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Bar News - March 18, 2011

In Memoriam: Hon. Gerald F. Giles

Hon. Gerald F. Giles
Judge Gerald Giles died March 5, 2011, after a period of declining health. He was 81.

Giles served as a part-time judge in the Seacoast for 30 years, until he reached mandatory retirement age in 2000. In 2001, he was presented with the Bar Association’s William A. Grimes Award for Judicial Professionalism.

A supporter of the NH Bar Foundation, he created the Voluntary Prevention Fund, which became part of the NH Bar Foundation endowment. The purpose of the fund, he said, was to support "efforts to promote ethics and professionalism and to prevent misconduct by members of the NH Bar Association." The fund was used to support the development of the permanent and professionally staffed NH Lawyers Assistance Program.

A graduate of Colgate University and the University of Chicago Law School, Giles was a National Honors Scholar.

After his graduation, Giles opened a law office in Portsmouth. He was the first attorney in New Hampshire to be certified as a trial lawyer by the National Board of Trial Lawyers. In 1960, Giles was appointed to the Rye Municipal Court. In 1967, Giles was appointed to the Administrative Committee for the District and Municipal Courts and served until 1973, when he retired as chair.

Giles also served as president of the NH Judges Association and was a member of the state probation board from 1970 to 1973.

Harriett Fishman, a retired marital master, practiced with Giles from 1981 to 1987 before she joined the bench. "His stern exterior gave way to a heart of gold. Gerry’s generosity opened doors for many people, both within and outside our profession," she said. (See her letter.)

Giles is survived by his wife, Judith; children, Frederick, Michael, William, and Paula; stepchildren, Gail, Elizabeth, and Joseph; 12 grandchildren; and brother, Leonard.

In honor of our colleague Hon. Gerald F. Giles, the NH Bar Association Board of Governors has made a donation to the NH Bar Foundation, 2 Pillsbury Street, Suite 300, Concord, NH 03301.

If you are in doubt about the status of any meeting, please call the Bar Center at 603-224-6942 before you head out.

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