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Bar News - February 19, 2014


Superior Court Orders: Annual Report of the NH Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules

The New Hampshire Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules (committee) has reported a number of proposed rule amendments to the New Hampshire Supreme Court with a recommendation that they be adopted. On or before Wednesday, March 19, members of the bench, bar, legislature, executive branch or public may file with the clerk of the supreme court comments on any of the proposed rule amendments. An original and seven copies of all comments shall be filed. Comments may also be emailed to the court at rulescomment@courts.state.nh.us

The proposed rule amendments are set forth below.

I. Exchange of Pleadings by Email

Supreme Court Rule 26(3), Rule 3 of the Superior Court of the State of New Hampshire Applicable in Civil Actions, Rule 21 of the Rules of the Superior Court of the State of New Hampshire Applicable in Criminal Cases, Circuit Court-District Division Rule 1.3-A, Circuit Court-Probate Division Rule 21, Circuit Court-Family Division Rule 1.23. These proposed amendments to court rules are designed to enable email service in litigation. Following a public hearing on the proposed amendments held in December 2012, the committee recommends amending these rules as set forth in Appendices A, B, C, D, E and F.

II. Notice of Appeal Deadline

Supreme Court Rule 7(1)(C). The committee recommends two amendments to Supreme Court Rule 7(1)(C). The first is designed to resolve an ambiguity in the rule regarding the notice of appeal deadline when the trial court grants a motion for reconsideration. The second proposed amendment is designed to clarify that a merits ruling on an untimely filed post-trial motion does not impliedly waive the untimeliness of the post-trial motion and, therefore, does not change the calculation of the appeal period. Following a public hearing on the first proposal held in December 2012 and a public hearing on the second proposal held in June 2013, the committee recommends amending Supreme Court Rule 7(1)(C), as set forth in Appendix G.

III. Appeals in Family Law Cases (Supreme Court Rule 3)

Supreme Court Rule 3. This proposed amendment is designed to address a concern that Rule 3 may be unlawful and unconstitutional to the extent that it provides for mandatory review of appeals involving married parents but discretionary review of appeals involving non-married parents. Following a public hearing on the proposed amendment held in December 2012, the committee recommends amending Supreme Court Rule 3 as set forth in Appendix H.

IV. Preservation of Issues for Appeal

Rule 12(e) of the Rules of the Superior Court Rule of the State of New Hampshire Applicable in Civil Actions, Rule 59-A of the Rules of the Superior Court of the State of New Hampshire Applicable in Criminal Cases, Circuit Court-District Division Rule 3.11(E), Circuit Court-Probate Division Rule 59-A and Circuit Court-Family Division Rule 1.26(F). These proposed amendments to trial court rules would clarify that in order to preserve issues for appeal, any issues which could not have been presented to the trial court prior to its decision must be presented to the trial court in a motion for reconsideration. A public hearing was held in June 2012. Following further discussion of the proposal in December 2012, the committee recommends amending these rules, as set forth in Appendices I, J, K, L and M.

V. Judicial Conduct Committee – Photographing, Recording and Broadcasting

Supreme Court Rule 40. This proposed amendment would adopt, on a temporary basis, an amendment to the procedural rules of the Committee on Judicial Conduct. The proposal would adopt the same amendment recently adopted on a temporary basis to govern media access to proceedings in the trial courts. The amendment would clarify the presumption that photographing, recording and broadcasting of Judicial Conduct Committee Proceedings that are open to the public is permissible. Following a public hearing on the proposed amendment held in June 2013, the committee recommends amending Supreme Court Rule 40, as set forth in Appendix N.

VI. Continuing Judicial Education

Supreme Court Rule 45. These proposed amendments would: (1) delete references to The National Judicial College; (2) consolidate two sections of the rule; (3) replace references to the “Office of General Counsel” with “Judicial Branch Educational Committee;” (4) remove references to “registers;” and (5) delete references to marital masters in section (b) and add references to marital masters in the new section (c). Following a public hearing on the proposed amendment held in June 2013, the committee recommends amending Supreme Court Rule 45 as set forth in Appendix O.

