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Bar News - October 15, 2014

Bar Governance: Attorneys Show Strong Interest in Out-of-State Board Seat


A dozen attorneys have expressed interest in filling the New Hampshire Bar Association’s new board seat to represent members who are based outside the Granite State.

At its Sept. 18 meeting, the NHBA Board of Governors was briefed on several ongoing initiatives and received an update on the process of selecting the Bar’s first at-large board member from the out-of-state member constituency.

John Curran, a member of the Board committee reviewing candidates for interim appointment to the Board as an at-large governor representing out-of-state members, said 12 association members had expressed interest in the seat. The appointee will serve through the current membership year, and the seat will be on the ballot in next spring’s election. An amendment to the NHBA Constitution creating the seat, which is a three-year, at-large term elected by the entire voting-eligible membership, is limited to attorneys whose principal office address is outside New Hampshire, was not adopted in time to put the position on the ballot last spring.

Curran said the committee is interviewing finalists and will provide a recommendation to Bar President Lisa Wellman-Ally soon. Out-of-state members comprise about 25 percent of the active-status membership of the NH Bar Association.

Wellman-Ally said progress continues on the NHBA Rural Access Initiative, which is intended to encourage and assist lawyers to consider moving or opening a practice in a less-populated area of the state, where there are shortages of attorneys in private practice. She said specific communities with an obvious need for an attorney are being sought, and a small group of volunteers is at work on a practice management “toolkit,” with materials to assist in the establishment of a general practice.

Several appointments to boards or legal community organizations that specifically call for representatives delegated by the NH Bar Association were authorized at the September board meeting.

Andrea Labonte was appointed to the NHBA Pro Bono Governing Board, for a three-year term. Reappointed for two-year terms on that board were Brian Shaughnessy, Cathy Shanelaris, Heather Tacconi, and Jeremy Walker.

NHBA President-Elect Mary Tenn was named to the board of the Rudman Center for Public Policy at the UNH School of Law. The Rudman board’s full makeup has not yet been announced.

Jennifer Parent, a past NHBA president, was nominated for a second three-year term on the New England Bar Association board.

The NHBA board also met in executive session on Sept. 25 to review qualifications of three judicial nominees to the state courts. The board provides confidential input to the governor and executive council on judicial nominations.

The NHBA Board of Governors was scheduled to meet again on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

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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