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Bar News - March 23, 2007

Attorneys in Every County Honored for Pro Bono Work


Each year, the Pro Bono Referral Program recognizes attorneys and law firms in every county for their devotion to representing the underprivileged through the Pro Bono program. The County Pro Bono Awards for 2007 were presented to the recipients on March 9 during the Statewide Professionalism Day, held in all 10 counties at the 11 superior court buildings, allowing the honorees to be recognized by their local colleagues in the legal profession. (See Professionalism Day article on page 10.)


2007 County Pro Bono Awards


Belknap County: John D. Cameron, Laconia


John Cameron can always be counted on to take a pro bono case. In his commitment to the Pro Bono Program and access to justice, he always keeps at least one active pro bono case in his caseload. Over the past seven years, these cases have added upó13 clients and their families were given a chance to stabilize and to improve their lives through the efforts of this sole practitioner. In addition to taking the more conventional pro bono client, Cameron has once again stepped up to the plate in the Pro Bono Programís call for volunteers to help out with a new unbundled legal services project. It is because of volunteers such as Cameron that the Pro Bono Program remains a vital and valuable resource to those in our communities who lack the financial means for legal assistance.


Carroll County: Cooper, Deans & Cargill, North Conway


When the Pro Bono Program calls, this firm answers. Whether the client needs help with a family law matter, a landlord/tenant dispute, consumer issue, or simply drafting a will and healthcare power of attorney, this firm will step up time and again, and with compassion. Pro bono service is part of the firmís culture. It is with sincere appreciation that the Pro Bono Program presents Cooper, Deans & Cargill with the Carroll County Award for the fourth time.


Coos County: Edward John Reichert, Gorham


Edward Reichert joined the NH Bar in 1947. He has remained a steadfast supporter of the Pro Bono Program throughout the years, taking cases and participating in our annual fundraiser. In a county with few Bar members to start with, having an attorney such as Reichert participating in the program is a windfall for Pro Bono and the people it serves. Whether it is a family law matter or an elderly person needing a will, he always answers the plea from Pro Bono to accept a case and help a low-income client. The Pro Bono Program extends its sincere appreciation to Reichert for his volunteer contributions over the years to North Country families and seniors in need.


Cheshire County: Bradley, Burnett, Kinyon, Fernald & Green, Keene


In an area where the demand for legal assistance by low-income families and seniors is acute and firm resources are scarce, the law firm of Bradley, Burnett, Kinyon, Fernald & Green comes through. The firm is a cornerstone in the Pro Bono Programís endeavor to provide access to justice for clients in Cheshire County. Whether it is a housing case, family law matter or helping a senior citizen with estate planning, the firm consistently answers the call for pro bono service and as a result the legal community is strengthened.


Grafton County: Krista Canty, Lebanon


The Pro Bono Program honors Krista Canty for her commitment to helping low-income individuals and families and for her on-going support of the Pro Bono Program. She accepted the challenge of continuing pro bono bankruptcy representation when the recent Bankruptcy Reform Act changed the landscape for representing debtors. Since 2005, she has accepted nine bankruptcy cases. In addition to her caseload, Canty has helped the program in many ways, including mentoring other attorneys. Knowing that our clients are scattered throughout the state, she has offered to meet clients in Concord and to participate in clinics in other areas of the state. Cantyís commitment to Pro Bono is steadfast and comprehensive.


Hillsborough (South): Martha Jacques, Wilton


Since she joined the NH Bar in 2001, Martha Jacques has been making a difference for those in need. Never one to shy away from a challenge, she has taken on many difficult Pro Bono Program cases involving thorny family law issues. In fact, during the ensuing years she has accepted 15 cases through the Pro Bono Referral Program. Her commitment and dedication to her clients has been unswerving. Jacquesí dedication to the legal profession lies in providing legal services to all; and she holds a firm belief that poverty should not be a barrier to the courthouse.


