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Bar News - June 15, 2012

NHBA Board of Governors: Board Updated on Legislation; Makes 2 Appointments

At its May 17, 2012 meeting, the NHBA Board of Governors received an update on the status of legislation in the later stages of the session.

John MacIntosh, the Bar’s legislative representative, reported that two House-passed bills that the Bar Association had opposed, HB1474 and HB1395, were killed by the NH Senate following the recommendation of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The two bills, opposed by the NHBA on separation of powers grounds, respectively, would have removed the requirement for membership in the Bar Association for licensing, and repealed rules enacted by the NH Supreme Court requiring participation in the IOLTA program.

The NH Senate did pass CACR 26, which is a proposed constitutional amendment to revise Part 2, Article 73-a to read that a statute will prevail over a court rule if there is a conflict between a court rule and a statute, unless the statute violates some other portion of the constitution. The NHBA had opposed CACR 26, both in its original version and in an amended version introduced in the Senate. (See May issue of Bar News.) At presstime, it had not been determined whether the NH House would concur with the Senate’s changes on CACR 26 or on three other proposed amendments which could be placed before the voters in November.

In actions, the Board approved two appointments:
  • William Chapman, of the Orr & Reno law firm, to serve on the board of directors of the Legal Advice & Referral Center. (Under the regulations of its main funding source, the Legal Services Corp., board members of LARC who are attorneys must be appointed by the governing board of the Bar Association representing a majority of the attorneys in the locality where the grant recipient provides assistance.)
  • Jack Crisp, of Bow, to serve an additional three-year term on the Judicial Conduct Committee Alternate Panel. The alternate panel is convened to hear cases when members of the Judicial Conduct Committee step aside due to conflicts.
The Board also conducted a pre-confirmation interview with Supreme Court nominee James Bassett. The Board provides confidential input to the Governor and Executive Council on judicial nominations.

Beth Deragon, chair of the Gender Equality Committee, also updated the board on the progress of the committee’s efforts to follow up on the results of the most recent Women in the Profession survey. The committee is organizing a training program for legal employers on how to make their workplaces more equitable and accommodating. (See the announcement of the four-part training series.)

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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