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Bar News - May 14, 2010

Bar Foundation News: Kirby and Kenison Award Winners Recognized at Annual Dinner

Howard Zibel, left, accepts the Frank Rowe Kenison award – a wooden lap desk -- from Kevin Devine, a former Bar Foundation chair.

Sarah Mattson, the 2010 Robert Kirby award-winner, is pictured with the other attorneys in her family – her brother, Joseph Mattson and father, Lee Mattson.
2010 Annual Dinner Sponsors

Lead Sponsor
Devine, Millimet & Branch, PA

Ansell & Anderson
New Hampshire Bar Association
Upton & Hatfield

Nixon, Raiche, Vogelman, Barry &Slawsky, PA
Orr & Reno, P.A.
Tenn and Tenn, P.A.
On May 4, 2010, the NH Bar Foundation held its Annual Dinner at C.R. Sparks in Bedford. Dinner highlights included the presentation of the Frank Rowe Kenison and the Robert E. Kirby awards.

The Frank Rowe Kenison Award was presented to Howard J. Zibel, general counsel of the NH Supreme Court, honoring him for his career-long dedication to improvements in the justice system. A former Clerk of the NH Supreme Court, Zibel was cited for his years of dedication to the court system, as Clerk and now as counsel. Zibel was also instrumental in bringing the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program to NH more than 20 years ago and remains actively involved.

Zibel said the award had personal meaning to him as he was admitted to the Bar while Justice Kenison was on the bench. He said Kenison wrote the opinion in the first case that he argued before the Court, and won. Beyond that, he said occasionally met Kenison in the Court’s law library and the jurist, in his last year on the bench, was kind and asked him about his adjustment to his new profession.

The Robert E. Kirby Award, given for excellent advocacy and civility by a practitioner 35 years of age or younger, went to Sarah E. Mattson, an attorney at NH Legal Assistance. Mattson was admitted to the Bar in 2005.

Mattson, now coordinator of the Health-Law Project, clerked for US District Court Judge Paul Barbadoro and then won a prestigious public-service law fellowship, the Skadden Fellowship, when she first worked at NHLA. One of her early projects was fighting the abusive practices of payday lenders, and she led NHLA’s advocacy of legislation, ultimately successful, to ban high-interest payday lending in the state.

Co-hosted by the Campaign for Legal Services, the reception recognized W. John Funk for over 20 years of service on the NHLA/LARC board of directors and his work on the Campaign over the years.

The featured speaker at the banquet was NH Judicial Council Chair Eric Herr of Bristol, recently named chair of the new Judicial Innovation Commission.

John Funk, at right, accepts a plaque honoring his efforts as a board member and leader of legal services organizations and the Campaign for Legal Services. Pictured with Justice James Duggan, the Court liaison to the Bar Foundation.

Eric Herr, keynote speaker at the 2010 Bar Foundation Annual dinner, delivered a sobering speech about the need for greater efficiencies in legal practice and court operations.

NHBA President Jim Tenn (right) chats with Judge Richard McNamara before the Foundation dinner.

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