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Bar News - November 9, 2007

New Pro Hac Vice Rules Adopted; More Rules Posted for Comment


The judicial branch recently posted two important releases of rules – an Oct. 9 order adopted amended rules covering all levels of courts that will take effect Jan. 1, 2008; and a public hearing notice was posted by the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules containing numerous proposals.


These orders are available on the Supreme Court Web site on the “Orders” page at


Roundup of Amended Rules Effective Jan. 1.


(This court order appears on the Court’s Web site under the date it was posted — Oct. 9. It is a 55-page PDF).


Highlights of this order include:

            - Supreme Court Rule 3 is amended to indicate that appeals from final divorce decrees or legal separation are mandatory appeals, but that subsequent appeals in such cases will be discretionary. Appendix A

            - Rules regarding appearances by nonmember attorneys (pro hac vice) in each of the courts are revised to clarify the responsibility of the in-state sponsoring attorney, and adding a $225 per-case fee. Appendices C, K, S, Y, and DD.

            - Monetary sanctions against disciplined attorneys. Supreme Court Rule 37 (3)(c) is expanded to clarify procedures for imposing sanctions and enforcement of payments. Appendix D.

            - Supreme Court Rule 55 regarding the Public Protection Fund is amended to make several changes regarding appeals of claims decisions. The new rule streamlines the appeals process by bringing appeals directly to the Supreme Court and provides a process for the NH Bar Association to file an appearance in defense of the Public Protection Fund Committee’s decision. Appendix J.

            - New language regarding joinder of offenses is adopted in the superior and district courts. These incorporate or interpret caselaw as reflected by State v. Ramos and other recent Court decisions. Appendices M and W.

            - The process for allowing deferred or periodic payment of fines in criminal offenses (or substitution of community service) is clarified and enforcement provisions provided for superior and district courts. Appendices N, V.

            - Rule of Evidence 609 regarding impeachment of evidence of prior conviction is amended to adopt standards of the corresponding Federal Rule of Evidence 609, and may represent a departure from current NH caselaw. Appendix CC.


Proposed Rules Posted for Comment by Rules Committee


(This hearing notice appears on the Court Web site Orders page under the date it was posted — Oct. 18. It is a 151-page PDF).


These proposals were posted for public comment, either in writing by Dec. 11, 2007, or at the Advisory Committee on Rules’ semi-annual public hearing taking place Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. E-mailed comments can be sent to


Highlights of the rules committee notice are:

            - Request for comments on a potential Supreme Court Rule 11-A setting forth a death penalty appellate procedure. The Advisory Committee noted that the Attorney General, while providing a “proposed rule” specifically for death penalty cases, continues to assert that “no special appellate rules are required” to review a death sentence. “The public hearing on this proposal is being held in the event that the Court determines that rules are required.” Appendix A.

            - New Rules of Criminal Procedure, originally drafted by a subcommittee of Bar members and revised by the Rules Advisory Committee, are proposed. Appendix B.

            - Bar admission rules are clarified or changed regarding pre-law school education and for bar applicants who graduated from foreign law schools. Appendix G and H.

            - New Supreme Court Rule 42-D is proposed, providing for a limited certificate of admission to provide pro bono services, specifically allowing retired attorneys not admitted in NH to provide pro bono services. Appendix K.


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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