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Bar News - June 20, 2008

Ellen Arnold Takes Office as NHBA President


Examination of sentencing alternatives to be a focus of 2008-2009 Bar year

Ellen Arnold

Ellen Arnold, associate general counsel of Dartmouth College, takes office this weekend at the conclusion of the 2008 New Hampshire Bar Association Annual Meeting.

Arnold, who has served as President-Elect for the past year, will succeed Eleanor Wm. Dahar, who will remain on the NHBA Board of Governors for the 2008-2009 Bar year as Immediate Past President. She will be the fifth woman to serve as NHBA President.

In an interview before taking office, Arnold said that a centerpiece of her tenure will be a focus on the exploration of NH’s sentencing and punishment strategy for non-violent offenders.

"I have been working with a diverse group of individuals from throughout the state, including members of the judiciary, executive branch and legislature to explore this issue," Arnold said. "This issue arose, in part, from the NH Citizens Commission on the State Courts, convened by Chief Justice Broderick, which submitted its report in June 2006."

Arnold said that a representative of the Bar Association will become a member of an interbranch commission on alternative sentencing which she hopes will be created in the next legislative session. "I hope that in my role as bar president, I can help bring various parts of the legal community together with others to raise awareness of this issue and participate in the implementation of programs which will reduce costs and recidivism as well as promote public safety and improve our community," Arnold said.

Her initiatives also will include:

• Encouraging and facilitating participation by Bar members in all areas of the state. For example, several NHBA Board of Governors’ meetings will be held outside of Concord, with bar members in surrounding communities specially invited to attend.

• Enhance the value of the NHBA Midyear Meeting. Arnold has asked the NHBA CLE Committee to form a subcommittee to start now on planning a 2009 Midyear Meeting that will include substantive CLEs offered in collaboration with larger sections, and other possible partners. The Midyear Meeting is set for Jan. 23, 2009 at the Radisson Hotel/Center of NH in Manchester, and will conclude with a social event.

• Analyze the Bar Association’s operations, programs and priorities. Arnold plans to appoint a task force to review and prioritize Association goals and current programs. This will be a continuation of Board of Governors’ work on long-term planning and is intended to assist the NHBA Finance Committee and the Board in preparation of the 2009 budget.

Salute to incoming, outgoing Board members

The NHBA Annual Meeting, which took place at the North Conway Grand Hotel, also saw the induction of new officers, and a grateful send-off to NHBA Board members who were concluding their terms.

Incoming officers for the 2008-2009 year, aside from President Arnold and Past President Dahar, include:

President-Elect: James J. Tenn, Jr. of Tenn & Tenn, Manchester;

Vice President: Marilyn B. McNamara, executive director, Legal Advice & Referral Center, Concord;

Secretary: Peter E. Hutchins, Wiggin & Nourie, Manchester, and a past NHBA President;

Treasurer: Robert R. Howard, III, Howard Law Office, Henniker.

Starting new three-year terms on the Board of Governors are: At-Large Governors Jaye Rancourt, Alexander J. Walker, Jr.

County Governors starting new two-year terms are: Belknap County – Dorcas J. Gordon; Carroll County – Christopher T. Meier; Hillsborough County North – Victor W. Dahar, Jr.; Hillsborough County South – Robert M. Shepard; Merrimack County – Kenneth J. Barnes (elected to fill remaining year of unexpired term); Strafford County – Christopher T. Regan.

Also, Russell Hilliard was reelected to another two-year term as ABA Association Delegate.

The Annual Meeting banquet on Saturday, June 21, included recognition to those members of the Board who had completed their terms:

Secretary – Gretchen L Witt; Immediate Past President – Richard B. McNamara; Governors-at-Large John B. Andrews and Alexander T. Walker, Jr.; Belknap County – Dorcas J. Gordon; Carroll County – Donald M. Smith; Hillsborough North County – Jennifer L. Parent; Hillsborough South County – Kevin P. Rauseo; Merrimack County – Kenneth J. Barnes; Strafford County – Timothy M. Harrington.

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