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Bar News - March 7, 2008

Board Supports Expansion of Attorney Screening Pilot Project

At its Feb. 21 meeting, the NHBA Board of Governors voted to authorize the expenditure of $6,000 that earlier had been set aside to purchase access-card-scanning equipment for use by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department in Hillsborough County Superior Court North as part of the security access pilot project. 


Immediate Past President Richard McNamara, who collaborated with Hillsborough County Sheriff James Hardy to launch an expedited screening process for attorneys at the Hillsborough South Courthouse in Nashua last year, said that the program has been so successful that the sheriff is ready to expand to Manchester. Under the arrangement worked out with the sheriff, the Bar Association buys equipment that reads magnetic cards carried by Bar members that contain their identification information. Those with valid cards can bypass the security station (except for random searches) and gain admittance to the courthouse through a separate door controlled by sheriff’s deputies. (Read more on the pilot project.)


“This has been a huge constituent service,” said NHBA President Eleanor Dahar, referring to the success of the screening process in Nashua.


The Board also heard a summary report from Elizabeth Derrico, Assistant Director of the ABA Division for Bar Services, who participated in an operational survey of the NH Bar Association last fall. Three people, including Derrico, Roseanne Lucianek, Director of the ABA’s DBS, and Joseph Conte, executive director of the New Mexico Bar Association (similarly sized to NH), reviewed materials and interviewed members of the BOG, past NHBA presidents and Bar staff with the goal of providing “an impartial and constructive assessment” of the Bar’s policies, practices and plans. (NHBA President Dahar discusses the presentation) More information about the ABA’s operational survey will be reported in future issues.


On other matters:

            - The President and Executive Director were authorized to sign a letter of engagement with Intus Technology to provide an updated association management software package to the Bar Center once satisfactory terms for the agreement are reached. The Board’s vote ratified the consensus reached at a meeting in January that lacked a full quorum. The software implementation would occur later this spring and summer.


            - President Dahar announced that a legislative reception with Bar leaders, board members, and legislators is slated for March 19.


            - Planning for the Annual Meeting, taking place June 20 to 21 in North Conway is underway. A component of the program will be programs on small-firm management issues.


            - Ken Barnes and Marilyn McNamara provided an update on efforts to communicate with section leaders on meetings and CLE policies. A listserv for section officers and Board members has been established to make it easier to communicate.


            - Meetings with leaders of the Gender Equality Committee are underway to plan for an update of the Women in the Legal Profession Survey, first undertaken 20 years ago, which is to be updated on a 10-year basis. An update was done in 1998.


            - Discussions on the 2008-2009 budget (fiscal year starting June 1, 2008) are underway, with a full-day work session planned for March 27.  

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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