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Bar News - January 14, 2011

Jack Middleton Returns to Lead Bar Foundation

Jack B. Middleton, who was instrumental in establishing the Interest on Lawyers Trust Account program and is a longtime champion of lawyer volunteerism, has been elected chair of the NH Bar Foundation, succeeding Hon. Philip Hollman, who has chaired the Foundation for the past two years.

Middleton, a partner in the McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton law firm in Manchester, previously served the longest tenure of any chair of the Foundation, serving from 1983 to 1989. In 1982, Middleton helped persuade the NH Supreme Court to adopt a rule enabling New Hampshire to become one of the first states in the country to adopt the innovative method of using interest-bearing pooled accounts to generate revenue for charitable purposes. Since 1977, the Bar Foundation has provided more than $26 million in funding for civil legal services and education about our legal system, principally through IOLTA, but with additional fundraising as well.

"I am pleased to succeed Judge Philip Hollman as chair of the Bar Foundation," said Middleton. "He has worked long and hard on behalf of the Foundation."

Middleton said that while the economy has battered the IOLTA program in particular, he sees brighter times ahead as the economy slowly improves. "Clearly our future looks brighter than our immediate past."

While the recent rule change making the IOLTA program mandatory may add to the revenue stream, he says the Foundation will be working to do whatever it can to enhance the ability of the IOLTA program to provide needed funding for civil legal services and legal education programs.

Middleton also says he is working closely with Jeannine McCoy, the NHBA Executive Director who is overseeing the Bar Foundationís administration, and John Maher, who last fall agreed to serve part-time as development director for the Foundation. "We want to remind people that there is a Bar Foundation, and that it is our professionís charity with a mission that addresses its concerns."

Bar members are invited attend the Fellows & Donors Reception held at the conclusion of the 2010 Midyear Meeting on Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, at the Radisson Hotel/Center of NH.

Hollman, the Foundationís Honorary Fellow for 2011, helped oversee the organization during a difficult period. Largely due to the recession, IOLTA revenues have steadily declined since 2008, due to falling interest rates and a decreasing volume of deposits. The Foundation reduced its staffing and used reserves to cushion the drop in grant allocations for affected organizations, including the Pro Bono Referral Program and NH Legal Assistance.

The Middleton was president of the NH Bar Association from 1979 to 1980, and has led previous fundraising campaigns for the Bar Foundation. Nationally, he served as trustee and president of the National Conference of Bar Foundations and is a member of the House of Delegates (and a former Secretary) of the American Bar Association.

He was recognized for service by the Bar Foundation as an Honorary Fellow in 2002 and received the Frank Rowe Kenison Award in 2004.

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