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Bar News - March 22, 2013

Champions of Pro Bono 2013

These awards were presented at the NH Bar Association Midyear Meeting on March 8 in Manchester.

Pro Bono Rising Star Award

Brenda Golden Hallisey

Since joining the Pro Bono Panel in 2011, Brenda Golden Hallisey has pursued her passion to serve victims of domestic abuse. In addition to managing her private practice, Brenda accepts referrals through the Pro Bono program and also spends many hours each month meeting with and advising victims of domestic violence at the local crisis center through the DOVE Projectís North Country Outreach. In less then two years, she has provided legal advice or representation to 30 clients.

Pro Bono Distinguished Service Awards

Ronald R. Bessette

Ronald Bessette, Senior Counsel at Lincoln Financial Group, sets a good example of how in-house counsel can participate in Pro Bono work. He was in search of a way to give back to his community and found his niche with the Pro Bono Programís DOVE Project, joining the panel in May 2012. Ron now represents victims of domestic violence at their final restraining order hearings, helping them to secure safety for themselves and their children.

Margaret Hall

For two decades Margaret Hall has been an enthusiastic volunteer for the Pro Bono Program. Her pragmatic and empathetic approach to family law helps clients through difficult times, with an emphasis on serving the best interests of the children involved. She has also volunteered for the Pro Bono DOVE Project, responding to emergency calls from crisis center advocates to represent victims at final restraining order hearings.

Daniel J. Harkinson
Daniel Harkinson has for years, with little fanfare, been a steadfast and key volunteer to the Pro Bono Program. Since 2000, he has accepted over 33 cases from the program, most of them involving difficult family law matters. Dan not only responds to our requests for help, he contacts our program offering his assistance. He has graciously accepted cases where there is a pending hearing date and has been know to "stick" with clients when their original case mushrooms into two or three additional matters.

Judith K. Jones
Judith K. Jones is truly to be celebrated for her long-standing commitment to helping the low-income and frequently elder or disabled members of our communities. Whether providing direct pro bono representation, or advice to service agencies, including the Pro Bono Program, Judith always takes the time needed to fully understand the legal, economic, and social issues for each client. It is this holistic approach, combined with her expertise in elder law, that wins the true respect of her colleagues and the hearts of her clients.

Kenneth D. Murphy
Since joining the panel in 200l, Kenneth Murphy is one who has answered the call over and over again, taking several cases a year without fail. Often, Ken doesnít even wait to be asked; he simply sends an email telling us heís ready for another referral. This sort of dedication to service for the needy is hard to surpass.

Brian C. Shaughnessy
For many years, Brian Shaughnessy has served as board president for The Way Home, a Manchester-based nonprofit agency dedicated to securing safe, affordable housing for families living on the margins. In the Pro Bono Referral Program, he performs the critical role of on-call case reviewer, ready to answer any question regarding the legal or practical merits of an eviction case before the case is referred, thus helping to ensure the integrity of the program. In addition, Brian has made himself available as a resource to the legal community on eviction issues. His dedication to collegiality within the profession is one of his many ways of serving the client in need.

Catholic Lawyers Guild
In 2010, Charles Holoubek, then president of the Catholic Lawyers Guild, came to Pro Bono with an idea for a service project, and so began the Catholic Lawyers Guild Referral Marathons. Subsequent presidents of the Guild, Courtney Eschbach and Robert Carey, along with 25 members of the Catholic Lawyers Guild, have worked together for the greater good and with a simple mission: to help low-income people find the legal representation they need. The Catholic Lawyers Guild has made a lasting difference in the lives of over 200 families in need of legal representation. In events now held four times each year, and choosing dates honoring events on the liturgical calendar, Guild members organize and participate in Referral Marathons with the goal of placing cases with fellow volunteers across the state.

L. Jonathan Ross Award for Outstanding Commitment to Legal Services for the Poor

David L. Nixon
David Nixon has long advocated for the legal needs and rights of people with limited financial means. A longtime legal services advocate, Nixon has lobbied US Congress to support legal aid and helped develop state legislation designed to improve the lives of domestic violence victims.

As a veteran volunteer with the Domestic Violence Emergency (DOVE) Project, Dave has dedicated countless hours to low-income victims of domestic violence, has successfully recruited peers to volunteer with DOVE, and is always eager to mentor new attorneys, giving them the support and encouragement to help those in need.

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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