Committee Appointment Process
The New Hampshire Bar Association has several standing committees that are made up of members appointed by the Bar President. The membership of these committees is reviewed annually, usually during the summer months. Input from the chair of each committee is sought. A call for volunteers is publicized in late May, usually in the e-bulletin and Bar News, inviting interested members to complete a form indicating their area of practice, years in practice and which committee(s) they are interested in joining. The Bar President makes every effort to appoint members to their first choice, but sometimes that isn’t possible, so they receive an appointment to their second choice.
Boards and Special Committees generally follow a different member selection and appointment process based on their bylaws and procedures.
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.
This committee meets every six weeks. Dates can be found on the NHBA Web Calendar at nhbar.org.
Continuing Legal Education (CLE) 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.
This committee generally meets the third Tuesday of the month at 3:30 p.m.
Dispute Resolution Committee
The Dispute Resolution Committee is designed to handle, first on an informal basis, those complaints against attorneys that do not rise to the level of an ethical violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Examples of such complaints include those where an attorney is not returning phone calls, is not keeping the client informed as to what is happening with their case, is making excuses why their case is taking so long, will not relinquish a client’s file if the attorney has been dismissed, questions and/or disputes involving fees, etc. Neutral, unbiased, and unpaid volunteer NHBA DRC members, experienced in dispute resolution, will be assigned by the NHBA DRC to assist the parties with resolution of a dispute.
This committee meets on an as needed basis, generally not more than once a year.
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 meets the second Wednesday of each month, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Note: The Ethics Committee should not be confused with the N.H. Supreme Court Attorney Discipline Office (ADO) or Professional Conduct Committee (PCC).
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 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.
This committee meets at least monthly February through May.
Gender Equality Committee
This 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.
This committee usually meets the second Thursday of the month at 12:00 p.m.
Lawyer Referral Service
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.
The committee meets 3 – 4 times per year.
Law Related Education Committee
This committee shall oversee and take necessary action to engage lawyers and judges in activities to further civics education and resources 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.
This committee meets the first Thursday of the month at 3:30 p.m.
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. 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.
Committee meetings are usually scheduled weekly at the Bar Center, usually on Mondays, for several months at the start of the Legislative session, and thereafter as necessary.
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.
The committee usually meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 5:15 p.m.
Leadership Academy Steering Committee
The Leadership Academy Steering Committee oversees the development of the Leadership Academy program. The mission of the Leadership Academy is to promote and encourage leadership and professionalism by identifying present and future leaders who are members of the New Hampshire Bar, and providing them with a program designed to develop leadership skills; to foster camaraderie; and to provide exposure to leaders in the legal, business and government communities. Steering Committee members are appointed to a two-year term; the first year is a planning year for the upcoming academy program year, and the second year is the ongoing work of managing the program. The days and times of meetings vary according to the needs of the committee and the schedule of its members.
Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence is set up to gather information for the benefit of Bar Members on the potential benefits and risks of the use of Artificial Intelligence technology in the practice of law and to provide guidance on best practices on its use, especially as they relate to ethical, privacy/confidentiality, and quality control issues. The committee will also address the potential impact of AI on training new lawyers as the technology becomes more widespread.
Special Committee on Attorney Wellness
This committee makes recommendations to educate the legal community on wellness issues and to improve the overall wellness of attorneys, judges, and other members of the legal community. The committee promotes wellness programming and resources. The committee encourages collaboration between the Bench and Bar to support wellness initiatives.
The committee usually meets monthly.