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Bar News - October 17, 2008

Funds Sought to Preserve Carroll County Courthouse


Courtroom to Be Named for "Quintessential Country Lawyer" Philip J. Ganem

A fundraising campaign has been launched to raise $100,000 to preserve and maintain for public use the courtroom in the old Carroll County Superior Courthouse in Ossipee by the Ossipee Historical Society. A fund in honor of Attorney Philip J. Ganem has been created for the Courthouse Revitalization Project.
Philip Ganem was the quintessential country lawyer in the best sense of the term. He spent his entire 47-year legal career in Carroll County where he maintained a private law practice, served as clerk of the Carroll County Superior Court and as special justice of the Wolfeboro District Court.

But Phil was much more than a small town lawyer. He was a community leader, a devoted family man, and the best mentor a new attorney could ever have. He manifested the best qualities of the profession: he was hardworking; compassionate; ethical and honest. Phil believed that every person was entitled to equal treatment under the law and he took on many pro bono causes simply because he felt some needy individual could use his help. He saw the law as a tool for positive change, regardless of a person’s station in life.

Phil is still with us, but his legal career was cut short by a major stroke in 2003 which forced him to retire at the age of 74. For Phil, there was no such thing as "planned retirement." He loved the practice of law and intended to continue his career as long as his health permitted.

He joined the army upon graduation from high school and served three years during the US occupation of Japan. Afterwards, he used the GI Bill to attend the University of New Hampshire, from which he graduated in 1953. After a year in the work force, he entered Harvard Law School, graduating in 1957. He moved to Wolfeboro and began his legal career as an associate to attorney James Kalled.

In 1965, Phil became clerk of the Carroll County Superior Court, a position which he held for five years before returning to private practice in Wolfeboro. Phil maintained his own law office in Wolfeboro for 33 years, a portion of which he also served as special justice of the Wolfeboro District Court. He was past president, treasurer, and director of the Carroll County Bar Association.

Phil served on the Gov. Wentworth Regional School Board for 11 years, nine years as chairman. He helped organize and sustain the Wolfeboro Summer Theatre, served as a hospice volunteer, and was an activist in the Democratic Party. As Phil liked to say, "It takes courage to be a Carroll County Democrat."

A few of Phil’s friends and former associates recently established the "Philip J. Ganem Courtroom Fund" to honor Phil by naming the courtroom inside the historic 1916 Carroll County Courthouse in Ossipee, NH in Phil’s honor. The goal is to raise $100,000 for the Courthouse Revitalization Project being undertaken by the Ossipee Historical Society, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, and current owner of the building.

The mission of the Philip J. Ganem Courtroom Fund is:

· To preserve the beautiful old courtroom and to use it for cultural activities and meetings.

· To further the development of educational outreach programs.

· To establish a research center with a link to the educational resources of UNH.

· To preserve historic documents, photographs and artifacts of Carroll County.

· To keep the historic courthouse open for public use.

All members of the NH Bar are invited to join in this effort to preserve New Hampshire’s legal heritage, revitalize the historic Carroll County Courthouse, and honor Phil Ganem.

For more information or to send a tax deductible financial contribution, please contact the Philip J. Ganem Courtroom Fund, P.O. Box 245, Ossipee, NH 03864-0245. All contributions will go to the Ossipee Historical Society, a 501 (c) (3) organization, as part of the Courthouse Revitalization Project.

Attorney Paul R. Pudloski (Griffin & Pudloski, Portsmouth), was an associate in the Law Office of Philip J. Ganem from 1975 to 1978.

Courthouse Now a National Landmark
The Carroll County Courthouse has been placed on the NH State Registry of Historic Places—and recently also on the National Register of Historic Places. The historical society hopes to make the courthouse a center for those interested in the county’s judicial history…providing many services, among them long-term care of historical artifacts, workshops and other events open to the public and educational support to area schools.

If you are in doubt about the status of any meeting, please call the Bar Center at 603-224-6942 before you head out.

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