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Bar News - May 21, 2014


Supreme Court Orders

In accordance with Rule 58.2(B), the Supreme Court hereby appoints Attorney Russell Hilliard to the Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP) Commission, to serve a three-year term commencing on March 1, 2014, and expiring on March 1, 2017. Attorney Hilliard is appointed to replace Attorney Roger Phillips, whose term has expired and who is not eligible for reappointment.

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


ADM-2012-0112
In the Matter of Elizabeth C. Donohoe, Esquire
Elizabeth C. Donohoe, Esquire was admitted to the New Hampshire bar on November 30, 2010. In accordance with Rule 42(7)(a) (now Rule 42, XIII (a)), Attorney Donohoe was required to complete the Practical Skills course within two years of admission. On February 14, 2013, Attorney Donohoe was granted an extension of time to complete the practical skills course by December 31, 2013. The New Hampshire Bar Association reported to the court that Attorney Donohoe did not take the Practical Skills course by this date.

In accordance with Rule 42, XIII (a) (formerly Rule 42(7)(a)), Attorney Donohoe is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

The court hereby requires that Attorney Donohoe’s trust accounts and other financial records be audited at her expense.

Attorney Donohoe is ordered to notify her clients in writing that she has been suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire and to notify the Attorney Discipline Office by Wednesday, May 14, 2014, that she has completed this task. On or before Friday, May 23, 2014, the Attorney Discipline Office shall advise the court if it believes that an attorney should be appointed to make an inventory of Attorney Donohoe’s files and to take action to protect the interests of her clients. Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn and Bassett, JJ., concurred.

Date: April 14, 2014
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2014-0010
In the Matter of Nathan A. Jones, Esquire
On January 30, 2014, this court issued an order, in accordance with Rule 50-A(2), for Attorney Nathan A. Jones to pay the $200 assessment prescribed by Supreme Court Rule 50-A(2)A for late filing of the Annual Trust Accounting Compliance Certificate, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

Attorney Jones has neither responded to the order, nor paid the fees assessed. Attorney Jones is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. The court hereby requires that Attorney Jones’ trust accounts and other financial records be audited at his expense.

Attorney Jones is ordered to notify his clients in writing that he has been suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire and to notify the Attorney Discipline Office by Wednesday, May 14, 2014, that he has completed this task. On or before Friday, May 23, 2014, the Attorney Discipline Office shall advise the court if it believes that an attorney should be appointed to make an inventory of Attorney Jones’ files and to take action to protect the interests of his clients. Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn and Bassett, JJ., concurred.

DATE: April 14, 2014
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2014-0011
In the Matter of Laird J. Heal, Esquire
On January 30, 2014, this court issued an order, in accordance with Rule 50-A(2), for Attorney Laird J. Heal to pay the $300 assessment prescribed by Supreme Court Rule 50-A(2)A for late filing of the Annual Trust Accounting Compliance Certificate, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

Attorney Heal has neither responded to the order, nor paid the fees assessed. Attorney Heal is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. The court hereby requires that Attorney Heal’s trust accounts and other financial records be audited at his expense.

Attorney Heal is ordered to notify his clients in writing that he has been suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire and to notify the Attorney Discipline Office by Wednesday, May 14, 2014, that he has completed this task. On or before Friday, May 23, 2014, the Attorney Discipline Office shall advise the court if it believes that an attorney should be appointed to make an inventory of Attorney Heal’s files and to take action to protect the interests of his clients. Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn and Bassett, JJ., concurred.

DATE: April 14, 2014
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2014-0012
In the Matter of Cynthia P. Karabelas, Esquire
On January 30, 2014, this court issued an order, in accordance with Rule 50-A(2), for Attorney Cynthia P. Karabelas to file her 2013 trust accounting certificate and pay $300 assessed for late filing of her certificate, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. Attorney Karabelas has neither responded to the order, nor brought herself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 50-A(2).

Accordingly, Attorney Karabelas is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. The court hereby requires that Attorney Karabelas’ trust accounts and other financial records be audited at her expense.

Attorney Karabelas is ordered to notify her clients in writing that she has been suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire and to notify the Attorney Discipline Office by Wednesday, May 14, 2014, that she has completed this task. On or before Friday, May 23, 2014, the Attorney Discipline Office shall advise the court if it believes that an attorney should be appointed to make an inventory of Attorney Karabelas’ files and to take action to protect the interests of her clients. Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn, and Bassett, JJ., concurred.

DATE: April 14, 2014
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2014-0013
In the Matter of Ray P. Kovarik, Esquire
On January 30, 2014, this court issued an order, in accordance with Rule 50-A(2), for Attorney Ray P. Kovarik to file his 2013 trust accounting certificate and pay $300 assessed for late filing of his certificate, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. Attorney Kovarik has neither responded to the order, nor brought himself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 50-A(2).

