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Bar News - February 8, 2008

Board Discusses Section CLE Fees; Legislative Positions


At its Jan. 17 meeting, the NHBA Board of Governors was updated on the ongoing discussions with leaders of NHBA sections objecting to the imposition of attendees’ fees for section meetings with CLE programming.


The Board voted to suspend the collection of fees while discussions continue over how to fund the increasing expense of administering a higher level of activity by the Bar’s 21 sections. The Board supported the continuation of several new procedures—such as advance notice and materials deadlines for section CLEs—because they are necessary for coordination of programming and resources. However, work will continue with section leaders to adjust these and other policies to make the best use of staff and volunteer resources.


In other matters, the Board:

  • Voted to add language to the applications of attorneys seeking to join the Lawyer Referral Service panel, requiring attorneys who join to notify LRS if they have received/are receiving public discipline regarding their license to practice law in any bar or jurisdiction.

  • Ratified the decisions of the NHBA Legislation Committee regarding advocacy positions on pending legislation. Guided by standards set by the NH Supreme Court’s Chapman decision regarding the actions of the mandatory bar in lobbying. (See Legislative Information in the Newsroom page at for list of all bills being monitored by the NHBA’s legislative representative, John MacIntosh.) The Bar tracks only a small number of bills introduced, providing information, but not advocacy, on a selected few. The Board authorized advocacy positions on three bills:

    • HB 577. Increasing the number of associate justices on the superior court from 21 to 23. Support. (This bill was held over from the last session.)

    • HB 1361. Requires that marital masters, (appointed by the administrative judge of the family division), following an initial three-year term, be subject to a renewal election by voters in the judicial district in which they serve, and requiring the masters to be NH residents. Oppose.

    • SB 470. Allowing lobbyists and those connected with lobbyists to sit on committees established by the judicial branch. Support.
The Board also discussed a proposed constitutional amendment that would provide that registers of probate in each county be appointed, rather than elected. The Board supported the Legislation Committee’s decision to provide information only on this bill.

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