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Bar News - August 19, 2011

Court Briefs

Mediation Office Director Resigns

Karen Borgstrom has resigned as director of the Judicial Branch’s Office of Mediation and Arbitration. She had been a highly visible, hard-working advocate of court-sponsored mediation programs after she was appointed to the office created by former Chief Justice John Broderick.

Her replacement has not yet been named, although the Judicial Branch issued a job posting for a mediation coordinator to head the OMA. (The application deadline for the coordinator – a lower-ranking position than director – was Aug. 19, the same day this Bar News issue was published; the application was posted in the e-Bulletin.)

Borgstrom gave her notice in mid-July and her last day was on Aug. 11. Adding to the challenges for the OMA is that Lynda Troy, the administrative assistant for the OMA, is also leaving state government.

Some in the mediators have expressed concern that the increasing use of ADR in the courts will lose momentum with the downgrading of the position and the loss of its key personnel.

In a memo to all of the mediators and neutrals on the OMA panels, Borgstrom thanked them all for their "willingness to work in the court annexed ADR programs. Your support of the Office of Mediation and Arbitration and of me personally has made the OMA’s success possible."

Borgstrom indicated that she has another position but has not announced it yet.

Reopening Delayed for Manchester Courthouse

The reopening of the Hillsborough Superior Courthouse (Northern District) in Manchester has been pushed back six weeks. The original target of Labor Day was moved due to a variety of factors.

Administrators say the reconstructed facility will open in mid-October, housing the Superior Court that had been temporarily co-located in the Nashua courthouse with the southern district of the Hillsborough County Superior Court.

Court leaders say they will present their case to the legislature in the upcoming session to merge the southern and northern districts of the Superior Court in the Manchester courthouse, allowing the Circuit Court to completely occupy the Spring Street courthouse in Nashua.

Will Delker Takes the Bench

Will Delker will be sworn in as an associate justice of the NH Superior Court on Aug. 24 and the following week will begin his training and orientation.

Chief Justice Tina Nadeau said that following two and a half weeks of orientation, administrative work and shadowing other judges, Delker will be assigned to Rockingham County presiding over his own docket starting Sept. 19.

Delker, 41, was a senior assistant attorney general. When he takes office, there will be 18 superior court judges, below the statutory limit of 22 judges. According to a weighted caseload measure released in 2007, the court at full strength should have more than 24 judges.

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