Bar News - January 18, 2008
Looking Back, Looking Forward
By: Eleanor Wm. Dahar
Each year, the Board of Governors meets with the courts and other representatives to bring to their attention member issues and concerns.
This year, in an effort to keep open the lines of communication and continue a dialogue, the Board met with the lawyer legislators and lobbyists, a group of Superior Court judges and Justice Broderick, Karen Borgstrom and others on the new Rule 170.
On November 29, the Board officers, NHBA Director of Legal Services Ginny Martin, and Chair of the Family Law Section Graham Chynoweth met with Administrative Judge of the Family Division Edwin Kelly, to discuss some of the Family Court concerns with procedures raised by members, the public and the list serve participants.
Following a very productive meeting, Judge Kelly agreed to meet with officers of the Family Law Section quarterly to discuss questions and concerns. In addition, he agreed to establish a small group to review the temporary Family Law Rules during the temporary period. Judge Kelly believes that the Bar and the court can work cooperatively and collaboratively. Opening the lines of communication and creating a dialogue are the start of this effort.
On December 20, the Board of Governors held a lunch meeting for the board liaisons and section chairs at the Bar Center. Despite the snow storm, there was a fantastic turnout; all but two section chairs appeared in person or by telephone conference call.
As I reported previously, the sections and the Bar are now so large and so active that sometimes it is difficult to know what each is doing. For this reason, in August 2007 the Board decided to appoint each board member to serve as a liaison to a Bar section or committee to maintain communication among the various sections, committees and the Board.
Ken Barnes and Marilyn MacNamara facilitated the meeting and kept everyone to the agenda. From the comments and concerns raised by the attendees, it is apparent that this issue of section policy changes ignites discussion. It also is apparent that there are possible resolutions.
The Board is looking for input from all members on this subject. Although it is impossible to reach an agreement acceptable to every member, it is possible to ensure that all section leaders are heard and that a consensus is met on this issue.
There will be another meeting held to discuss the resolutions proposed. The Board is committed to working through this issue as soon as possible for the benefit of the members and the sections. Open communication and a continued dialogue are important.
If you have ideas to resolve the section policy change issue, email or call Jeannine McCoy, any member of the Board of Governors or me. Your input is valued. I look forward to hearing from you. I will keep you posted on our progress and the resolution to this issue.
Eleanor Wm. Dahar, of Dahar Professsional Association in Manchester, is the 2007-08 NH Bar President.