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Bar News - August 17, 2012

American Inns of Court: You May not Know What You are Missing.


The American Inns of Court is a nationwide program for lawyers, judges and law students from all practice areas. This program exists locally in chapters that meet once a month for most of the year. The meetings include dinner and discussions in the areas of ethics, skills, and professionalism. Getting to know your fellow lawyers and judges encourages collegiality and increases enjoyment of the day-to-day practice of law.

A unique aspect of the Inns of Courts chapters is that the lawyers and judges who attend are assigned to tables at the beginning of the year and work with their table through the year to create a one-hour program to be presented to the Inn as a whole. Preparing for these presentations gives members a chance to get to know each other more informally outside of court and meetings. CLE credits (including ethics) are awarded for preparing for and attending the monthly presentations.

Often, humorous (and surprisingly well-acted) skits are used by each group to communicate the information in the program participants are presenting, livening up the evening. Each table selects the topic for their presentation, making it easy to have a broad and interesting range of discussions on topics you might not normally consider. (See sidebar for list of recent topics presented by NH Inns chapters.)

Participation in an Inns chapter is rewarding: less-experienced lawyers have the opportunity to interact with and learn from more experienced members, and more experienced members have opportunities to mentor up-and-coming attorneys.

New Hampshire has two active Inns of Court chapters, with membership in each Inn targeted at about 80 people. Public sector attorneys are encouraged to apply to join an Inn. Some scholarship funding is available to cover the cost of attendance for those attorneys who cannot afford the dues and meal costs.

Consider contacting your local Inns Chapter for more information or to join:

The Charles C. Doe American Inn of Court

Meets at the Three Chimneys Inn, in Durham starting October 3 (1st Wednesday of the month)

President: Chris Regan, 603-868-2414

The Daniel Webster-Batchelder American Inn of Court

Meets at the Manchester Country Club in Bedford starting October 3 (1st Wednesday of the month)

Executive Director: Cameron Shilling, 603-628-1351

Sampling of Recent Inns Programs

The following is a sampling of presentations created by Inns of Court members from NH’s two Inns.
• GPS Tracking and the 4th Amendment
• Legally Lying: Ethical Considerations and Legal Obligations

• First Amendment Impact on Employment Law

• Telecommunications Act of 1996 (cell towers)

• NH’s Parental Notification law.

• The Ethical Pretzel: Balancing Your Duty of Candor to the Court and Your Duty of Fairness to Opposing Counsel While Preserving Privilege

• E-Discovery – Nuts and Bolts for New Digital Age

  • Medical Information Privacy – a Brave New World

• Preserving the Record – Art & Science of Objections and Offers of Proof
• Mediation – The Most Under-Recognized Skill for Lawyers

• Hearsay or Not Hearsay

• Unbundled Legal Services – Can it be Effective?

• Your Clients are Losing Their Home – Know What to Do?

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