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Bar News - February 19, 2014

Bar Governance: Board Nominates Tenn as NHBA President-Elect


The NH Bar Association Board of Governors voted unanimously to nominate Mary Tenn as NHBA president-elect at its Jan. 16 meeting.

Tenn, currently NHBA vice president, is a partner in the Manchester law firm of Tenn & Tenn. She has a long record of community and civic involvement. In 2005, she received the NH Bar Foundation’s Robert Kirby award honoring excellence in advocacy and civility for an attorney age 35 or younger. The sister and law partner of past NHBA president James Tenn Jr. (2009-10), she recently completed a term as president of the Manchester Bar Association.

Tenn, along with candidates nominated by petition, will appear on the ballot to be sent via email to eligible voters starting April 1.

Nomination petitions for candidates for next year’s board elections are available online and must be submitted by March 1. Voting will conclude April 15. Lisa Wellman-Ally, currently president-elect, will succeed Jaye Rancourt as bar president upon the conclusion of the 2014 NHBA Annual Meeting on June 20-21.

The NHBA Board also voted in January to recommend the appointment of Suzanne McKenna to replace Judith Homan as Belknap County Governor. Homan resigned from her seat because she is leaving New Hampshire. McKenna will serve the remainder of Homan’s term, which ends in June. McKenna, of the Martin, Lord and Osman firm in Laconia, was a member of the NHBA Leadership Academy Class of 2012. The interim replacement for the board was chosen with the assistance of a board subcommittee.

The board met with Gordon MacDonald and Mark Rouvalis from the Campaign for Legal Services about a proposal to create donor designations for specific subject areas, such as domestic violence, in the joint fundraising effort conducted each year, benefitting NH Pro Bono Referral, NH Legal Assistance and the Legal Advice & Referral Center. Rouvalis and MacDonald said the subject-matter designation was a recommendation of a business sector outreach task force that is seeking ways to increase participation of the business community in the Campaign. Discussion ensued on whether designated donations would increase the total amount donated and the impact of limitations on how Campaign funds can be used by the three organizations.

NHBA President Rancourt discussed the progress of several initiatives during her year, including the development of a curriculum on teen dating violence to be presented to schools during “A Lawyer and Judge in Every School” day in May.

Rancourt also discussed the outline of a program to be rolled out this year that would solicit information from NH Bar members about their community service efforts, including voluntary legal services to the poor. The theme, she said, is that most attorneys already do a considerable amount of public service, and these contributions deserve greater recognition. Several approaches to maximizing participation were discussed, including sample website screens allowing easy reporting and data compilation. More details on the program will be released as soon as they are finalized.

The board also approved a minor change to the NHBA Ethics Committee’s procedural rules providing that articles of general interest submitted to Bar News by the Ethics Committee, such as the “Ethics Corner” articles that have been regularly appearing, will “not have the same precedential value” as the official opinions the committee issues.

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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