Bar News - January 21, 2015
Awards To Be Presented at Midyear Meeting
The NH Bar Association will honor the following members for their service to the public and their communities at the 2015 Midyear Meeting on February 27, 2015.
Judge Edward “Ned” Gordon: Distinguished Service to the Public Award
Hon. Ned Gordon
NH Circuit Court Judge Edward “Ned” Gordon, who presides at the 6th Circuit Court in Franklin, is best known for his work on the Franklin and Concord Model Court Project, which aims to develop and implement best practices in child abuse and neglect cases.
In 2010, the Franklin and Concord Model Court Project began with a commitment to providing children and youth an opportunity to participate in post-adjudicatory hearings involving their parents. It has since evolved to include the creation of new protocols for review hearings in the cases of teenage children who are wards of the state and who “age out” of the system; often these are some of the most difficult cases the Circuit Courts handle. The protocols are scheduled to roll out statewide later this year.
Being a judge is Gordon’s third career. He started in the business world and worked for 15 years at AT&T before deciding to leave the company instead of having to relocate out of his native state. He went to law school, clerked for the late US Circuit Judge Hugh Bownes and Chief Justice David Brock and then joined the Laconia law firm then known as Wescott, Millham & Dyer.
In 1992, he ran for the NH House, served one term and then moved on to the NH Senate, where he served four terms, rising to chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee during a time of tempestuous relations between the judiciary and the NH Legislature.
During his legal career, Gordon also served for many years as town moderator and school district moderator in Bristol, NH, and on the NH Bar Association Board of Governors.
In 2005, he was appointed by Gov. Lynch to what was then the District Court, and he began presiding in Franklin.
Nancy Geiger, a marital master who nominated him for the Bar Association award, said of her colleague: “He has continued his service to the public as a very hardworking, fair and intelligent Circuit Court Judge.”
James Gleason: Vickie M. Bunnell Award for Community Service
Henniker lawyer James Gleason exemplifies the dedication to community of the award’s namesake, the late Vickie Bunnell.
Capped by his service as Bar President from 2004 to 2005, Gleason has long been active in the legal community, as a CLE faculty member, and serving on numerous committees, typically focusing on member services. As Bar president, addressing the needs of small-firm practitioners was one of his primary focuses.
In his community, Gleason has been a leader or member in community, church, school board, and athletic organizations, and also has found time to participate as a Division 1 college football referee, as well as high school and college lacrosse.
A former colleague who nominated him for the award said of Gleason: “Jim once told me that his primary reason for moving to a small town was that he wanted his children and their friends to be able to walk to his office after school, and to be able to find him anytime that they needed.”
Jaye L. Rancourt: Philip Hollman Gender Equality Award
Throughout her year as Bar President last year, Jaye L. Rancourt, wrote and spoke on behalf of the legal profession in New Hampshire. She also shared that there were decisions and tradeoffs she had to make as a parent with a career. The NH Bar Association’s Gender Equality Committee, in selecting Rancourt to receive its Philip Hollman Gender Equality Award, said Rancourt is a role model for women, a strong advocate for gender equality, and a leader by example.
In addition to initiatives during her leadership year to encourage participation in pro bono work, Rancourt also led the development of “When Love Hurts,” a curriculum aimed at preventing teen dating violence. Rancourt and several other lawyers helped launch the speaking program at several schools; the program is continuing this year. She also served as co-chair of the NH Bar’s Leadership Academy, which identifies and equips lawyers with skills to exercise leadership in the profession and in their communities.
Rancourt, a shareholder and director in the Brennan Lenehan firm in Manchester, primarily practices criminal defense and family law. After graduating from the University of Maine School of Law in 1999, she joined the NH Public Defender Program and worked there until 2003 when she joined the Brennan Lenehan firm. In addition to her service in the Bar Association, she has also been active in the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division.
The Hollman award will be presented by the Gender Equality Committee at its annual breakfast at the start of the NHBA Midyear Meeting (a separately ticketed event.) The event also includes a brief address by a guest speaker. This year’s speaker has not yet been named; last year, Gov. Maggie Hassan addressed the group.