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Bar News - September 8, 2006

Comment Sought on Proposed Litigation, Lawyers Assistance Rules

The New Hampshire Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules recently issued its 2006 Annual Report, proposing a number of new or amended rules for public comment by Oct. 12, 2006. (Look for a detailed article on key proposals in the Sept. 22 issue of Bar News.)


Among the proposals is the creation of a Lawyers Assistance Program that will be permanently staffed with responsibilities for assisting lawyers and judges who are impaired by chemical dependency, mental illness or emotional problems. The proposal by the Rules Committee does not include a recommendation on a funding mechanism for the program.


A number of rules will affect practice in the Superior Court, including the creation of a discovery abuse provision in Rule 35; a rewrite of Rule 62 regarding structuring conferences; amending deadlines for motions to suppress to 45 days before jury selection date; and making permanent the rules governing “judge-conducted intensive mediation” in complex matters.


District Court rules changes are highlighted by a new rule providing specified conditions for release of juveniles; and an added rule regarding immunity for mediators of small-claims cases.


The annual report also calls for the permanent adoption of temporary rules governing parenting plans and other domestic relations matters in the Family Division.


Mailed copies of comments should include an original and seven copies of all comments.  Comments may also be e-mailed to the court at


The text of the proposed changes (a 51-page PDF) is available at:


If you are in doubt about the status of any meeting, please call the Bar Center at 603-224-6942 before you head out.

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