Board of Governors Election Starts April 1

Online balloting will begin April 1 and conclude April 15. An email containing a link and passcode will be sent from on April 1. Members who have not voted by April 8 will receive an email reminder.

Because the NHBA Board of Governors ballot is sent as a bulk email message from ElectionsOnline, it may end up in your email application’s spam filter. To ensure that you receive your ballot, please add  to your “safe senders” list.  This address has been the same for the past several years.

If you do not receive your electronic ballot and would like to vote online please send an email to Debbie Hawkins ( and she will assist you in receiving a ballot. Upon request, the Bar will provide a traditional paper ballot.


President Elect – Jonathan Eck

Jonathan M. Eck

Jonathan Eck is a shareholder and member of the litigation department at Orr & Reno, P.A. in Concord, where he maintains a broad and varied litigation practice that includes business litigation, probate litigation, commercial leasing disputes, and tort claims. From 2011 to 2020, Jonathan served on the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Board of Governors as a Governor-at-Large. For the 2020-2021 Bar year, Jonathan served as the Merrimack County Governor. He is currently the Vice President of the New Hampshire Bar Association. Additionally, for the past six years, he has served on the Bar Association’s Committee on Cooperation with the Courts, which he has chaired from the fall of 2017 to the spring of 2021. Jonathan is the vice president and a trustee for the New Hampshire Supreme Court Society. Jonathan formerly served as a member of the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire’s Federal Court Advisory Committee. In 2014-2015 Jonathan was president of the Manchester Bar Association. In 2015, Jonathan received the New Hampshire Bar Foundation’s Robert E. Kirby Award. Jonathan was admitted to the New Hampshire Bar in 2006. He received his law degree from Vermont Law School and is a graduate of Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

Since the fall of 2011, I have served on the NHBA Board of Governors (for three consecutive terms as a Governor-at-Large, one year as Merrimack County Governor, and currently as Vice President). I am now seeking to be elected President-Elect of the New Hampshire Bar Association. Over the course of the past decade I have faithfully attended Board of Governors meetings and meaningfully contributed to board work during and outside of those meetings. Through my recent work chairing the NHBA’s Committee on Cooperation With the Courts for four years I gained significant insight into the operations of our courts and awareness of the numerous and varied interests, needs, and priorities that must be balanced in the operation of our court system. In the course of my service I have also helped the Bar Association provide great value to its members. With your support, I hope that I will have the opportunity to continue to contribute to the important work that the Bar Association is doing on behalf of its members and in support of the delivery of legal services in New Hampshire.

Vice President – Paul Chant

Paul Chant

Hello, to those of you I know and those I have not met.  I am Paul Chant.  I practice with Cooper Cargill Chant in North Conway.  I am a litigator, with my emphasis on personal injury and workers compensation matters.  I grew up as a Vermonter, attended UVM, which was a joy, and attended B.U. for law school.  I have practiced in Nashua and North Conway during my career.

I have been with my firm for the last 23 years. I am very proud of the culture we have established as a strong community and family-oriented firm, with an excellent work/life balance.

I have previously served on the Board of Governors as both a Hillsborough Country representative, Carroll County representative, and as a Governor at Large.  I Chaired the Bar Foundation Board during the years it generated the highest IOLTA revenues, and have also served on and Chaired the NH Association for Justice Board.   I currently am a member of the Access to Justice Commission, as a Bar Association appointee, and am a member of the NHAJ Board.  Over the years, I have sat on and served as Chair or President of Boards as varied as The Mount Washington Valley Economic Council, The Barnstormers Theatre, The Ham Arena, the N.H. Charitable Foundation North Country Advisory Board, the Nashua Chamber of Commerce, the NH CASA Board, and as the Tamworth School Moderator.  I truly enjoy utilizing my skills as an organizer, public speaker, and advocate to make my community and the Bar as a whole better, both for practicing lawyers and for the public.

I was a recipient of the NH Bar Association President’s Award for Service to the Public as a young lawyer when I Chaired the New Lawyers Committee.  That service with so many other terrific lawyers (Jim Tenn, Jennifer Parent, Charles Greenhalgh) convinced me that service to the bar was eminently enjoyable and could be of real benefit to Bar members.  I have twice been the recipient of the President’s Award for service to NHAJ.  I am confident that I can do a strong job of representing Bar members interests, while spreading the word that lawyers are good people doing good things for the Public.

Governor-At-Large – 1 Open Position

Kate Mahan

Kate Mahan

Kate is a Litigation Partner at Hinckley Allen, located in their Manchester, New Hampshire office. She practices in a wide range of intellectual property matters, including trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrights, as well as business disputes related to corporate governance, non-compete conflicts, contract actions and other professional disagreements in both state and federal courts, arbitration proceedings, and appeals.

Kate received her J.D., cum laude, from Suffolk University and her B.A., cum laude, from Saint Anselm College. Prior to joining Hinckley Allen, Kate worked a business boutique law firm for more than twelve years, and clerked for both the New Hampshire Supreme Court and the New Hampshire Superior Court.

Kate is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Foundation Board of Directors as well as the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Committee on Cooperation with the Courts. She also is a long time member of the Daniel Webster-Batchelder Inns of Court. Outside the legal profession, Kate serves on the board of her local food pantry, as well as on the Saint Anselm College Alumni Council.

Statement of Interest

I write to express my interest in the New Hampshire Bar Association, Board of Governors Member at Large role.

