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Bar Journal - Fall 2005



This issue of Bar Journal pays special tribute to the work of the late Chief Justice Frank Kenison, who contributed in so many different ways to the legal profession and the public good in New Hampshire.  Chief Justice Kenison was recently honored with the unveiling of a new portrait —now gracing our cover—that hangs in the foyer of the NH Supreme Court. The unveiling ceremony featured an address by United States Supreme Court Associate Justice David H. Souter.  

To honor Chief Justice Kenison, Bar Journal is reprinting two commentaries on Justice Kenison’s career originally published in the New Hampshire Reports (Vol. 117). The first is a behind-the-scenes reminiscence by Attorney Chuck Douglas, who served on the NH Supreme Court for eight years and whose tenure briefly overlapped with Kenison’s. Douglas retired from the bench in 1985 to return to private practice. We are also reprinting a tribute to Justice Kenison—written in poetic form—by Attorney Martin Gross.  There are also several photographs of Justice Kenison included in this issue.

In reflecting on the man and his public work, lawyers are impressed by the diversity of his achievements—as Attorney General, as Chief Justice, and as a citizen who left his imprint in so many different ways in his community.  For those younger lawyers who do not know Justice Kenison, this is an opportunity to learn about one of New Hampshire’s major legal forces.


This issue of Bar Journal also includes articles written by law students at Franklin Pierce Law Center.  I suspect Chief Justice Kenison would be delighted at the wide diversity of the topics that the law students have researched— and at the way in which New Hampshire law has developed since his tenure. 


This year marks the initiation of what we hope will become a long and cherished tradition—the designation of an article or articles in the Pierce Law issue as “Bar Journal Editors’ Award” winners. This year, 2005 graduate James Harper, who, regrettably, has left New Hampshire to practice in Nevada, is honored for his article untangling the complexities of accomplice liability as affected by the NH Supreme Court’s recent State v. Anthony decision.

Also in this issue, we hope readers will find useful and provocative analysis in the following articles by Pierce Law students: Mary Krueger looks at attempts to deal with attorney contacts with persons protected by domestic violence orders in “Beyond the Kidder Decision”; David Estabrook considers recent jurisprudence on “opening the door” to rebuttal evidence; Jeremy Harmon examines recent cases involving zoning variances and “unnecessary hardship” under RSA 674:33.  Robert Kolb deals with bogus liens in New Hampshire; Sarah Fox considers public employment law issues and the actions of school boards in teacher contract non-renewals; and Olli Baker reviews the State v. Nelson case and federal copyright law.


Finally, Attorney Paul Alfano provides a legal “roadmap” on the “Creation and Termination of Highways in New Hampshire,” updating a topic he wrote about for the Bar Journal in 1990. It deals with “roads,” “highways,” “streets,” and “ways.”  It also describes the ways in which there is dedication and acceptance of roads by municipalities and other entities.


The index to articles in the Bar Journal, a regular feature of the Fall issue, will no longer be published as part of this issue due to page constraints and the availability of the articles online.  Articles in the Bar Journal now can be obtained through searches on our Web site ( or on the Casemaker New Hampshire Web library (accessed through the “For Members” section of as well as Lexis-Nexis. Availability of the Bar Journal online in the Bar Publications Archives dates back to Vol. 40 (1999); the index dating back to Vol. 32 (1991) is also in our online Publication Archives. Contact to obtain copies of back issues not available online. As resources permit, we will post back issues of the Bar Journal online.

Frank Rowe Kenison
“The Supreme Court and the Judiciary of this State will continue to maintain and guard its house of justice for the humble as well as the powerful, for the poor as well as the rich, for the minority as well as the majority and for the unpopular as well as the popular.”  iChief Justice Frank Rowe Kenison, State of Judiciary Message, 1975.

Frank Kenison
Chief Justice Frank Rowe Kenison served on the New Hampshire Supreme Court starting in 1946 as an Associate Justice; he was appointed Chief Justice in 1952 and served until his retirement in 1977. He was the state’s longest serving Chief Justice. Photo from the New Hampshire Historical Society.

 Loretta Kenison and David Souter

At the September 16, 2005, unveiling of a new portrait of Frank Rowe Kenison, Associate Justice David H. Souter of the United States Supreme Court (and also a former member of the New Hampshire Supreme Court) was pictured in a quiet moment with Kenison’s widow, Loretta Kenison. Bar Association photo by Dan Wise.

 Frank Kenison

As an administrator and leader of the judicial branch, Chief Justice Kenison’s accomplishments included the preparation of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated, the development of the Criminal Code, the first Judicial Conduct Code, and the development of the unified court system. Photo from the New Hampshire Historical Society.

Frank Kenison

Frank Rowe Kenison interrupted his service as New Hampshire Attorney General to serve in the Pacific Theater in World War II in the United States Navy Reserve from 1942 to 1945. Photo courtesy of Frank R. Kenison, Jr.







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