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Bar News - October 18, 2013

In Memoriam: Gretchen Leah Witt

Gretchen Leah Witt

Gretchen Leah Witt passed away Sept. 11, 2013, at the age of 58, after a long battle with cancer.

Born in Colorado and raised in New York, she graduated from Middlebury College in 1977. She later received her JD from Boston University Law School in 1981, cum laude. Working at the US Department of Justice in Washington, DC, until 1986, she worked on landmark cases, such as the Agent Orange litigation.

Witt then moved to New Hampshire with her husband, attorney Corey Belobrow. For the next 18 years, she worked in the US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Hampshire.

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. In 2012, she left the Department of Justice, stepping 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 the 2012 Annual Meeting, Witt received the E. Donald 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.

In 2006, Witt co-chaired an association task force reviewing ways to increase the involvement of, and service to, members from the public sector and public interest sectors. The task force recommendations led to the creation of a Public Sector/Public Interest seat on the NHBA Board of Governors, and an association award, presented at the Midyear Meeting, recognizing outstanding service in public sector/public interest law.

Witt was deeply involved with bar association leadership, 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 forces: Continuing Legal Education, 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.

In honor of our colleague, Gretchen Leah Witt, the NH Bar Association Board of Governors has donated to the NH Bar Foundation, 2 Pillsbury Street, Suite 300, Concord, NH 03301.

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