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Bar News - February 9, 2007

King Bequest Will Help Preserve New Hampshire’s Judicial Heritage



John T. Broderick, NH Supreme Court chief justice, recently received a gift from former chief justice and governor of New Hampshire, the late John W. King. On Friday, Jan. 12, Manchester attorney Richard J. Joyal presented Broderick with a special bequest from the John and Anna King estate. King was instrumental in both the designing and building of the Supreme Court.


Joyal, the Kings’ nephew and administrator of the estate, told Bar News, “It was a privilege for me to present this bequest of $15,000 to New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice John Broderick….Gov. King had great affection for the Court and for lawyers and the law and he took special pride in the Supreme Court building itself. The Kings would have been particularly pleased with the enthusiasm with which this bequest has been received.”


History Preserved


The King bequest has made it possible for Chief Justice Broderick to give $10,000 to the Supreme Court Society, whose mission is “to provide public education about the importance of an effective and enlightened judiciary in a civilized society and to demonstrate the key role the New Hampshire Supreme Court and the State’s judicial and legal system play in the history of New Hampshire.” (Supreme Court Society Mission Statement) 


Said Broderick, “As Chief Justice, I was honored and grateful to receive this bequest from former Chief Justice John King and his wife Anna. The terms of the bequest allow me great discretion in the use of the funds. I have elected to make a $10,000 contribution in the Kings’ memory to the New Hampshire Supreme Court Society.”


Broderick has also made funds available from the bequest for the purchase and placing of two chandeliers in the foyer of the Supreme Court building. The wiring for the chandeliers, which match the one in the courtroom, has been in place for some time, but there were not funds available to place them until the King bequest made that possible.


Two Significant Gifts


Retired Supreme Court Justice Joseph P. Nadeau, who attended the King bequest presentation, remarked: “In January 2007, two significant gifts to the Supreme Court Society—the $10, 000 received from Chief Justice Broderick [through the King bequest], and the personal papers, writings and library of 19th century chief justice Charles Doe—have merged the lives of three Supreme Court chief justices [Doe, King and Broderick] and three separate centuries of Supreme Court history.” The Doe library was given to the Court by the Janetos family, who found the library in a shed on their property in Rawlinson. (See Bar News Jan.19, 2007.)            


Nadeau spoke of King’s influence on his own early days as a judge. “I was fortunate to know him…[and] to serve on the superior court during his tenure as chief justice….He was always mindful of the impact of judicial acts on events far into the future. When he appointed me to the Durham District Court, he told me…that I should always remember I represented the entire judicial system in even the most routine act.”


The Supreme Court Society


According to its mission statement, the Supreme Court Society will endeavor to present exhibitions and programs that “convey New Hampshire’s rich judicial heritage and highlight how consideration of that heritage is valuable in understanding the present and charting the future.” The society also sponsors special events, such as the recent visit to the Supreme Court by Iraqi Chief Justice Mahmat Al-Mahmoud. (See Bar News Dec. 1, 2006.)


“I believe the Chief [King] and his wife would be particularly delighted to know that their personal legacies will live on in this way and that their generosity has made possible ongoing efforts to honor the history of the judicial branch and those who have given such valued service,” said Broderick. “The Chief was a student of history and made much history in his own right.”


Supreme Court Society Officers


The Supreme Court Society has elected the following as officers: Attorney Susan Leahy, president; Sylvio Dupuis, vice president; Susan Leidy, secretary; and Mary McGowan, treasurer. The trustee chair is the Hon. Joseph Nadeau.



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