VII. Rulemaking Procedures

Supreme Court Rule 51(B). These proposed amendments would allow the Speaker of the House and the Senate President some flexibility to appoint a designee for some, or all, of the Advisory Committee on Rules meetings. Following a public hearing on the proposed amendment held June 2013, the committee recommends amending Supreme Court Rule 51(B) as set forth in Appendix P.

VIII. In Camera Review of Documents

Supreme Court Rule 57-A. This proposed amendment would change the rule regarding custody and return of documents and materials filed in camera in the trial courts. Following a public hearing on the proposed amendment held June 2013, the committee recommends amending Supreme Court Rule 57-A as set forth in Appendix Q.

IX. Circuit Court Rules – Dismissal of Cases Pending Without Action

Circuit Court-District Division Rule 1.27, Circuit Court-Probate Division Rule 48-A, Circuit Court-Family Division Rule 1.32. The proposed amendments would adopt new rules, applicable in the Circuit Court, providing for the dismissal by the Court of certain cases if they have seen no activity for a period of two years. Following a public hearing on the proposed rules held in June 2013, the committee recommends amending the rules as set forth in Appendices R, S and T.

X. Admission to the Bar of Foreign Law School Graduates

Supreme Court Rule 42. The proposed amendment would delete Supreme Court Rule 42(V)(c) in its entirety and replace it with a new rule. A public hearing was held on the proposal in December 2012. Following further discussion of the proposal and a number of amendments to the proposal made in June 2013, the committee recommends deleting Supreme Court Rule 42(V)(c) in its entirety and replacing it with a new rule, as set forth in Appendix U.

XI. Juror Questionnaires

Rule 38(a) of the Rules of the Superior Court Applicable in Civil Actions, Rule 61-A of Rules of the Superior Court Applicable in Criminal Cases Filed in Superior Court. These amendments would change the rules regarding access to juror questionnaires. A public hearing was held on the proposal in December 2012. Following further discussion of the proposal and two additional amendments to the proposal made in March 2013, the committee recommends amending the rules, as set forth in Appendices V and W.

XII. Model Rules for Client Trust Account Records

Supreme Court Rule 50, Rule of Professional Conduct 1.15(a). These amendments would change the requirements for recordkeeping and safeguards relating to client trust accounts. The committee did not hold a hearing on this matter. Following review and discussion of the joint recommendation to amend the rules made by the New Hampshire Bar Association Ethics Committee and the Attorney Discipline Office, the committee recommends amending Supreme Court Rule 50 and Rule of Professional Conduct 1.15(a) as set forth in Appendices X and Y.

XIII. Temporary Rules Currently in Effect

Throughout the year, the Supreme Court adopted a number of rules and rule amendments on a temporary basis and referred those rules and rule amendments to the Committee for its recommendation as to whether they should be adopted on a permanent basis.

A. Law Clerk Code of Conduct

Supreme Court Rule 46, Canon 2. Temporary amendments to this court rule adopted by Supreme Court Order dated July 17, 2012 relate to law clerks’ use of writing samples for job search purposes. After a public hearing held in December 2012, the committee recommends amending Supreme Court Rule 46 on a permanent basis, as set forth in Appendix Z.

B. Supreme Court Rule 54

Supreme Court Rule 54. Temporary amendments to this rule adopted by Supreme Court Order dated January 2, 2013 made amendments relating to administrative judges and the administrative council. The committee did not hold a hearing on this matter. The committee recommends amending Supreme Court Rule 54 on a permanent basis, as set forth in Appendix AA.

C. Counsel Fees and Guardians ad Litem Fees

Supreme Court Rules 48(2) and 48-A(2). Temporary amendments to these court rules adopted by Supreme Court Order dated July 12, 2011 changed the manner in which someone may obtain approval to exceed the maximum counsel or guardian ad litem fees permitted in indigent cases. After a public hearing held in June 2013, the committee recommends amending these rules on a permanent basis, as set forth in Appendices BB and CC.

D. Performance Evaluation of Judges

Supreme Court Rule 56. Temporary amendments to this rule, relating to the performance evaluation of judges, were adopted by Supreme Court Order dated July 17, 2012. After a public hearing held in June 2013, the committee recommends amending Supreme Court Rule 56 on a permanent basis, as set forth in Appendix DD.

