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Bar News - May 21, 2014

President's Perspective: Join Me for the NHBA Annual Meeting

I will make a full confession; I never attended a New Hampshire Bar Association Annual Meeting until after I had served on the Board of Governors for two years. That means that not only did I not attend as a member of the bar, but also I did not attend the Annual Meeting during two of the years I was serving on the organizationís board. Why? Mostly, it was because I was a bit intimidated by the whole thing, and because it was very expensive to attend. When I finally did attend, I had a great time and regretted that I had not attended in prior years.

Annual Meeting was an opportunity for me to meet other attorneys and judges in an informal setting. We talked and got to know each other. My husband had the opportunity to meet members of the bar. He still remembers meeting Phil Pettis and his lovely wife and daughters, and he remembers meeting Seth Hipple when he was a brand new attorney. Annual Meeting gives you the opportunity to create friendships and make new acquaintances.

Over the years, the NHBA has taken a hard look at the Annual Meeting. We have formed study committees to make recommendations and have experimented with various ideas to increase attendance and participation. One common thread in all of the feedback: Itís too expensive to attend an Annual Meeting in a resort setting.

We listened. Last year, we held the Annual Meeting at the Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel and Conference Center. This enabled many more of our members to stop by the meeting for a CLE, lunch, or to come for the Presidentís Reception and Dinner. We had about 400 members attend a portion or all of the meeting last year. We are building on that success and are returning to the Sheraton Portsmouth this year for our Annual Meeting on June 20 and 21. Details about Annual Meeting.

We are also attempting to build on the success of our Midyear Meeting by incorporating a nationally recognized speaker and author for a 4.75-credit CLE program. The program will provide practical advice to solo, small-firm, and large-firm lawyers about how to adapt their businesses to meet the needs of the clients of today and tomorrow. Ari Kaplan will provide practical advice about how to find and attract new clients and more efficiently operate your office to serve clients better. The meeting will also offer hands-on demonstrations of useful bar association member benefits, such as credit card services and practice management software.

All business and no fun is... well... no fun. Thatís why we have incorporated many opportunities for socializing, including the Honors & Awards Luncheon and afternoon and evening receptions. We also have added a special function this year, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Friday, to honor the hard work of bar committee and section chairs and officers.

At the Presidentís Banquet, we will acknowledge retiring judges and welcome our newest members of the judiciary. We also will present the Justice William A. Grimes Award, the Distinguished Service to the Legal Profession Award, and the E. Donald Dufresne Award for Outstanding Professionalism.

The total cost to attend the meeting, even if you spend the night at the Sheraton, is reasonable. We hope you will join us for an informative CLE program, social gatherings, and well deserved recognition for those among us who have contributed so much to our profession. The continued collegiality of our bar depends on us knowing one another, and there is no better way to get acquainted than to come together at the Annual Meeting. Hope to see you all there!

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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