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Bar News - April 13, 2012


Bar Briefs

NHBA Election Elections Underway

The NH Bar Board of Governors voting concluded April 16. Bar News will cover the results of the election in the May issue and at www.nhbar.org.

Following the Annual Meeting in June, current NHBA President-Elect Lawrence Vogelman will take over as NHBA President and current NHBA Vice President Jaye Rancourt will take over as President-Elect.

We the People to Hold National Competition

The We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution National Finals will be held April 27 - May 1 this year in Washington, DC. Milford High School, which won the State Finals this year for a record tenth time, will represent New Hampshire.

Howard Zibel, who has served as a judge in the New Hampshire competition since the programís inception 25 years ago, will serve as a judge at the National Finals as well. The Bar congratulates him on his work and his recognition.

Pro Bono Director Appointed to Task Force

NHBA Pro Bono Director Virginia Martin was named to the national Pro Bono Taskforce of the Legal Services Corporation. The task force is chaired by Martha Minow, Vice Chair of the LSC Board and Dean of the Harvard Law School.

The taskforce aims to identify best practices and innovations to enhance the involvement of private, volunteer lawyers in civil legal assistance to low-income Americans. Martin serves on both the obstacles and rural delivery work groups.

Bar Collects ADO Comments

The Bar is assembling responses from a variety of sources to an ABA study teamís recommendations for changes to our stateís disciplinary process.

On January 30, 2012, The Court asked the Bar to seek input from the membership regarding these proposals and provide a response by May 15. The Bar Association immediately posted the report and a comment form at www.nhbar.org. In the past 2 months, the Bar Association leadership has been analyzing the report, asked for feedback from members at the Midyear Meeting and at Section meetings, and also posted additional materials, including a 8-page summary outline to aid in membersí review of the proposals. An online survey was circulated last week as part of the Barís comprehensive outreach to the membership on this issue.

The Board of Governors will review membersí input before preparing a response to the Court on potential changes to the disciplinary process, which could have both due-process as well as financial impact through mandatory court fees if budgetary changes were made.

Many members have already responded with thoughtful, detailed comments. Your attention to this matter is appreciated.

Law Day Slated for May 4

Law Day, a national celebration held in conjunction with the NHBAís A Lawyer and Judge in Every School program, will be held this year on May 4.

During the program, volunteer attorneys from across the state visit elementary, middle and high schools to teach students about the relevance of the justice system in their lives. This yearís theme is No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom and revolves around sharing with students what an ineffective justice system would mean for them.

If youíre interested in visiting a school, contact NHBA Law Related Education Coordinator Robin E. Knippers at reknippers@nhbar.org. Lesson plans for all age groups are available.

DOVE Holds Child Support Webcast

On Friday, March 23, 2012 the Pro Bono Program offered a live webcast, the first in a series of mini-productions, developed to assist lawyers with specialized instruction valuable to their volunteer practice.

Targeting Domestic Violence Emergency (DOVE) Project and Pro Bono Program volunteers, this program focused on the relief, beyond protective orders, available to victims of domestic violence under NH RSA 173-B. Given research finds that the lack of financial resources is the number one reason why abuse victims return to their abuser, the workshop featured a presentation on child support by Cathy Shanelaris of Shanelaris & Schirch, PLLC in Nashua. Shanelaris offered information on how to simplify the process of calculating and drafting proposed child support orders for the court when representing victims of domestic violence at final restraining order hearings.

The program provided a "nuts and bolts" review of the Financial Affidavit, completion the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, Uniform Support Order and the application process for having an order payable through the child support office.

For more information about viewing this webcast or volunteering for the DOVE or Pro Bono Program please contact Pam Dodge at 603-715-3230 or pdodge@nhbar.org.

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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