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Bar News - April 16, 2010

Court Appoints Innovation Commission

The NH Supreme Court announced late last month the creation of a commission to identify changes needed to meet the increasing demand for court services while state resources are in severe decline.

The Court has recruited state business and legislative leaders, as well as experts from the National Center for State Courts, to serve on a Judicial Branch Innovation Commission which is expected to make recommendations by the yearís end.

The Commission will be chaired by Eric Herr of Bristol, a business executive who chairs the New Hampshire Judicial Council, and who has worked closely with judges and court administrators on a variety of management issues. Several staffers of the National Center for State Courts, the nationís leading resource center for state courts, also will work with the commission. Thomas M. Clarke, vice-president of the NCSCís Research and Technology Division, is a member of the New Hampshire commission.

In the roiling atmosphere of ongoing economic distress and requests for dramatic budget cuts, Broderick said it seems clear that the state government, including the Judicial Branch, will be required to run on the same or less money for years to come.

"In short, we have no choice: The Judicial Branch can either continue down the path of incremental reductions in service or we can seek those innovations that will permit the courts to meet the needs of our 21st Century constituents," the Chief Justice said in his letter to commissioners.

Editorís note: Eric Herr will be the speaker at the NH Bar Foundationís Annual Dinner on May 4. See page 12 for more.

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