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Bar News - June 17, 2011


NHBA Budget Approved

By:

At its May 19 meeting, the NHBA Board of Governors approved the fiscal year 2011-2012 budget of $3.89 million. More than half of the budget is derived from non-dues sources, including grants, fundraising, products and services. The budget does not call for any increase in dues. (An information session on the budget will be scheduled later this summer; budget spreadsheet and more information will be published in July issue of Bar News).

In other actions, the Board gave the go-ahead to the NHBA Gender Equality Committee to proceed with the development of a standards and procedures for a voluntary program through which law firms and entities could earn recognition as employers who are leaders in promoting gender equality and diversity in hiring and promotion practices. Beth Deragon, chair of the Gender Equality Committee, explained that the process is designed to address issues identified in the Gender Equality Survey the committee published last year in the Bar Journal. Some of the issues the committee hopes to address include:
  • lack of participation of women in law firm management decisions;
     
  • persistence of inappropriate comments in the workplace;
     
  • pay equity.
Deragon says the recognition is a process that will be developed over a two-year timeframe. The New Lawyers Committee received conceptual approval to conduct a second "Battle of the Lawyer Bands" event sometime in the fall of 2011. The proposal was discussed by New Lawyers Committee chair Jonathan Strasburger.

The Board also approved for membership vote several amendments to the NHBA Constitution & Bylaws. One proposal will clarify eligibility for "full-time judicial" membership status. Another series of bylaws amendments will allow members to make installment payments for dues and court fees under certain circumstances (Article II). Also proposed are changes to shorten the period for nominations and voting for election of NHBA governors and officers, given the greater efficiency of online voting. (Article VI) And, in both the Constitution and Bylaws, language is proposed to specify that a write-in candidate must receive at least the same number of write-in votes as the number of signatures required on a nomination petition for that office.

Jonathan M. Eck, of Devine Millimet & Branch, was appointed by the Board of Governors to fill a vacancy in a governor-at-large position until the next election. Eck, admitted to the NH Bar Association in 2006, has been active for several years in the New Lawyers Committee.

Kenneth C. Bartholomew, of Rath Young & Pignatelli, and Lawrence M. Edelman, of Pierce Atwood, were reappointed to the Legal Advice & Referral Center Board.

William R. Hall, Jr., was reappointed as a NH Bar Association non-member appointee to the NH Judicial Conduct Committee for a three-year term starting July 1, 2011.

The Board also approved a resolution in support of the Puerto Rico Bar Association which has been the target of litigation, a gag order, and other punitive actions. According to the resolution, the Bar Association "has been the target of attacks by forces whose goal has been to punish it for providing …services and taking principled positions…"

The next Board of Governors meeting will take place at the 2011 Annual Meeting on Friday, June 24 at the Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods.

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