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Bar News - June 18, 2014

Bar Governance: Board Approves Budget; Fifth Year of No Dues Increase


At its May 15 meeting, the NH Bar Association Board of Governors voted unanimously to approve the NHBA Finance Committee’s recommended organizational operating budget for the FY 2015 year.

For the fifth year in a row, there was no increase in Association dues. (Mandatory cost to practice did increase for most membership categories due to $10 and $5 increases in the Professional Conduct Committee and Lawyer Assistance Program assessments, respectively). The $4.2 million budget is supported by non-dues revenue of 55 percent (29 percent in products and services, 18 percent in grants and 8 percent miscellaneous sales, interest income and reserves.)

More details and a spreadsheet on the budget will be published this summer and an information session will be scheduled.

NHBA President Jaye Rancourt reported on the successful rollout of an educational program on teen dating violence that she helped develop for presentation by Bar Association volunteers in middle and high schools as well as youth groups.

By mid-May, several presentations had been made by Rancourt and other lawyers, reaching several hundred students, including three classes at Concord High School. A report on WMUR and newspaper articles on the program have led to additional inquiries that are being fulfilled before the end of the school year or will be scheduled next fall.

Rancourt also reported on the progress of other initiatives, including the Justice for All Challenge, that is collecting pledges for 30 hours of voluntary legal service in the coming year from as many attorneys and law firms as possible. The Association will continue to periodically remind lawyers to use the easy sign-up form on the website.

Christopher Keating, executive director of the NH Judicial Council, provided an update on the Council’s work, including his preliminary efforts to centralize and standardize the process for appointing of counsel for different purposes – such as indigent criminal defense and representation of indigent parents in state-initiated abuse and neglect cases. Learn more.

The board next meets Thursday, June 19, at the site of the NHBA Annual Meeting at the Portsmouth Sheraton.

If you are in doubt about the status of any meeting, please call the Bar Center at 603-224-6942 before you head out.

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