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Bar News - February 9, 2007

Courts Give Scheduling Priority to Pro Bono Cases


In a move intended both to encourage Pro Bono involvement and show appreciation for volunteer attorneys, the Family Division, Superior, District and Probate Courts will all offer scheduling preference in Pro Bono Referral Program cases when possible. Under the leadership of NH Supreme Court Chief Justice John T. Broderick, the administrative judges of these courts recently joined together in requesting clerks and judges to move Pro Bono cases to the top of the list unless precluded by “more pressing” circumstances.   


This initiative comes as part of the chief justice’s efforts to help strengthen Pro Bono involvement by removing barriers to Pro Bono participation and recognizing the significant role individual private attorneys play in delivering legal services to people living in poverty.  


“Acknowledging the contributions of Pro Bono attorneys is essential to the success of the Program,” said NHBA Associate Executive Director for Legal Services Virginia Martin. “Encouraging scheduling preference concretely demonstrates the court system’s appreciation for the value of our volunteers’ time and the importance of their work in representing those in need.”


The Pro Bono Referral Program will facilitate easy identification of program cases by giving volunteer attorneys letters confirming their clients’ Pro Bono status, which can be submitted to the court when filing an appearance.


For more information, contact Pro Bono Coordinator Carolann Wooding at or Virginia Martin at



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