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Bar News - October 14, 2011


Bench Strength: Vacancies at All Levels of the Court

At presstime, NH Supreme Court Associate Justice James E. Duggan announced that he plans to retire in January, his 10th year on the bench, and seven months shy of his mandatory retirement age.

The Judicial Selection Commission, created by Gov. Lynch’s executive order, included the Supreme Court vacancy in a judicial vacancy notice issued in that same week. The vacancy notice also seeks applicants for the superior court and the circuit court.

In recent months, the Circuit Court – District Division has seen the retirements of Manchester’s Norman Champagne and Littleton’s part-time justice, Stephen Samaha. And the last issue of Bar News reported on the upcoming retirement of John Arnold from the Cheshire County Superior Court.

The accompanying graphic indicates the number of filled seats and vacancies, by statute, existing for each level of the court. (By agreement with the executive branch, the current biennial budget only allows for a total of 18 superior court judgeships; the statutory minimum, however, is 22.)

Further coverage of these retirements will appear in upcoming issues of Bar News or online.

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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