Bar News - October 19, 2012
NH Public Defender’s Keating Heads Judicial Council
Christopher Keating has left his position as executive director of the NH Public
Defender to succeed Nina Gardner, who retired earlier this month as executive
director of the NH Judicial Council.
Gov. Lynch presents a proclamation honoring the service to the state of Nina
Gardner, retiring executive director of the NH Judicial Council, and a state
employee for 40 years.
The Judicial Council, a small executive branch agency headed by an independent
board, oversees the indigent defense delivery system, including the contract and
assigned-counsel programs. It also advocates for legislation and matters relating
broadly to the administration of justice. Keating assumed his Council position on
The Judicial Council administers the contract for the Public Defender program,
which provides most of the indigent criminal defense representation in the state.
NHPD is New Hampshire’s largest law firm with more than 120 attorneys working in
10 offices, plus an appellate bureau handling criminal appeals in the NH Supreme
Abigail Albee, an attorney who had been director of legal services for NHPD, will
take over as interim executive director while the NHPD’s board, headed by
attorney Cathy Green, commences a national search for Keating’s replacement.
Keating has headed the NH Public Defender since 2001. A member of the American
Council of Chief Defenders, he serves as vice-chair of the Bar Association’s
Committee on Cooperation with the Courts. In 2009 he was honored with the NH
Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Champion of Justice Award; in 2010 the
NH Bar Association awarded him the E. Donald Dufresne Award for Outstanding
Asked about his new role, Keating observed, "I’m keenly aware that I am
succeeding, not replacing, Nina Gardner. She built traditions of integrity and
accountability at the Judicial Council that have made the agency a trusted
resource in supporting New Hampshire’s efforts to ensure equal justice to all