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Bar News - August 20, 2014

NH Bar Foundation News: NH Bar Foundation Announces 2014 Award Recipients

These awards will be presented at the NH Bar Foundation Annual Dinner on Tuesday, Sept. 23, in Manchester. For more information about these awards or the NH Bar Foundation, please visit
Robert E. Kirby Award for Young Lawyers

Julian Jefferson
NH Public Defender Julian Jefferson has been selected to receive the 2014 Robert E. Kirby Award from the New Hampshire Bar Foundation. Jefferson, a Milford resident and graduate of the UNH School of Law, was admitted to the New Hampshire bar in 2011 and works out of the Nashua office of the NHPD. Colleagues say Jefferson brings compassion and empathy to his practice, enabling him to truly understand and sympathize with his clients. Jefferson embodies the qualities celebrated by this award – professionalism, compassion, perspective and good humor.

The Robert E. Kirby Award was established in 1996 to honor the memory of Bob Kirby, a young lawyer “of great skill, civility and good humor” who died that year at the age of 35. The purpose of the award is to honor Bob’s memory and to remind all of us that decency, courtesy and perspective neither inhibits nor defeats excellent advocacy. The Kirby Award recipient is an attorney 35 years old or younger who demonstrates the traits of civility, courtesy, perspective and excellent advocacy.
Frank Rowe Kenison Award for Contributions to Justice

Amy Messer

Hon. Kenneth McHugh
Amy Messer, legal director at the Disabilities Rights Center (DRC), and Hon. Kenneth McHugh, retired NH Superior Court judge, were both selected as 2014 recipients of the Frank Rowe Kenison Award.

Since graduating from Northeastern University School of Law, Amy Messer has dedicated her legal career to representing disadvantaged clients while effectively addressing systemic or underlying barriers to full enjoyment of rights and equal opportunity. She began her career at the NH Public Defenders office in 1991 and joined the DRC in 1999. Her recent efforts as co-lead counsel in Amanda D. v. Hassan, on behalf of people with severe mental illness, resulted in a settlement that promises significant improvement to community-based mental health care in New Hampshire.

A native of Manchester and a graduate of Suffolk University Law School, NH Superior Court Judge Kenneth McHugh retired last month after a combined 36 years on the bench in NH district and superior courts. He was in private practice in Manchester prior to being sworn in as a district court judge in Hooksett, where he served for 10 years, before moving to NH Superior Court. He presided mainly in Rockingham County Superior Court in Brentwood and is considered by his colleagues to be both hardworking and dedicated. He is well respected by both attorneys and fellow judges throughout the state for his practical and thoughtful approach, as well as having a deep interest in all of the cases that come before him. McHugh, who practiced plaintiff’s work in private practice, has been particularly well known for his work on complex civil cases.

The Kenison Award was established by the Bar Foundation to recognize an individual (or individuals) who makes substantial contributions to the betterment of New Hampshire citizens through the administration of justice, the legal profession, or the advancement of legal thought. Frank Rowe Kenison (1907-1980) was a member of the NHBA for 48 years and served as chief justice of the NH Supreme Court from 1952 to 1977. He was an exquisite legal thinker who committed his life to the legal system, education about the law, and the promise of equal justice for all.

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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