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Bar News - July 6, 2007

Board of Governors Appoints Barnes to Fill Merrimack County Seat

Kenneth G. Barnes, of the Upton & Hatfield law firm in Concord, was appointed by vote of the NHBA Board of Governors to serve as a replacement governor for Andrew Mierins, representing Merrimack County, until the next Board election in April 2008, as called for by the NHBA Constitution..


Mierins was re-elected Merrimack County governor last spring, but shortly thereafter took a position with a Manchester law firm, thus disqualifying him from serving as the county’s representative on the Board.


Barnes, admitted to the New York Bar in 1977 and the NH Bar in 1992, has worked in both the private and public sectors. Before joining Upton & Hatfield, Barnes worked as a trial attorney for the US Department of Justice, as a law clerk in the state and federal courts, and as an attorney and then litigation director for NH Legal Assistance.


In other actions, the Board received comments from George Bruno, chair of the NHBA International Law Section, and several other members of the section, who urged the Board to reconsider its position not to allow the Section to lobby the NH Congressional delegation to support legislation restoring the right of habeas corpus to individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay and to other non-US citizens in US custody who have not been charged with any crime. At its May meeting, the Board voted not to allow the Section to submit such a resolution. Although many Board members expressed personal support for the Section’s position, the Board cited the constraints on the Bar’s activities as a unified Bar organization, as enumerated in the US Supreme Court’s Keller decision and the NH Supreme Court’s Chapman decision. (For more on the Chapman decision, see “Legislative Info” in Law Practice Tips & Resources in the “For Members” area at At the June meeting, the Board voted not to reconsider its earlier vote.


(See page 5 for an opinion article on the habeas issue written by the president of the American Bar Association, a voluntary organization, and the presidents of the Law Society of England and Wales, and the Canadian Bar Association.)


In other matters, the Board received updates on:


Criminal Procedure Rules draft. Richard Guerriero, of the NH Public Defender’s Office and a member of a drafting committee to develop new criminal procedure rules, reported that the proposed draft has been presented to the Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Rules. The draft, developed by a small committee of practitioners that was co-chaired by Marguerite Wageling, Hillsborough County Attorney, is posted at under Newsroom Highlights. Guerriero said the procedure rules draft was not an attempt to write new rules, but to codify and organize existing practice in NH. A similar effort, the NH Rules of Civil Procedure, was aired at a public hearing held by the court’s Rules Committee last month.


Attorney screening pilot project. Outgoing President Richard B. McNamara said a pilot project by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is underway. The pilot project, at the Hillsborough County Superior Court South courthouse, will allow active-status members of the NH Bar to bypass the standard security screening if they have signed a security procedures agreement  and if they have provided an ID-style photo to the NHBA. (See the NHBA Web site for more information.) 


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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