As a member of the New Hampshire Bar for the last sixteen years, I have had the opportunity to observe first-hand some of the best that the New Hampshire Bar has to offer. As member-at-large the last three years, and as New Hampshire’s Young Lawyer Delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates before that, I have had the privilege of representing this Bar Association and serving its members by being a conduit between the Association and members to address concerns and other issues and ultimately work to maintain a valuable, effective and supportive bar association for all of the members.

It would be an honor to continue to serve as a Governor-at-Large, to serve our members, and to help the NHBA achieve its mission.

County Governors

Belknap – Jesse Friedman

Jesse Friedman

Jesse Friedman is a partner at Friedman & Bresaw, PLLC in Meredith, NH.  He currently focuses his practice on statewide criminal defense, family law and personal injury.  Jesse entered into private practice after almost two decades at the New Hampshire Public Defender’s Office in Laconia.  As the Managing Attorney of that office from 2007-2019, Jesse was involved in the creation and implementation of numerous alternative sentencing programs including diversion, pretrial services, compliance court and drug courts in both Belknap and Carroll counties.

Jesse received his J.D. from Vermont Law School and his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York.  Jesse resides in Holderness where he has lived since moving to NH in 2000. Jesse continues to volunteer his time serving as a member of the Belknap County Recovery Court Team and the Carroll County Adult Drug Treatment Court Team.

Carroll – Leslie Leonard

Leslie Leonard

Partner, Cooper Cargill Chant, PA; J.D. Franklin Pierce School of Law, Cum Laude 2006; B.A. University of N.H., Cum Laude; admitted to N.H. Bar, 2006; admitted to Massachusetts Bar, 2006; admitted to Maine Bar, 2014; member, NH Association for Justice; Current President, Carroll County Bar Association; Rotary Member, current member, former President (2017-2018); member, Gibson Center, 2017-present; member, Jen’s Friends Cancer Foundation, 2019-present.

I would love the opportunity to serve on the NHBA Board of Governors as the Carroll County Governor. I have been fortunate to practice in Carroll, Coos and Belknap counties since March 2010, when I moved to the area and began practicing with my colleagues at Cooper Cargill Chant. Born and raised in Southern NH, after nearly a decade in Colorado where I worked as a paralegal, I returned to my roots, went to law school, and migrated north to the mountains of NH.

During my decade of practice in this area, I have always strived for a collegial, collaborative relationship with the attorneys with whom I have had the pleasure to work. I am active in my local community here in North Conway, serving on many boards currently and having sat on others, such as the Children’s Museum, the White Mountain Community Health Center, and the Ham Ice Arena previously. Shortly after I moved to the area, my colleague, Jim Cowles, and I resurrected the Carroll County Bar which had been dormant for several years. Although still not as active as we would like, we do get together semi-annually for merriment and networking. I would love the opportunity to use my energy, experience and positive attitude to serve the attorneys practicing in Carroll County and the NHBA to make the practice of law even better for all of us who work in this area. Thank you for considering me.

Hillsborough South – Kara M. Simard

Kara Simard

Kara Simard is a staff attorney at the New Hampshire Public Defender in Nashua where she represents people accused of crimes who cannot afford a lawyer.  Prior to representing indigent defendants, she worked for a law firm in Manchester, New Hampshire practicing primarily in civil litigation.  Kara serves on the National Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union as the New Hampshire Affiliate Representative.  She has been serving on the Board of Directors of the ACLU of NH in different roles since 2010.  Kara served for many years on the Board of the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association, serving as President from 2016-2018, and is currently a sustaining member.  Kara is a member of the Executive Committee of the Manchester Bar Association and served as its President from 2015-2016.  Kara is also a member of the NHBA Ethics Committee and the New Hampshire Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  Kara received her J.D. from Suffolk University Law School and received her B.A. from Stonehill College.  At Suffolk, she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Suffolk Transnational Law Review.  Kara grew up in New Hampshire and is committed to serving the public, the legal profession, and giving back to her community.

Sullivan – Vanessa M. Wilson

Vanessa Wilson

Vanessa M. Wilson was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and raised in a town not too far from there, namely, Guilford. She graduated high school there and obtained a B.S. from the University of Connecticut and a J.D. from New England School of Law in 1983. She became a member of the N.H. Bar shortly thereafter.

Vanessa was in private practice in Sullivan County for 28 years, and then worked for the Cheshire County Attorney’s Office for 3.5 years. She currently works as a Staff Attorney for DCYF in the Claremont office.

Vanessa has served on many bar committees in the past. Having finally gotten the last of three children off to college, She wanted to become involved again, and was on the Board of Governors early on in her career, back in 1988-1990.

ABA Associate Delegate

Michael J. Iacopino

Michael Iacopino

Mike Iacopino is a criminal defense lawyer.  He began his career in the Manchester office of the New Hampshire Public Defender Program from 1984 through 1987. He is senior shareholder at Brennan Lenehan Iacopino & Hickey in Manchester NH where he has practiced for 35 years. His practice includes representation of accused people and businesses in state and federal court. Mike is the current Chair of the New Hampshire Bar Association Legislative Committee. Mike also served for many years on the Committee on Cooperation with the Courts. At the ABA he is a member of the Criminal Justice Section, the Administrative Law Section and the Environment, Energy and Resources Law Section.  Mike is a former CJA Panel Representative for the federal District of New Hampshire and a former member of the CJA Panel Selection Committee. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Public Defender Program. He received his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of New Hampshire in 1980 and his law degree from Suffolk University Law School in 1984. He is admitted to practice in the New Hampshire state and federal courts, the First Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.