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Bar News - January 15, 2010

Art Drawing Highlights Professionalism Day

In addition to the presentation by national speaker Egil Krogh, this yearís Professionalism Day program also features a drawing among all attendees for a full-size, framed reproduction of the 1857 painting, "Waiting for the Verdict."

The Professionalism Day drawing prize is provided by the Devine Millimet and Branch law firm and its Attorney Conduct, Liability and Professionalism Group in recognition of the late E. Donald Dufresne and the contributions he made to professionalism in the practice of law in NH. The Associationís Professionalism award, presented at the Annual Meeting, is named in honor of Dufresne, who passed away in 1998. Dufresne, a civil litigator, spent his entire legal career at the Devine Millimet firm. He was admitted to the NH Bar in 1963 after obtaining his law degree from Yale University Law School.

"Waiting for the Verdict," was painted by English artist Abraham Solomon, is part of the collection of Tate, a London art museum. Instead of a courtroom scene populated by lawyers, the image depicts the anguish and suspense endured by a family that no doubt will be affected by the verdict, which, as suggested by the glimpse of the courtroom through an open door, appears imminent.

Peter G. Beeson, chair of the Devine Millimet Attorney Conduct group, said the scene emphasizes that true professionalism dictates that lawyers must never overlook litigants and other parties whose lives are affected by their legal work.

A story told about Dufresne after his retirement by former colleague, Andrew Dunn, illustrates how Dufresneís professionalism was dedicated to lasting results, in his life as well as in his practice:

"I went to the farm [where Dufresne lived, in Candia] to visit him shortly after his retirement," Dunn said. "He was replacing a wood shingle roof on a horse barn that he had stopped using some years before. He was up on the roof putting down copper sheeting over a very large area of the bottom of the roof. I thought that was an extravagant way of dealing with the roof issues of an unused horse barn. I asked him why he was doing it, and he said, "Because itíll make the roof last 40-50 years." Dunn replied: "But you wonít be around in 40 years."

Dufresne replied: "That is the point."

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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