Accordingly, Attorney Ray P. Kovarik is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. The court hereby requires that Attorney Kovarik’s trust accounts and other financial records be audited at his expense.

Attorney Kovarik is ordered to notify his clients in writing that he has been suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire and to notify the Attorney Discipline Office by Wednesday, May 14, 2014, that he has completed this task. On or before Friday, May 23, 2014, the Attorney Discipline Office shall advise the court if it believes that an attorney should be appointed to make an inventory of Attorney Kovarik’s files and to take action to protect the interests of his clients. Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn, and Bassett, JJ., concurred.

DATE: April 14, 2014
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2013-0030
In the Matter of Leila Connor, Esquire
On August 21, 2013, Attorney Leila Connor was suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire for failing to pay her 2012/2013 bar dues. Attorney Connor’s dues have now been paid in full and a request for reinstatement has been filed on her behalf. The request for reinstatement of Attorney Connor is granted. Attorney Connor is reinstated to the practice of law in New Hampshire, effective immediately. Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn and Bassett, JJ., concurred.

DATE: April 17, 2014
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2013-0059
In the Matter of Brian M. Childs, Esquire
On February 25, 2014, Attorney Brian M. Childs was suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire for failing to file his 2013 trust accounting certificate and failing to pay the late fees assessed for late filing of the certificate. Attorney Childs has now filed his 2013 trust accounting certificate and paid the late fees assessed, and he has filed a motion for reversal of administrative suspension. Treating Attorney Childs’ motion as a motion for reinstatement, the court grants the motion. Attorney Childs is reinstated to the practice of law, effective immediately. Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn and Bassett, JJ., concurred.

DATE: April 17, 2014
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


Pursuant to Part II, Article 73-a of the New Hampshire Constitution and Supreme Court Rule 51, the Supreme Court of New Hampshire adopts the following amendments to court rules.

Rules of the Superior Court of the State of New Hampshire Applicable in Criminal Cases Filed in Superior Court Initial Appearance (IA) Pilot Project Rules - Initial Appearance Pilot Project for Strafford and Cheshire County Superior Courts

1. Adopt Superior Court Initial Appearance (IA) Pilot Project Rules 1 through 7, regarding initial appearance, arraignment, discovery procedures, written plea offers, dispositional conferences, motions, notices and objections, in Strafford and Cheshire County Superior Courts, on a temporary basis, as set forth in Appendix A.

Effective Date
These rules shall take effect in Strafford County on June 2, 2014 and will apply to cases directly indicted in Strafford County or bound over to Strafford County Superior Court on or after June 2, 2014. Cases pending in Strafford County Superior Court prior to the effective date of these rules shall not be subject to the requirements of these rules. These rules shall take effect in Cheshire County on July 1, 2014 and will apply to cases directly indicted in Cheshire County or bound over to Cheshire County Superior Court on or after July 1, 2014. Cases pending in Cheshire County Superior Court prior to the effective date of these rules shall not be subject to the requirements of these rules.

These rules shall be referred to the Advisory Committee on Rules for its recommendation as to whether they should be adopted on a permanent basis.

April 21, 2014
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk
Supreme Court of New Hampshire


In accordance with Rule 42(II)(a), the Supreme Court appoints the following persons to the Committee on Character and Fitness:

1. Attorney Rose A. Culver is appointed to fill the newly-created position for an attorney. Her term shall commence May 1, 2014, and expire April 30, 2017.

2. Mr. Francis J. Haines is appointed to fill the newly-created position for a non-attorney. His term shall commence May 1, 2014, and expire April 30, 2017

Issued: April 22, 2014
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk
Supreme Court of New Hampshire


In accordance with RSA 490:5-a and 5-b, the Supreme Court hereby reappoints the following persons to the court accreditation commission:

Honorable Linda Stewart Dalianis, Chief Justice, to serve as the representative of the Supreme Court, for a three-year term that will expire on June 8, 2017;

Honorable Tina L. Nadeau, Chief Justice, to serve as the representative of the Superior Court, for a three-year term that will expire on June 8, 2017;

Honorable Edwin W. Kelly, Administrative Judge, to serve as the representative of the District Division, for a three-year term that will expire on June 8, 2017;

Honorable David D. King, Deputy Administrative Judge, to serve as the representative of the Probate Division, for a three-year term that will expire on June 8, 2017; and

Michael J. Palmeri of Amherst, to serve as the lay representative on the commission, for a three-year term that will expire on June 8, 2017.

The court designates Chief Justice Dalianis to serve as chairperson of the commission.

