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Bar News - January 18, 2013

PAD Discovery Rules Go Statewide March 1

The NH Supreme Court last week issued a temporary rule expanding the Proportional Automatic Disclosure (PAD) rules for civil cases to all of the superior courts, effective March 1, 2013. (See order on page 37).

The new rules, which model the federal courts’ discovery regimen, were piloted in Strafford and Carroll counties in October 2010, and then extended to Hillsborough County Superior Court on Oct. 1, 2012.

New PAD Rules CLE Feb. 14

In collaboration with the state courts, the NHBA•CLE program is holding a new live program on the PAD rules from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14, at the Bar Center. The program will also be available as a live webcast. Replays in areas that do not now have the PAD rules in effect are in the works. (Watch the e-Bulletin for details.)

The NH Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules may propose changes to the PAD rules before they are proposed for permanent adoption.

An enthusiastic supporter of the PAD rules is Superior Court Judge Kenneth Brown, who oversaw their implementation in Strafford County and now presides in Manchester. He says the PAD rules speed up the discovery process and perhaps are leading to earlier settlements.

Guidance on PAD

The Judicial Branch website has a page devoted to the PAD rules that includes a very helpful implementation memo written by Strafford County Clerk Julie Howard. Also visit and type "PAD rules" in the search box for several Bar News articles on the PAD rules, including a December 2012 article on special considerations for document-intensive cases.

If you are in doubt about the status of any meeting, please call the Bar Center at 603-224-6942 before you head out.

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