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Bar News - November 15, 2013

Public Protection Fund Files Annual Report

PPF Financial Snapshot
Fund Balance at Beginning of Fiscal Year
Income Earned in Reporting Year
Total of Claims Paid in Reporting Year
Expenses Occurred in Reporting Year
Fund Balance at End of Fiscal Year
The Public Protection Fund (PPF) was established to provide a public service and to promote confidence in the administration of justice and the integrity of the legal profession by providing some measurement of reimbursement to victims who have lost money or property because of theft or misappropriation by a New Hampshire attorney. The PPF Committee submits an annual report to the New Hampshire Supreme Court, which periodically assesses fees to bar members to support the fund. What follows is a summary of the PPF annual report for the year ending May 31, 2013.

Of the six client claims that were pending at the end of the fiscal year, three claims totaling $2,502,739 were filed in 2009, all against disbarred attorney Thomas Tessier, and one claim totaling $523,500, was filed April 2012, against suspended attorney Jeanne Vanim-Botting. The claims against former attorney Tessier remain pending as the fund is awaiting the claimant’s required exhaustion of all possible third-party recoveries prior to making any determination.

Two claims filed during the 2013 fiscal year include one claim against disbarred attorney Grenville Clark totaling $213,500 and one claim filed against disbarred attorney Richard Boire totaling $8,500.

One claim of $191,083.82 against suspended attorney Donald Wyatt was in the appeal process from the previous reporting year. The appeal was denied in a reported decision by the NH Supreme Court on March 29, 2013, titled Appeal of David Stacey.

One claim totaling $1 million, filed in March 2009 against disbarred attorney Tessier was determined by the PPF Committee to be under the jurisdiction of the Client Indemnity Fund (CIF). The New Hampshire Bar Association Board of Governors agreed with the PPF Committee’s determination and has reconstituted the CIF Committee to review the pending claim.

In addition to the six pending claims, six additional claims totaling more than $2.9 million were filed against three attorneys who remain in active practice and thus do not meet the criteria to have the claims processed.

The outstanding claims at the end of the reporting year, total just below $6.15 million. The maximum exposure of claims for suspended or disbarred attorneys for this fiscal period is $622,000.

Supreme Court Rule 42(9) requires all NH admitted attorneys to notify the Bar Association of any address change, home or office.

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