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Bar News - January 19, 2007

David King Named Probate Court Administrative Judge

David D. King, a Colebrook attorney and a judge in the Probate Court in Coos County for more than 16 years, has been appointed Administrative Judge of the Probate Court. The appointment was announced Jan. 3, 2007.


King, a partner in the law firm of Waystack & King in Colebrook, succeeds John R. Maher, who has been the administrative judge since 1990. Maher retired in December, after serving for 23 years as a Probate Court judge in Rockingham County.


Judge King will continue to sit one day a week in the Coos County Probate Court in Lancaster and will substitute in other probate courts, as needed. King said that he expects to work three days a week for the Probate Court while he is in the process of withdrawing from his private law practice, after which he will work five days a week for the Probate Court. 


As Administrative Judge, King will have supervisory authority over the administration and operation of the Probate Courts, including budget and policy implementation, oversight of case flow management and assignment of judges and personnel to ten Probate Court locations around the state. 


A graduate of Plymouth State College, King served in the New Hampshire House for one term while attending Franklin Pierce Law Center, receiving his law degree in 1984. That same year he served as a delegate to New Hampshire’s 17th Constitutional Convention. He has been a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Board of Governors and is a past president and vice-president of the Coos County Bar Association.


“David King has the life experience, energy, and vision to lead the probate court into the future,” Chief Justice John T. Broderick, Jr., said. “He understands that as a court system, we need to embrace change, and as an administrative judge, he will play an important role in achieving that goal,” Broderick said.


Estimates are that each year the state probate courts handle assets valued at more than $500 million as they pass from estates to beneficiaries. In 2005, more than half of the more than 10,000 cases filed in the Probate Courts involved estates and trusts.


“I am humbled and honored by the opportunity that has been presented to me by the Supreme Court,” King said. “It has been a privilege to serve under the leadership of Judge Maher who was instrumental in standardizing the probate courts, expanding our jurisdiction, and making the courts more user-friendly for the public,” King said.


In addition to presiding over cases, the administrative judge of the Probate Court is also a member of the Judicial Branch Administrative Council, which was established in 1990 to improve communications among the courts and the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC).


King and his family live in Colebrook, where he has a long record of community service. In 2005 King received the Vickie M. Bunnell Award presented by the NHBA to an attorney from a small law firm who exemplifies community volunteerism. King has served for 19 years as President of the Board of Directors of the Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital and he is a longtime director of the Colebrook Development Corporation and the Upper Connecticut Valley Community Coalition. Since 1985, he has been the Colebrook School District moderator.


King was appointed to the probate court in January 1990 by then-Governor Judd Gregg.


This report was drawn largely from a NH Supreme Court news release.



Probate Court Administrative Offices

Correspondence for the Probate Court Administrative Judge should continue to be sent to:

Office of Administrative Judge

NH Probate Courts

P.O. Box 789

Kingston, NH 03848

603-642-5437 ext. 2315


Judge King can be reached via e-mail at

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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