Bar News - July 16, 2014
Legislative Session Wrap-up
Thereís an easy way to find out which bills the NH Bar Association reviewed and took a position on this session. For two years, the Bar Association has been using a tool called Legislation Watch (see For Members area at www.nhbar.org) to monitor and comment on legislation of potential interest to the legal profession and the association.
The NHBA Legislation Committee uses Legislation Watch to help sort through bills introduced at the start of the session. Once the bills have been screened and reviewed, the Legislation Watch software takes over the job of monitoring the progress (or demise) of bills during the session.
NHBA members can access Legislation Watch to look for bills by issue area or by the position the Bar Associationís Board of Governors took on a select few bills. Entries for individual bills indicate their progress in the Legislature, and in the case of successful bills, whether the governor has signed the bill into law. The website is a value-added overlay to the state governmentís legislative website and thus is as accurate and up-to-date as the stateís own information.
If you have questions about how to use the site, please address them to Dan Wise. If you have questions regarding the Bar Associationís Legislation Committee process, contact Valenda Morrissette.
NOTICE: NHBA Legislative Activity and Dues
If a member of the NHBA believes the association has taken a position on legislation outside the guidelines provided by the NH Supreme Court Chapman decision and the US Supreme Court Keller decision, a mechanism exists to request a rebate of the portion of mandatory NHBA dues that would have supported lobbying on that particular bill (or bills).
In the past legislative session, the NH Bar Associationís Board of Governors voted to support one bill (HB 1108) and opposed eight bills. The Associationís registered lobbyist, John MacIntosh, provided information to legislative committees on a number of other bills, as indicated in Legislation Watch.
To request refund consideration, a member should send a letter to the NHBA Board of Governors, specifically stating the legislative activity objected to and how it is believed to fall outside the Chapman and/or Keller guidelines. The letter should be directed to: Lobbying Refund, NHBA Board of Governors, 2 Pillsbury St., Suite 300, Concord, NH 03301.
Please note that should it be determined that a position, or positions, were taken outside the guidelines, the ultimate refund for each bill is likely to be very small when the program costs are allocated for all legislative activity during a particular year.