Bar News - November 23, 2007
Opening Lines of Communication with the Legislature
By: Eleanor Wm. Dahar
On October 29, 2007, the Board of Governors and I hosted an informal gathering at the Barley House with the lawyers who serve in the House and Senate of the New Hampshire Legislature. Attorneys who lobby in the Legislature also were invited to attend. The Bar’s lobbyist, John MacIntosh attended and made sure everyone was introduced to each other. We had a great turnout.
We decided to host this event as an effort to open the lines of communication between the Bar Association and the Legislature. Attorneys make up almost 25 percent of the New Hampshire Senate, a significant number.
In the past, lawyers have steered clear of the Legislature for various reasons. At this time, however, with the number of lawyers serving in the Legislature and the number of attorneys lobbying, it seems appropriate that the Bar start a dialogue with the Legislature concerning how each entity can assist the other.
At the reception, there was a discussion about having the Bar Association take a more active role in proposed bills; having the Bar participate at some of the committee-level meetings where bills are drafted and discussed; and having members of the Bar testify at some of the hearings on bills that affect the Bar.
Several legislators expressed excitement at being invited to a reception where they were not being asked for something; others were interested in talking with the Bar about the current issues it faces; others commented that this meeting should be a regular event between the Bar and the Legislature.
As one speaks with the attorneys elected to the House and Senate of the New Hampshire Legislature, it becomes apparent that lawyers provide a tremendous service to their profession as well as their constituents and the public. They are appointed to committees where they engage in important discussions and draft bills. During these committee meetings, they answer questions and provide insight into the practicality of bills becoming laws. Most significantly, they provide a valuable perspective that benefits the public and the profession in and out of committee.
Despite the workload of a law practice and a position in the Legislature, each of the lawyer/legislators enjoys the work immensely and would like to continue serving.
Both the Board of Governors and the lawyer legislators encourage members to run for the Legislature. It is a great opportunity to serve the public and the profession. It also is an opportunity to impact the future of the state of New Hampshire.
The Board of Governors would like to continue the dialogue between the Bar and the Legislature and to improve their relationship for the benefit of both the public and the profession.
U.S. Trustee Opens New Office
On November 1, 2007, Assistant U.S. Trustee Gerri Karonis hosted an open house at the new offices of the United States Trustee at 1000 Elm Street, 6th Floor, Manchester. For those members who practice before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, this is news. Previously, the U.S. Trustee’s Office was on Hanover Street.
Several trustees and attorneys from New Hampshire and Massachusetts who practice before the Bankruptcy Court attended.
The new offices are beautiful, most with views of the City of Manchester. For those members unable to attend the open house, we know you were there in spirit. It was a nice opportunity to say hello to friends.
Eleanor Wm. Dahar, of Dahar Professional Association in Manchester, is the 2007-08 NH Bar President.