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Bar News - September 20, 2013

Presidentís Perspective: Association Committees Populated by Dedicated Members


Editorís note: This year, 237 members of the NH Bar belong to at least one NHBA committee, task force or affiliated board. Hundreds of bar association members serve informally on work groups devoted to specific projects or volunteer for ongoing projects.

Last month, I completed the task of appointing attorneys to serve on the committees of the New Hampshire Bar Association. As I did so, I was struck by the number of attorneys willing to give their personal and professional time back to the legal profession.

As attorneys began emailing me with their acceptances of the committee appointments, it occurred to me how many of these attorneys have given of themselves for decades to the NH Bar Association and the legal profession. While it would be impossible to recognize each and every person who gives so much, I want to take a few moments to recognize a few of these dedicated individuals.

Joni Esperian was reappointed to the Gender Equality Committee. Joni has been an active participant on this committee (under its current and former name) for more than 20 years. I have attended some of the committeeís meetings and events, so I know Joni is a lively and integral part of this committee and has been its vice chair since last year.

Bernard Campbell stepped down this year as chair of the NHBA Legislation Committee after serving four years in that capacity. A member of the committee since 1990 (and vice chair from 2003-2005), he has graciously volunteered to remain on the committee this year. Upon making the decision to step down as chair, attorney Campbell sat down with me and NH Bar Association Executive Director Jeannine McCoy to discuss ways to improve the work of the committee going forward.

The Legislation Committee performs a vital role. It tracks legislation and determines which bills that may be of interest to our members. The committee reviews each piece of legislation to determine whether the Bar Association should take a position on it. Many important pieces of legislation that affect our day-to-day practice of law are reviewed by this committee, and attorney Campbellís leadership has been integral to its success.

Suzanne Gorman stepped down this year as the chair of the NHBA Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Committee, one of the bar associationís busiest committees. The CLE Committee, working in concert with the NHBA CLE staff, reviews, organizes and hosts dozens of CLEs each year.

Suzanne has been a member of the CLE committee since 1995, and her excellent leadership as chair since 2009 will be missed. Judge Mark Weaver has agreed to replace Suzanne as the chair. Attorney Gorman, Judge Weaver, and all the members of the CLE Committee are to be applauded for their countless hours of work in planning and implementing high-quality CLE programs for our members.

I was sad to hear of the recent passing of Judge Harold Perkins. Judge Perkins was a strong supporter of the NH Bar Association. While he was a judge, he served on the Task Force on Professionalism, Disability/Discipline Committee and the Committee on Cooperation with the Courts. His leadership and dedication to the legal profession will not be forgotten.

I could go on and name hundreds of attorneys that have dedicated significant time and made immeasurable contributions to the NH Bar Association and our profession over the years, but thereís only so much space allotted for my monthly column here in Bar News. Suffice it to say that the individuals I have named above represent only a small sampling of the dedicated attorneys and judges that make up our bar association. It makes me proud to be president of this organization.

Jaye Rancourt

Jaye Rancourt is a litigator and partner at Brennan Caron Lenehan & Iacopino PA in Manchester. She is the 2013-14 president of the NHBA.

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