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Bar News - June 17, 2011

Leadership Academy Project Brings Out Lawyers, Students


From left, Bruce Felmly, Barbara Keshen, Heather Burns, and Will Delker, wait as the audience votes for the most persuasive closing argument at the Battle of the Lawyers event held in Concord on May 11.
More than 100 tickets were sold for the Battle of the Lawyers event, which brought out attorneys, educators, students and members of the public. Proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships went to the Campaign for Legal Services, funds from which help support the NHBA Pro Bono Referral Program. The event was one of three community projects developed by the inaugural class of the NHBA Leadership Academy. The Battle of the Lawyers was designed to highlight the closing argument, one of the most powerful advocacy tools in an attorney’s repertoire.

Attorneys Chris Aslin, of Bernstein Shur in Concord, Sarah Mattson of NH Legal Assistance, Manchester solo practitioner Christine Smith, David Tencza, of the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office, and Catherine Vaughn, of McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton of Manchester, all participated in the development of the
project. NHBA Assistant Executive Director Denice DeStefano and attorney Jaye Rancourt served as the team’s committee liaison.

The event was much like a Battle of the Bands, with an emcee, a panel of three judges, and four contestants.

UNH School of Law Dean John T. Broderick, Jr. served as the program’s emcee, announcing the contestants and coordinating the judges’ feedback.

Judging the competition were Gregory E. Michael of Bernstein Shur, Emily G. Rice of Orr & Reno, and Linda Johnson of McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton.

Battle of the Lawyers: Keshen Wins with Palace-Guardhouse Closing Statement

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