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Bar News - October 6, 2006

Appellate Defender Program Turns 25

Franklin Pierce Law Center will host a special reception honoring the 25th anniversary of its Appellate Defender Program on Thursday, Oct. 19, beginning at 5 p.m.

        “Founded in 1971 under the direction of Justice James E. Duggan, Pierce Law’s Appellate Defender Program is unique,” according to Chief Appellate Defender Christopher Johnson. “A significant number of law schools offer appellate clinics but, to my knowledge, no other law school has an appellate clinic that combines its educational function with the responsibility of being its jurisdiction’s principal provider of appellate representation to indigent clients. By reason of its institutional affiliation with the New Hampshire Public Defender, the Appellate Defender Program has that responsibility.”

        In the early 1970s, the NH Legislature established the state’s first public defender program. In 1980, Duggan, then a public defender who also taught at Pierce Law and now an associate justice of the NH Supreme Court, with the assistance of Jeffery Leidinger, then director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, and William Grimes, then chief justice, received a one-year grant to establish New Hampshire’s first appellate public defender.

        “As in traditional clinics, Appellate Defender students learn by doing much of the work of an appellate lawyer,” explained Johnson. “As in externships, students also learn by watching the Appellate Defender lawyers litigate appeals. Finally, as in classroom courses, students read a text that encourages theoretical thinking about appellate work, and participate in wide-ranging class discussions.”

        For more information on the reception, contact


Supreme Court Rule 42(9) requires all NH admitted attorneys to notify the Bar Association of any address change, home or office.

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