Hillsborough North (two winners): Ann Butenhof and Pamela Peterson, Manchester


Ann Butenhof has shown outstanding commitment to pro bono service to benefit those in need. In addition to providing direct counsel to several dozen clients in the past six years, she has participated in Pro Bono Program initiatives such as the Medicare Part D Prescription Coverage and Estate Planning clinics. Since joining the panel in 2001, Butenhof has earned the distinction of being one of the go-to attorneys for elder law issues that arise through the Pro Bono Program. As a former legal service attorney, she continues to be a resource to the legal service community and a bridge to the private bar, particularly where elder law, benefits, and poverty issues converge. The Pro Bono Program is extremely grateful for Butenhofís participation and support.


Pam Petersonís volunteer efforts with the Pro Bono Program are broad and deep, ranging from serving on the Pro Bono Governing Policy Board and staffing referral marathon sessions to handling tough family law cases. An officer with the firm of Devine, Millimet and Branch, she serves on the firmís Pro Bono Committee. Peterson is never without an active pro bono case, devoting dozens upon dozens of hours each year in helping low-income clients resolve their legal problems. And, she always makes herself available to staff for consultation and guidance when client emergencies arise. Peterson truly makes a significant difference for needy families and individuals in her community and is a key figure in keeping the Pro Bono Program vital and relevant.


Merrimack County: Mark Cornell, Concord


Mark Cornell has provided outstanding service to low-income citizens in Merrimack County and across the state in matters of bankruptcy and debt-related problems. He has helped enormously in keeping pro bono bankruptcy assistance a reality despite the gargantuan hurdles and challenges of the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform Act. Since 2005, Cornell has accepted 13 cases. In addition to his direct representation, he has volunteered many hours to review countless pro bono bankruptcy applications, contributing to Pro Bono Program policy, and sharing important information with other volunteers. Cornellís efforts have made a huge and lasting difference in the lives of many New Hampshire citizens.


Rockingham County: Donahue, Tucker & Ciandella, Exeter and Portsmouth


The Pro Bono Program is fortunate to have the support of this generous firm. With little fanfare this firm has become an integral resource in Rockingham County for low-income individuals needing critical legal advice and representation. With two Seacoast area offices, they are positioned to help residents throughout the county. Whether the need is a family law issue, landlord/tenant dispute, estate planning or consumer/debt problem, they step forward with compassion to help. When asked to participate in a Seacoast referral marathon session, one of the firmís associates enthusiastically called local colleagues throughout the county to link pro bono clients with attorneys. The Pro Bono Program appreciates your sincere dedication to providing legal advice and representation to low-income families and seniors residing in Rockingham County.


Strafford County: Christopher Regan, Durham


The Pro Bono Program extends its appreciation to Christopher Regan for his steadfast commitment to serving the legal needs of low-income individuals in Strafford County. Since 1995, Regan has been answering calls from Pro Bono staff. He is always willing to have an open case through the program, generally family law matters, including some with rather difficult issues. But that is not the extent of his service; he participated in the first Pro Bono Military Estate Planning clinic when our National Guard soldiers were deployed to Afghanistan. Benefiting from Reganís knowledge and organizational skills, this experience provided the Pro Bono Program with a model that was used when Pro Bono responded to the need for Military Estate Planning clinics when Guard members were also deployed to Iraq.


Sullivan County: Catherine Feeney, Newport


Catherine Feeney has consistently demonstrated her commitment to the ideals and sometimes difficult challenges of pro bono representation. She has accepted a half dozen cases in recent years, including one which clearly underscored her dedication as she devoted many hours to help her client resolve some particularly complicated issues. Whereas another attorney might turn away from pro bono service after a difficult case, Feeney has continued to volunteer as a DOVE attorney and took on yet another family law matter. The Pro Bono Program deeply appreciates Feeneyís contribution to Pro Bono service.


If you are in doubt about the status of any meeting, please call the Bar Center at 603-224-6942 before you head out.

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