Bar News - March 9, 2007
Service to the Public Theme of NHBF Reception
By: Anita S. Becker
“You epitomize service,” said Kevin Devine as he introduced the NH Bar Foundation’s newest Honorary Fellow Anthony A. McManus during the NHBF’s Fellows & Donors Reception, held during the NHBA Midyear Meeting on Feb. 15 in Manchester. Devine added that McManus has always “stepped forward first” for the disadvantaged. “You are a superhero from Dover. We love you and honor you tonight.”
The annual Honorary Fellow award goes to senior, esteemed Bar members who have demonstrated long-term or major commitment to the Bar Foundation. McManus, a Dover attorney and a Bar member since 1963, is an accomplished singer and piano player and was presented a miniature musical piano collectible that will have an inscribed plate on it in appreciation of his work on behalf of the poor. In accepting the honor of being a fellow, McManus encouraged his colleagues in the Bar to support the NHBF and to give of their time to providing pro bono or reduced-fee legal assistance to those in need of affordable or no-cost legal services. He also thanked the IOLTA banks, which provide favorable interest rates on attorneys’ accounts that are rolled over to support Bar Foundation programs. McManus also thanked Lucy Crichton and Tina Abramson, both of whom were instrumental in establishing and growing the Foundation's endowment. “Without the Bar Foundation we would be in serious trouble,” said McManus. He added, with emotion in his voice, that he was proud to be honored among a fellows list that included many of his “idols.”
In addition to the award presented to McManus, Bar Foundation Executive Director David Snyder presented Justice Grant checks to Franklin Pierce Law Center PIC Fellows program; UNH’s Institute on Disability; NH Coalition Against Domestic Violence; Children’s Alliance of NH; and Voices Against Violence. The Tenn and Tenn law firm and Hon. Robert Cullinane and his wife were inducted into the Justice Society. The Justice Society represents individuals or law firms who contribute $1,000 or more to support the funding of Justice Grants. The new members were presented with special pins in appreciation. Snyder also recognized the IOLTA banks for their support of Bar Foundation programs.
Hon. John R. Maher, retired administrative justice of probate, presented checks to CASA, Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, NH Legal Assistance, the Pro Bono Referral Program and LARC. The checks were disbursed from proceeds contributed by attendees of the judge’s retirement party in January 2007. “I’m going to retire again next year,” quipped Maher about the successful fundraiser. “I thought it would raise a couple thousand dollars, but it raised $11,250.” Another recipient is not established yet. “The funds will be ‘parked’ at the Bar Foundation for the Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP) and given out once it is in existence.” He thanked the Supreme Court through Chief Justice John T. Broderick, who was in attendance at the reception. “I’m so proud to tell you that this program will finally become a reality. For 16 years we [the all-volunteer efforts of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers and the NHBA Lawyers Assistance Committee] were just hanging out there.” Maher and John Tobin, chair of the Lawyer Assistance Committee and executive director of NH Legal Assistance, are working together to create the new LAP as a 501c non-profit organization to provide help for lawyers impaired by drug or alcohol abuse.
Also presented at the reception was a $152,000 check to the Bar Foundation to support consumer-protection advocacy by NH Legal Assistance by Hon. Charles G. Douglas, III, on behalf of the Douglas Leonard & Garvey law firm of Concord, and the O’Brien Law Firm of Amherst, represented at the reception by Edward J. O’Brien. The money is part of residual funds from a cy pres award of more than $4 million (see article on page 10 for more details).