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Bar News - November 16, 2012

Saluting Gretchen Witt’s Service and Dedication

Gretchen Witt
Friends and colleagues of Gretchen Witt packed the Concord Country Club on Oct. 18 to celebrate Witt’s career as the longtime chief of the civil division at the US Attorney’s Office.

Witt is retiring after more than 20 years in the US Department of Justice. At the event last month, her smile and gracious manner were on full display as she greeted friends and heard their heartfelt comments.

Witt had served as civil chief in the US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Hampshire since 1992, and has been an assistant US Attorney since 1986. She served as the district’s first assistant in 1993 and was interim US attorney from June to December 2001. She recently stepped down as a member of the US Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, where she had led the Civil Chief’s Working Group, and had served two two-year terms.

At last year’s NHBA Annual Meeting, Witt received the Donald E. Dufresne Professionalism award in recognition of her excellence as an advocate and her devotion to service in the legal profession.

John Kacavas, the current US attorney, said Witt has had an "immeasurable" impact on the development of numerous civil attorneys and prosecutors working in the department.

Witt has been deeply involved in the legal community, serving on the Bar Association Board of Governors from 1995 to 2008, including the last three years as NHBA secretary. She also has served on the following NHBA committees and task forcese: CLE, gender equality, constitution & bylaws, long range planning, professionalism and status of the profession. And she served four years on the board of the NH Bar Foundation.

She also was highly involved in the NH Bar’s Public Sector/Public Service Task Force, which resulted in the creation of a dedicated seat on the Board of Governors for public sector/public interest members, the establishment of a Bar award recognizing service in this sector of the profession, and other activities to raise the Association’s awareness of this large segment of the practicing bar.

At the event in her honor, Robert R. Howard, III, the NHBA’s long-serving treasurer and a Henniker attorney, reflected on his pride in serving with Witt on the Board of Governors. He said her ongoing participation in Bar Association roles and other efforts to improve the profession exemplify the value and the satisfaction to be gained from maintaining contacts with all segments of the Bar, not just those attorneys that one encounters in their fields of practice.

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