By Stephen D. Kelson
When discussing violence in the legal profession, many seasoned attorneys in New
Hampshire recall the murder of part-time judge Vicky Bunnell. On August 19, 1997, a man with
a long-standing grudge over a property assessment shot and killed Vicky outside her Colebrook
law office, and also killed two state troopers and a newspaper editor before the gunman was
eventually killed in a firefight with police.
The terrible events of that day, and Vicky’s work-related death, live on in the minds of
many in the New Hampshire legal community. However, many members of the New Hampshire
legal profession assume that work-related acts of violence are too remote to occur or won’t
happen to them. Contrary to the general perception, many members of the New Hampshire legal
profession experience threats of violence and actual violence arising from the practice of law. To
better evaluate and appreciate the degree of threats and violence against attorneys at the state
level, from October 2, 2017 through November 6, 2017, all active, in-state members of the New
Hampshire Bar Association with available, public email addresses were invited to participate in
an online survey regarding violence and threats of violence they have experienced in the practice
Complete article in the June issue of the Bar News.