Bar News - July 16, 2010
Chief Justice Steps Down; Will Still Fight for Courts
NH Chief Justice John T. Broderick, Jr., last month announced he would step down from the bench on Nov. 30, 15 years after he first became a judge.
Chief Justice Broderick urged Bar members to continue to speak out.
In remarks at the NHBA Annual Meeting where he received the Justice Grimes Judicial Professionalism Award, Broderick said, "It was time, in my life and in my family’s life" to leave public office, and that his departure was unrelated to the state’s financial crisis and its impact on the court budget.
He also indicated that in private life he intends to continue to advocate for adequate court resources and equal access to justice, and exhorted members of the Bar to continue speaking out on justice system needs, as they did this past spring.
In a letter to NH citizens released at the end of June, Broderick outlined further cost-cutting steps the courts were taking to address reduced spending levels and added expenses due to an increase in court security officers’ compensation. Other concerns include:
- Jury sessions throughout the state will be reduced by one-third, meaning, Broderick said, that jury trials for civil cases will be "rare."
- 20 percent reduction in court sessions for the district and family courts, and reduced courthouse operating hours.
- Severe reduction in the use of per diem judges, including senior status judges in the superior court and part-time judges in the district courts.
Read Broderick’s remarks and his letter.
Governor Lynch is moving quickly to begin the search process for a new Supreme Court justice. See Judicial Selection Commission vacancy notice.