NHBA President Ellen Arnold presided over a well-attended Midyear Meeting, held Jan. 23 at the Center of NH/Radisson Hotel in Manchester.
At the luncheon, she presented the first-ever Public Sector/Public Interest law awards, which were created in response to recommendations by a task force that looked at issues regarding the participation and recognition of public sector/public interest attorneys in the Association.
This year’s co-recipients were:
RANDY HAWKES – Outstanding Service –Public Sector/Public Interest Law
Attorney Randy Hawkes, supervising attorney of the Dover office of the NH Public Defender, was nominated not only because he is a highly accomplished legal advocate for his clients in the courtroom, but for his dedication and skill advocating for the indigent in public policy arenas. For example, Randy is a founding member and active participant in the Strafford County Mental Health Court, Stafford County Adult Drug Court and other court diversion programs in Strafford County.
As a supervising attorney, he is a gifted mentor to new attorneys, said his nominators, who "would go to the ends of the earth for him."
JAMES FENDER - Outstanding Service –
Public Sector/Public Interest Law
James Fender, counsel to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, was the first civilian lawyer from the Navy Office of General Counsel to volunteer and be selected to deploy to Baghdad, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He worked there for six months, serving as the principal fiscal law advisor to US and Iraqi military and civilian leaders.
Attorney Fender has worked for the Department of Defense as an attorney for more than 27 years, including 23 years at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. He has become a noted authority on the history of the shipyard and the port of Portsmouth.. He has shared his love and deep knowledge of history – most notably as a novelist who has written five books centering on the adventures of a fictional Portsmouth privateer helping the patriots’ cause in the Revolutionary War.
Also presented at the luncheon were awards to:
CAROL KUNZ, Wiggin & Nourie law firm, Manchester - Distinguished Service to the Public Award
A partner of the Wiggin & Nourie law firm, Carol concentrates in family law practice and when she joined the Bar in 1998, she immediately joined the NH Bar Pro Bono and DOVE volunteer panels. In addition to her own Pro Bono caseload, she frequently mentors other attorneys, in her firm and out, in family law and domestic violence matters. A fellow member of the family law bar in NH said of Kunz: "In her service to the public, she is a problem-solver with exceptional talent."
Attorney Kunz has also been involved for several years with the NH Domestic Violence Advisory Council and the Mary Gale Foundation, a NH foundation whose mission is to support providers of care to indigent women and the elderly. Carol Kunz recently was named to the Pro Bono Governing Board, and she is a member of the Bar’s Committee on Professionalism.
RICHARD UCHIDA, Orr & Reno, Concord –
L. Jonathan Ross Award for Outstanding Commitment to Legal Services for the Poor.
Richard Uchida is one of the hardest working legal services volunteers and leaders. A past president of the New Hampshire Bar (2005-06), Uchida’s contributions have spanned the spectrum from representing individual Pro Bono clients and calling on his peers to accept cases through referral marathons, to facilitating an intensive, 18-month-long statewide legal services planning process. He serves on the NH Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission, and is a member of the NH Bar Foundation’s IOLTA Enhancement Subcommittee and the Steering Committee of the Campaign for Legal Services.
Uchida’s brief remarks, accepting the Ross Award, appear on page five.
The late Graham Chynoweth, Chynoweth Cornell law, Concord – Donald E. Dufresne award for Professionalism. (This award is being presented posthumously to Chynoweth, who died in November.)
GRAHAM P. CHYNOWETH – Dufresne Award for Professionalism, posthumous presentation.
Graham P. Chynoweth, who died on Thanksgiving Day 2008 after a battle with cancer, was an attorney whose idealism never dimmed over a long career as a family law practitioner. Even in his last year of life, he served as Chair of the Family Law Section and was active in efforts to collaborate with the judicial branch on improvements to the Family Division. Earlier, he had served as Merrimack County representative on the Board of Governors, and had been active in several other Bar sections and the Merrimack County Bar Association. He also was active in civic life, serving on the Shaker Regional School Board, as a member of the NH House of Representatives, and he was instrumental in the creation of NH Public Radio. He was also deeply involved in the local Quaker community.
The award was accepted at the meeting by his son, Graham J. Chynoweth, an attorney with Dynamic Network Services, in Manchester, and his widow, Linda Peters Chynoweth and another son, Peter.
All of the NHBA CLE programs were videotaped and will soon be posted in the Online CLE area at www.nhbar.org.