E. Sentence Review Division Rules

Rules of the Superior Court of the State of New Hampshire Applicable in Criminal Cases filed in Superior Court, Sentence Review Division Rules. Temporary amendments to these rules were adopted by Supreme Court order dated February 25, 2013. After a public hearing held in June 2013, the committee recommends amending the Sentence Review Division Rules on a permanent basis, as set forth in Appendix EE.

F. Pro Hac Vice Fees

Supreme Court Rule 33(5), Supreme Court Rule 49(I), Rule 19(e) of the Rules of the Superior Court of the State of New Hampshire Applicable in Civil Actions, Rule 19(e) of the Rules of the Superior Court of the State of New Hampshire Applicable in Criminal Cases, Superior Court Rule 169(III), Circuit Court-District Division Rule 1.3(c)(5), Circuit Court-District Division Rule 3.3(I), Circuit Court-Probate Division Rule 19(E), Circuit Court-Probate Division Rule 169(IV), Circuit Court-Family Division Rule 1.21(D), Circuit Court-Family Division Rule 1.3(M). Temporary amendments to these court rules adopted by Supreme Court Order dated November 15, 2012 increased the fee charged to applicants seeking permission to appear pro hac vice. After a public hearing held in June 2013, the committee recommends amending the rules on a permanent basis, as set forth in Appendices FF, GG, HH, II, JJ, KK, LL, MM, NN, OO and PP.

G. Transcripts of Court Proceedings

Supreme Court Rules 15 and 59. Temporary amendments to these court rules adopted by Supreme Court Order dated April 27, 2012 made amendments to these rules relating to the preparation of transcripts of court proceedings and appeal transcripts. After a public hearing held in December 2012, the committee recommends amending these rules on a permanent basis, as set forth in Appendices QQ and RR.

Copies of the proposed changes are available upon request to the clerk of the supreme court at the N.H. Supreme Court Building, 1 Charles Doe Drive, Concord, New Hampshire 03301 (Tel. 603-271-2646). In addition, the proposed changes are available on the Internet at: http://www.courts.state.nh.us/index.htm

The current rules of the New Hampshire state courts are also available on the Internet at: http://www.courts.state.nh.us/rules/index.htm

January 31, 2014
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk
Supreme Court of New Hampshire


In accordance with Supreme Court Rule 37(3)(a), the court appoints Attorney Peter G. Beeson to the Professional Conduct Committee of the Attorney Discipline System, to serve a three-year term commencing January 1, 2014, and expiring December 31, 2016. Attorney Beeson is appointed to replace Attorney Thomas Connair, whose term expired on December 31, 2013, and who was not eligible for reappointment.

Issued: February 4, 2014
ATTEST:Eileen Fox, Clerk of Court
Supreme Court of New Hampshire


Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 37(4), Attorneys Barbara Abbott, Edmund J. Boutin, Wilbur A. Glahn, III, and Christopher J. Pyles are appointed to the Hearings Committee of the Attorney Discipline System, to serve terms commencing immediately, and expiring on December 31, 2016. They are appointed to replace the Honorable Paul S. Moore, the Honorable Alexander M. Lacchiatto, Attorney Mary Tenn, and Attorney Philip R. Waystack, whose terms have expired.

Issued: February 4, 2014
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk of Court
Supreme Court of New Hampshire


The chief justice, pursuant to RSA 494:1, IX, reappoints Nina Gardner to serve as a lay member of the Judicial Council, for a three-year term commencing January 1, 2014, and expiring on December 31, 2016.

The chief justice, pursuant to RSA 494:1, IX, appoints Stephen J. Reno to serve as a lay member of the Judicial Council, for the remainder of a three-year term commencing January 1, 2014, and expiring on December 31, 2016. Mr. Reno is appointed to replace Eric Herr, whose term has expired and who did not seek reappointment due to other commitments.

Issued: February 10, 2014
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk of Court
Supreme Court of New Hampshire


In accordance with RSA 490-F:6, V, and Supreme Court Rule 61(5), the Supreme Court certifies Judge Thomas E. Bamberger, who is assigned to the district division of the circuit court and who previously was certified to hear certain matters in the family division, to hear all cases in the family division of the circuit court.

Issued: February 10, 2014
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk of Court
Supreme Court of New Hampshire

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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