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Bar News - May 21, 2014


New Hampshire Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules Public Hearing Notice

The New Hampshire Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules will hold a PUBLIC HEARING at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, June 6, 2014, at the Supreme Court Building on Charles Doe Drive in Concord, to receive the views of any member of the public, the bench, or the bar on court rules changes which the Committee is considering for possible recommendation to the Supreme Court.

Comments on any of the court rules proposals which the Committee is considering for possible recommendation to the Supreme Court may be submitted in writing to the secretary of the Committee at any time on or before June 6, 2014 or may be submitted at the hearing on June 6, 2014. Comments may be e-mailed to the Committee on or before June 6, 2014, at rulescomment@courts.state.nh.us.
Comments may also be mailed or delivered to the Committee at the following address:
N.H. Supreme Court
Advisory Committee on Rules
1 Charles Doe Drive
Concord, NH 03301
Any suggestions for rules changes other than those set forth below may be submitted in writing to the secretary of the Committee for consideration by the Committee in the future.

Copies of the specific changes being considered by the Committee are available on request to the secretary of the Committee at the N.H. Supreme Court Building, 1 Charles Doe Drive, Concord, New Hampshire 03301 (Telephone 271-2646). In addition, the changes being considered are available on the Internet (in the Appendix to the Public Hearing Notice) at courts.state.nh.us/committees/adviscommrules/notices.htm.

The changes being considered concern the following rules:
I. Depositions: Notice or Subpoena Directed to An Organization
(This proposal would amend Rule 26 of the Rules of the Superior Court of the State of New Hampshire Applicable in Civil Actions to include a provision which would allow a party to name as a deponent a public or private corporation, a partnership, an association, a governmental agency, and require the named organization to designate one or more officers, directors, managing agents, or other persons who consent to testify on its behalf).

1. Amend Rule 26 of the Rules of the Superior Court of the State of New Hampshire Applicable in Civil Actions, as set forth in Appendix A.
II. Attorney Discipline: Supreme Court Rules 37 and 37-A
1. Amend Supreme Court Rule 37(16) to allow disciplinary counsel to participate separately in Supreme Court disciplinary proceedings if the PCC recommends greater than a six month suspension and disciplinary counsel believes that the PCC’s decision is based on a clearly erroneous factual finding or is erroneous as a matter of law, as set forth in Appendix B.

2. Adopt Supreme Court Rule 37(19-A) to authorize the Professional Conduct Committee or the Court to order a respondent attorney to forfeit legal fees or pay restitution as a sanction for misconduct, as set forth in Appendix C.

3. Amend Supreme Court Rule 37A(I)(e) to authorize the Professional Conduct Committee or the Court to order a respondent attorney to forfeit legal fees or pay restitution as a sanction for misconduct, as set forth in Appendix D.

4. Amend Supreme Court Rule 37(8) to authorize attorneys in the Attorney Discipline Office to issue subpoenas during the investigative stage of a proceeding, as set forth in Appendix E.

5. Amend Supreme Court Rule 37A(III)(b) to make pre-hearing conferences mandatory, add details regarding exhibits and change the timing in two provisions, as set forth in Appendix F.

6. Amend Supreme Court Rule 37(20) to make available for public review all final decisions of the PCC on docketed matters, to keep all non-docketed matters confidential, and to make all “non-disciplinary decisions with warning” confidential but retained for review by the Attorney Discipline Office and the Professional Conduct Committee, as set forth in Appendix G.

7. Amend Supreme Court Rule 37A(IV) to make all grievances not docketed as a complaint confidential, and to require that non-disciplinary decisions with warning be retained for a period of five years and non-disciplinary decisions without warning be retained for a period of one year, as set forth in Appendix H.

8. Amend Supreme Court Rule 37(20)(a) to eliminate the requirement that the Attorney Discipline Office retain and make available to the public letters sent to grievants who file complaints against individuals who are not subject to the rules, as set forth in Appendix I.

9. Amend Supreme Court Rule 37A(IV) to eliminate the requirement that the Attorney Discipline Office make available to the public letters sent to grievants who file complaints against individuals who are not subject to the rules, as set forth in Appendix J.

10. Amend Supreme Court Rule 37(20) and delete Supreme Court Rules 37(21) and 37(23) to reorganize the “pre-2000” and the “post-2000” confidentiality and public access rules into a single, unified rule, create retention rules and add a provision to make clear that upon the filing of a request for a protective order, the information or material that is the subject of the request shall be sealed pending a decision by the PCC, as set forth in Appendix K.

11. Amend Supreme Court Rule 37A(IV) as part of the reorganization of the confidentiality and public access rules into a single, unified rule, as set forth in Appendix L.

12. Amend Supreme Court Rule 37(9) to make clear that suspension pending final disciplinary proceedings when a certified copy of a court record is filed that indicates that the attorney has been convicted of a serious crime is immediate and summary, as set forth in Appendix M.

13. Amend Supreme Court Rule 37A(II)(d) to delete the provision relating to “Conviction of Crime; Determination of Serious Crime,” as set forth in Appendix N.

14. Amend Supreme Court Rule 37 to adopt a new subsection (9-A) to provide that the Attorney Discipline office may file a petition for interim suspension alleging that an attorney has engaged in conduct that poses a substantial threat of serious harm to the public, and sets out the process to be followed when such a petition is filed, as set forth in Appendix O.

15. Amend Supreme Court Rule 37A(II(a)(7) to allow for the waiver of formal proceedings and the filing of stipulations as to facts, rule violations and/or sanction, as set forth in Appendix P.

16. Amend Supreme Court Rule 37A(III) to expand upon the rules governing the use and effect of both dispositive and partial stipulations in attorney discipline proceedings, as set forth in Appendix Q.

17. Amend Supreme Court Rule 37A(I) to add a new subsection (j) to make clear that complainants are not parties to disciplinary matters, as set forth in Appendix R.

18. Amend Supreme Court Rule 37A(III)(b) to eliminate the requirement that disciplinary counsel forward a copy of the entire file to the panel, and to add the requirement that disciplinary counsel provide the respondent with bates-stamped copies of all relevant documents to the respondent at the time of filing of the notice of charges, as set forth in Appendix S.

19. Amend Supreme Court Rule 37A(I)(i) to require that a grievance be filed within one year of the conclusion of a civil proceeding involving the same conduct, as set forth in Appendix T.

20. Amend Supreme Court Rule 37(9), to require that any attorney who has been convicted of a crime shall notify the court within ten days of sentencing on the conviction as set forth in Appendix U.
III. Supreme Court Rule 50 – Trust Accounts
1. Amend Supreme Court Rule 50(1)(C) to require lawyers to direct a depository institution to provide the New Hampshire Attorney Discipline Office with a notice whenever a trust account contains insufficient funds or shows a negative balance, as set forth in Appendix V.

New Hampshire Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules
By Robert J. Lynn, Chairperson and Carolyn A. Koegler, Secretary
April 23, 2014

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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