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Bar News - May 18, 2012

James Bassett Nominated to Supreme Court

James Bassett
Concord attorney James Bassett is Gov. John Lynch’s nominee to fill the NH Supreme Court vacancy created by the retirement of Justice James Duggan. The Executive Council has scheduled a public hearing for May 18 at 1 p.m. He was nominated May 9.

Bassett, of Canterbury, is a senior litigator and shareholder of the Concord law firm of Orr & Reno, where he has practiced for the past 27 years. If confirmed, he would join Duggan and former Chief Justice John T. Broderick, Jr., as lawyers appointed directly to the high court bench without prior service as a judge.

"Jim Bassett has a deep and broad knowledge of the law and has litigated numerous complex civil and constitutional cases. He has an extensive background in civil litigation, with decades of experience in New Hampshire courtrooms," Governor Lynch said. "His intellect, breadth of experience and long and active community involvement will make him a great addition to our state’s highest court."

The nomination offers Lynch an additional advantage: Bassett’s appointment would not create a corresponding vacancy in another state court – as reported in Bar News last month – the superior court and district courts are riddled with vacancies due to recent retirements and budgetary issues slowing the pace of new appointments.

Bassett joined Orr & Reno in 1985 and has argued numerous cases in all state and federal courts in New Hampshire. Over the past decade, Bassett has argued several significant cases involving the constitutional separation of powers and first amendment rights.

He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1978, and received his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School in 1982.

Bassett has been involved with the community, serving on various boards, including the Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Canterbury Shaker Village and Granite United Way. He previously served on the board of the Capitol Center for the Arts. Bassett has also volunteered as a youth sports coach.

He previously served as chairman of the Canterbury Board of Selectman and chairman of the Canterbury Planning Board.

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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