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Bar News - February 18, 2011

Attorneys Scramble to Assist Marine Reservists Heading to Afghanistan


Attorney volunteer Quinn Colgan helps a member of the Bravo Company, 1st Battalion of the 25th Marines, with estate planning issues.
Nearly 50 NH lawyers and paralegals volunteered their time this past weekend to assist 147 Marine reservists preparing for imminent deployment to Afghanistan.

The attorneys brought their own computers, forms and printers to the training facility of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion of the 25th Marines, a US Marines Corps Reserve unit based in Londonderry. The legal clinic, quickly put together by the NH Bar Association Pro Bono Referral Program, enabled the service members to expeditiously prepare wills and powers-of- attorney to arrange their affairs before they begin combat duty. The volunteer recruitment of the attorneys took place over a few short weeks when it was determined that the militaryís lawyers would not be able to provide sufficient personnel to individually assist the Marines.

"Without the help of all the members of the NHBA that volunteered it would have been a struggle to complete legal assistance prior to the company deploying," said Staff Sgt. Jorge Polanco, the Marinesí unit liaison, and administrative chief of Bravo Company.

Many of the younger Marines had no such documents prepared and hadnít even thought about these issues. The advice, provided in one-on-one counseling, also included asking the Marines to decide whom they should entrust with their powers of attorney.

The clinic began with an orientation session about the importance of estate-planning documents conducted by Bedford probate attorney Ruth Ansell. On Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday, Marine reservists met individually with volunteer attorneys to draw up the necessary documents.

The Barís Pro Bono Program is a veteran of military estate-planning clinics. Several similar events were hastily organized in advance of military deployments to Afghanistan in 2002, said Ginny Martin, who directs legal services programs including Pro Bono.

"We were asked to help and we gladly stepped up to the challenge. Itís the least we can do for the members of our armed services that sacrifice so much," said Pro Bono Referral Program Assistant Coordinator Chantell Wheeler, who led the team effort. "Estate planning can be a difficult process at any stage in life, but itís particularly difficult with the men and women facing deployment. They are just starting out in their lives and estate planning is usually the last thing they think about."

Attorneys & Legal Professionals

R. Carl Anderson
Ruth Tolf Ansell with staff Jenny Clardy and Gail Dalton
Nancy A. Barbour
Lisa J. Bellanti
Vera Borelli Buck
Stephanie K. Burnham
*Quinn P. Colgan
*Daniel Joseph Connolly
Herbert W. Cooper IV
Jack P. Crisp, Jr.
Donna L. Depoian
Robert J. Deshaies
Matthew D. DesMeules
Denis P. Dillon with staff Jodi Norton
Dawn E. DiManna
Patricia E.S. Gardner with Bruce J. Gardner, office manager
Tiffany A. Gillis
Daniel F. Grossman with Markell Ripps, J.D.
Dawn M. Hamel
Jennifer S. Hamel
*Anna Barbara Hantz
*Henry K. Hyder, Jr.
Amy K. Kanyuk
John T. Katsirebas
John E. Laboe
Prescott N. Lane
Pamela P. Little
David L. McLellan
F. Graham McSwiney
*Jenny L. Milana with Tammy Seikman
Robert E. Murphy, Jr.
Denise A. Poulos
*Susan L. Regan, with John Regan
Emily G. Rice
Marie N. Sapienza with staff Tanya Allen
Dwight D. Sowerby with Cindy Sowerby
Shanda R. Tinney
Rodney E. Weaver, Jr.
*Christina Wilhelmi Ė Paralegal
John M. Zaremba

*Volunteered both days
NHBA Staff & Friends

Legal Services Staff
Chantell Wheeler, Clinic Organizer
Dawn Brasil
Pamela Dodge
Ginny Martin, Legal Services Director
Janice Rabchenuk
Carolann Wooding

Bar Staff
Lisha Brosseau
Susan Lakeway
Trisha Laro
Jeannine McCoy, Executive Director
Valenda Morrisette
Kathy St. Louis
Shanna Tiede
Pam Sharp

Bruce Jackson
Dan Linehan, Notary
Paul St. Louis
Irene Merrill
Bryan Westover
Diane Boisvert

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