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Bar News - July 20, 2007

Laplante Nominated for US District Court



Joseph Laplante, a Nashua native and a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association since 1990, was recently nominated for the US District Court judgeship vacated by the recent transition to senior status of the Hon. Joseph A. DiClerico.


Laplante, 42, currently the First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Hampshire, has been involved in numerous high-profile cases, and has more than 14 years experience as a prosecutor.


Laplante received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law School in 1990 and began his career as an associate for the Manchester firm of Wiggin & Nourie. In 1993 he joined the NH Attorney General as assistant attorney general in the white collar crime unit. He was eventually promoted to Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Homicide division. In 1998, he was hired as a trial attorney in the criminal division of the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division as a trial attorney in 1998. In 2000 he joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Massachusetts as an assistant U.S. attorney, and in 2002 he took his present position with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Hampshire as First Assistant United States Attorney.


He has been an active volunteer in the Bar Association, and recently concluded a stint as chair of the Professionalism Committee, and for a number of years was a member of the New Lawyers’ Committee. He has served on the faculty for several NHBA CLE programs and has published numerous law-related articles for the New Hampshire Bar Journal and other legal publications. In 2001, the New Hampshire Bar Foundation presented Laplante with the Kirby Award, a commendation for attorneys aged 35 or younger who have demonstrated courtesy, perspective, and advocacy in their practice of law.


In community life, Laplante has served as chair of the board of directors for the Nashua Police Athletic League and on the boards of numerous academic and youth programs and organizations in the Nashua area. He coaches the Boys and Girls Club wrestling team and is a licensed professional boxing referee.


New Hampshire senators Judd Gregg and John Sununu (R-NH) expressed support for Laplante’s nomination to the federal trial court.


“He has an excellent reputation within the legal and law enforcement community. New Hampshire can be proud of attorney Laplante’s nomination and his commitment to public service,” Senator Gregg said. 


Senator Sununu added: “Joseph Laplante has distinguished himself in the field of law, most recently serving New Hampshire’s U.S. Attorney as lead prosecutor for the New England Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. This background and his comprehensive knowledge of federal law and the Constitution make him an excellent candidate to serve on the U.S. District Court bench.  New Hampshire can be proud of Attorney Laplante’s nomination and his commitment to public service.”


There are currently 21 U.S. District Judge nominees awaiting Senate confirmation hearings. The time period between nomination and hearing varies from district to district and is dependent upon the district’s needs and the availability of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The average waiting period for a Senate hearing for current U.S. District Judges is two to six months.


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