April 22, 2012
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk of Court
Supreme Court of New Hampshire


LD-2014-0002
In the Matter of Paul J. Bennett
On January 21, 2014, the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) filed a petition for a two-year suspension of Attorney Paul J. Bennett from the practice of law, with the second year of the suspension stayed for one year. After Attorney Bennett was served with the petition, counsel for Attorney Bennett notified the court that Attorney Bennett did not intend to file an answer to the petition.

The PCC’s petition is based upon a stipulation entered into by the Attorney Discipline Office (ADO) and Attorney Bennett, in which the parties agreed to the pertinent facts and Attorney Bennett conceded that he had violated the Rules of Professional Conduct and Supreme Court Rule 50. Specifically, Attorney Bennett stipulated that he had violated the following rules:

(a) Rule of Professional Conduct 1.15 and Supreme Court Rule 50, which require a lawyer to safeguard the property of clients and third parties and establish requirements for the maintenance of lawyer trust accounts. Attorney Bennett stipulated that he violated these rules by failing to hold client funds separate from his own or his law firm’s funds; failing to timely transfer credit card payments deposited in a merchant trust account to his general client trust account or to his operating account; commingling earned fees with client funds in his trust accounts; and knowingly making disbursements from client trust accounts to pay firm operating expenses. Attorney Bennett also admitted that he withdrew funds from client trust accounts to pay fees not yet earned or invoiced; failed to maintain records relating to the handling, maintenance and disposition of client funds; failed to fully and accurately document financial transactions affecting client funds, failed to perform monthly reconciliations of each client trust account; failed to provide complete and accurate information in his Trust Account Compliance Certificates; and allowed his client trust accounts to be out of trust for a significant period.

(b) Rule 5.3, which sets forth the obligations of a lawyer in hiring and supervising non-lawyer assistants. Attorney Bennett stipulated that he violated this rule by failing to make reasonable efforts to have a record–keeping system in place that ensured the proper handling and maintenance of client funds and client trust accounts, as well as accurate reporting to the Supreme Court; and by failing to employ, train and properly supervise his non-lawyer assistants charged with record keeping, handling and maintenance of such accounts, as well as the preparation of his Trust Accounting Compliance Certificates. Attorney Bennett admitted that to the extent his non-lawyer assistants contributed to the rule violations, he knew or should have known of their poor performance and was wholly responsible for such misconduct.

(c) Rule 8.4(a), which makes it professional misconduct to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct. Attorney Bennett stipulated that he violated this rule by violating Rules 1.15 and 5.3.

The PCC accepted the parties’ stipulation as to the pertinent facts and rule violations. It recommended that Attorney Bennett be suspended for a period of two years, with the second year of the suspension stayed for a period of one year provided that Attorney Bennett comply with certain conditions. The conditions are set forth in the PCC’s recommendation. The PCC’s recommendation also included a process for imposing the stayed portion of the suspension should Attorney Bennett fail to comply with the conditions of the stay.

Having reviewed the PCC’s petition and the parties’ stipulations, the court accepts the PCC’s findings and rulings, as well as its recommendation of the sanction that should be imposed. Therefore, the court orders that Attorney Paul Bennett be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire for a period of two years, with the suspension to become effective 30 days from the date of this order. One year from the effective date of his suspension, Attorney Bennett may request that the PCC or ADO request that the court reinstate him to the practice of law and stay the second year of the suspension, provided that Attorney Bennett has complied with the stay conditions set forth in the PCC’s recommendation. Upon certification to the court by the PCC or the ADO that Attorney Bennett has complied with the conditions necessary for reinstatement, an order reinstating Attorney Bennett to the practice of law will be issued by the court and the remainder of the suspension shall be stayed.

The PCC’s recommendation included a process for imposing the second year of the suspension should Attorney Bennett not comply with the conditions of the stay. If the PCC determines that Attorney Bennett has not complied with the conditions of the stay, it may impose the second year of the suspension, and its decision shall be final. If the PCC imposes any portion of the second year of the suspension after reinstatement, it shall notify the court. At the conclusion of the two year stay, either party may request that the stay of the remaining suspension be made permanent.

Attorney Bennett is hereby assessed all expenses incurred by the Professional Conduct Committee in the investigation and prosecution of this matter. See Rule 37(19).

So ordered.

Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn, and Bassett, JJ., concurred.

DATE: April 24, 2014
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 51B(1)(b), the Supreme Court hereby appoints Attorney Joshua L. Gordon, to the Advisory Committee on Rules, to replace Attorney Martin P. Honigberg, who resigned from the committee due to other commitments.

Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 51B(1)(c), the Supreme Court hereby appoints Mr. Frederick Howard Stephens, Jr., to the Advisory Committee on Rules, to replace Mr. Robert Chase, who resigned from the committee due to other commitments.

Issued: April 24, 2014
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk of Court
Supreme Court of New Hampshire

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