and make any recommendations deemed appropriate for the improvement of such procedures and policies, including the investment policy approved by the Board of Governors.
(f) Gender Equality Committee. The committee investigates issues of gender discrimination and equality in the legal profession and in the legal system. The committee may undertake projects as deemed necessary or appropriate to ensure fair treatment and equality of all members of the legal profession and all participants in the legal system.
(g) Committee on Lawyer Referral Services. This committee shall provide advice, recommendations, and support to staff concerning the development and operation of all NHBA sponsored lawyer referral programs. This committee shall review decisions to suspend or remove panelists and review petitions from potential panelists who have been denied membership. The committee shall also provide guidance and support for the NHBA Lawline program, and the NHBA participation in ABA Free Legal Answers program.
(h) Law Related Education Committee. This committee shall oversee and take necessary action to engage lawyers and judges in activities to further civics education and information for both students and adults in New Hampshire. This shall include but not be limited to programs for students, facilitating involvement of the Bench and Bar in school programs, coordinating teacher education and involvement in civics programs, coordinating with appropriate groups and/or organizations regarding civics education, and general education of adults on civics programs.
(i) Legislation Committee. This committee carefully and thoroughly monitors legislative developments within the state. The committee reviews legislation pending before the New Hampshire Legislature to determine if the proposal affects the administration of justice, the composition and operation of the courts, the practice of law or the legal profession. If a pending bill is found to fall within one of these categories, the committee then determines if the bill is of significant interest to the Bar membership as a whole. The committee also considers whether there is substantial unanimity within the Bar on any bill under consideration and is expected to exercise circumspection in all its deliberations prior to making any legislative recommendations to the Board of Governors.
(j) New Lawyers Committee. This committee monitors the integration of newly admitted members of the Bar into both the Association and the legal profession and plans meetings, provides materials, and educational and social programs to assist new admittees and make them feel welcome to the Bar Association. The New Lawyers Committee is the New Hampshire affiliate of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.
Section 7. Termination of Committees, Task Forces or Other Work Groups.
1. Task Forces or Other Work Groups shall be terminated by vote of the Board of Governors at such time as it deems appropriate.
2. Standing Committees shall only be terminated by amending these By-Laws as provided herein.
Section 1. Sections devoted to the improvement of the professional knowledge and skill of the members thereof in particular fields of law may be organized subject to Association approval, upon the written application of 30 or more members setting forth the following:
1. Proposed first year and long-term objectives;
2. Proposed first year and long-term budget;
3. Proposed By‑Laws, conforming in general with the MODEL SECTION
BY‑LAWS, subject to Board approval.
Sections so established agree to adhere to the guidelines set out in the Procedure Manual for Sections as established by the Association and approved by the Board.
Section 2. Any member of this Association, whose Association dues and court fees are current, may become a member of any section, upon enrollment in that section and payment of section dues.
Section 3. Interested professionals or paralegals in related fields may subscribe to section mailings and attend section activities, paying section subscription fees as established by the Association. Section subscribers shall have no vote in section affairs, and may be excluded from any or all meetings by vote of the section or may be excluded from a specific meeting by vote of the section officers. Section subscribers shall not hold office in the section. Specific section subscribers may be removed from participation by vote of the section, with no subscription fee refund required.
Section 4. Section dues and section subscription fees shall be paid to and held by the Association. Proposed section expenditures must be approved by the Director of Professional Development, or designee, and expenditures over $500 need to be approved by the Executive Director. Sections shall incur no obligation unless approved by the Director of Professional Development, or designee.
Section 5. No report, recommendation or other action of any section shall be considered as the action of the Association or publicized as such unless or until approved or authorized by the Board of Governors.
Section 6. Sections may jointly sponsor, in cooperation with the CLE Committee, at least one CLE program for general Association Membership. Sections shall hold at least two general membership meetings per year, one being between March 15 and May 15 for the purpose of election of officers.
Section 7. Upon vote of the Association Board of Governors, a section may be dissolved or suspended, and all uncommitted funds shall inure to the Association.
Section 1. Authorization. The Board of Governors may at any time by a majority vote of its members, and shall, if directed by vote at any meeting of the Association take a referendum of the active members of the Association upon any matter affecting the administration of justice or policy of the Association.
Section 2. Method. Ballots for use in any such referendum shall be prepared, distributed, returned and counted in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Board of Governors. The result of a referendum, as determined by a majority of the votes cast, when duly ascertained shall be published in the New Hampshire Bar News, and shall control the action of the Association, the Board of Governors, the Officers, Committees and Sections.
These By‑Laws may be amended at any regular or special meeting of the Association provided that notice of any such proposed action reasonably sufficient to indicate the nature and purpose thereof is contained in the notice of the meeting.
incorporating amendments through 6/92; 6/93; 6/01; 6/03, 2/05; 11/08; 7/11; 12/13; 3/16; 6/16; 6/19; 6/20, 6/21, 2/22
1Candidates have to meet the following criteria: Must currently be employed in a qualifying position: in government service, military service, law enforcement, public interest law services (including prosecution, public defense, legal advocacy in low-income communities or for individuals with disabilities at a nonprofit organization), or at an organization that is described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of such Code, or at an organization recognized by the IRS as tax exempt under section 115.