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Bar News - March 19, 2014

NH Bar Foundation News: Foundation Reception Celebrates ‘Strengthening Justice’

Richard Cohen, longtime executive director of the Disabilities Rights Center of NH, was officially named the 2014 NH Bar Foundation Honorary Fellow at a packed reception following the NHBA Midyear Meeting on March 7. NH Bar Foundation Chair Jack Middleton presented the honor.

Cohen is a national leader in advocacy and policy work for individuals with disabilities, dating back to the beginning of his career when, as an attorney for NH Legal Assistance, he served as lead counsel in the class-action suit against the Laconia State School that forced the state to move services for the developmentally disabled from institutions to community-based agencies, and triggered the school’s closing.

In his remarks, Richard Cohen reached back to his elementary school days, when he found himself a target of bullies along with a classmate with polio. He says that early memory led to his interest in protecting the underdog. Once he became a lawyer, he devoted his career to representing the disadvantaged.

Honorary Fellows are recognized for long-term dedication to advancing the mission of the Bar Foundation, “strengthening justice” through advocacy for equal access and greater education about the legal system.

James Tenn Jr., vice chair of the Bar Foundation Board, introduced the recipients of the foundation’s Justice Grants. The foundation also awarded a $1,000 grant to Milford High School’s We the People: the Citizen and the Constitution state championship team, which will compete in Washington, DC, next month for the national championship. Three Milford students accepted the gift, which will help the team pay travel expenses.

Above, from left: Attorney and We the People alum Patrick Queenan, who will be a judge at the national competition next month, is pictured with Milford High School students Rachel Quirbach, Robert Desmond and Jack Nichols, and Howard Zibel, NH Supreme Court general counsel and longtime WTP volunteer. Right, Richard Cohen accepts the honor of Bar Foundation Honorary Fellow.

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