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Bar News - April 13, 2012

Civil Rules Pilot Project to Expand In October: Superior Courts in Nashua and Manchester Will Participate

The Superior Court Civil Rules Pilot Project (PAD) first introduced in Strafford and Carroll counties, will expand in October to Hillsborough North Superior Court in Manchester and Hillsborough South Superior Court in Nashua. The project, know as PAD (Proportional Discovery/ Automatic Disclosure) is designed to simplify the litigation process to make it more affordable and efficient. The PAD rules, approved on a temporary basis by the Supreme Court, have been mandatory in Strafford and Carroll counties since October 2010.

"The civil rules pilot project has been extremely successful in Strafford and Carroll counties and I look forward to implementing the changes statewide in the future," Superior Court Chief Justice Tina L. Nadeau said.

"Feedback from parties, lawyers and staff indicates the civil litigation process has become more streamlined which allows all of us in the court system to focus on delivering thoughtful decisions efficiently, which benefits everyone involved in a case," Nadeau said.

All civil and equity matters in the Nashua and Manchester courts will be governed by PAD rules effective Oct. 1, 2012.

Two video replays of a NHBA CLE program that explains the new rules will be held on May 31, 2012 in the jury assembly room at the Hillsborough County courthouse on Chestnut Street in Manchester from 1-4:15 p.m. and in Nashua on June 7, 2012 from 1-4:15 p.m. in the jury assembly room at Hillsborough County courthouse on Spring Street in Nashua.

Superior Court Justice Kenneth Brown, the supervisory judge in Strafford County, and Strafford County Superior Court Clerk Julie Howard will attend both CLE presentations to answer questions about the rule changes.

Five rule changes had been recommended in 2010 by a Trial Court Advisory Committee appointed by then Chief Justice John T. Broderick Jr. and chaired by now Associate Supreme Court Justice Robert J. Lynn and attorney Philip R. Waystack. The committee’s report recommended five changes in pleading and discovery rules involving fact-based pleadings; issues identification; automatic disclosure; proportional discovery and judicial continuity.

Read more about the project.

The Judicial Branch has a page devoted to the PAD Pilot Project in the Superior Court portion of its website.

Supreme Court Rule 42(9) requires all NH admitted attorneys to notify the Bar Association of any address change, home or office.

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