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Bar News - June 12, 2009

Bar Journal Celebrates DeGrandpre’s Long Lex Loci Tenure

The latest issue of Bar Journal – published online only as a PDF at -- is dedicated to Charles A. DeGrandpre in gratitude for his 40 years of service to the New Hampshire legal community as the author of the Lex Loci column.

The issue includes an interview regarding DeGrandpre’s legal career and his process of writing the columns, which he produced faithfully on a quarterly basis (except for a couple of "legendary vacations") from 1968 through 2008. DeGrandpre’s recollections in the interview are supplemented by comments from his longtime secretary, Jo Catalino, and retired Justices William Batchelder and William Johnson.

The issue includes part 1 of a sampling of Charlie’s columns from 1968 through 1980. The selected passages illustrate the varied roles the columnist played in his quarterly review of the NH Supreme Court’s output. At times, DeGrandpre is a reporter, calling attention to significant developments in common law; sometimes he is a critic of decisions; and at times, he is NH’s wry legal humorist -- finding the lighter side of the law in even the dullest of opinions.

The issue also includes a reprint of DeGrandpre’s diary of service on a Rockingham County jury panel where he had the fortune to sit as a juror on several short cases in the late 1990s.

The issue includes a timely article by attorney Albert Shamash, the attorney member of the NH Board of Tax and Land Appeals, entitled The Developing Law of Judicial Notice of Website Information. His article explores the timely dilemma and relatively underdeveloped caselaw regarding whether and how courts take notice of evidence found on the Internet. "The current NH Evidence Code simply provides a general procedural template for resolving judicial notice questions, but makes no mention of whether it is permissible to take judicial notice of website information and the appropriate conditions for doing so," Shamash writes. "This omission leads to some uncertainties regarding whether a New Hampshire court will take judicial notice of any particular website information."

Lex Loci Successor?

Despite Charles DeGrandpre’s retirement, the Lex Loci column will not retire with him. Last year, several attorneys responded to our call to audition as the successor to Lex Loci.

The Bar Journal Editorial Board has decided that a permanent successor will not be chosen for at least a year. However, in the coming issues, you will see columns by at least two candidates. In the next issue, attorney David W. Ruoff of the Manchester office of Nixon Peabody will try his hand at the Lex Loci column.

Speaking of upcoming issues, the next issue, Fall 2009, will be overseen by NH Bar Journal Chair Michael DeLucia. The issue theme is Hard Times and an impressive roster of articles on bankruptcy, foreclosure, employment terminations and other timely topics will be covered. Following that, the December 2009 issue will be devoted to the third 10-year follow-up of the Gender Equality Survey, originally conducted in 1988.

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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