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Bar News - June 17, 2015

Bar Governance: NHBA Board Unanimously Approves Operating Budget


The New Hampshire Bar Association Board of Governors unanimously approved the FY15-16 (June 1-May 31) operating budget for the association at its May 21 meeting.

The balanced operating budget, along with the special projects and capital budgets, proposed to the board for adoption represented five months of work by staff, board members and other volunteers and – for the sixth straight year – does not include a dues increase for bar association members. Revenue and expenses increased by less than 1 percent over last year.

Bar News will publish detailed budget information later this summer, and an information session will be announced and held at the Bar Center following publication.

President-elect and Finance Committee Chair Mary Tenn reported that the recommendation of the NHBA Finance Committee was for the board to approve the operating and special projects budgets as presented and the capital budget, subject to retaining two months of operating costs in reserves. The Finance Committee will be working on creating a reserve policy for future use, she said.

The board also discussed a letter from a bar member who raised concerns about the cost of the mandatory practical skills course that attorneys must take within their first two years of practice. Jack Crisp, a member of the NHBA CLE Committee, talked about the development of the practical skills course and the high quality of the presenters, and noted that the cost of the program has not increased since 2007. The board agreed that Crisp would reach out to the member at practical skills, which was held June 3 in Concord.

The board also made appointments to the NH Judicial Conduct Committee. Supreme Court Rule 39, outlining how the 11 regular members and 11 alternate members are to be appointed, calls for the NHBA to appoint a regular and an alternate member from the Association membership, and a regular and an alternate member from the public (not a judge, lawyer, clerk of court or any elected or appointed public official). Accordingly, the Board of Governors made the following appointments to three-year terms on the Judicial Conduct Committee: NHBA member and past president Jaye Rancourt, and public member Ernest Goodno to the regular panel; NHBA member Jack Crisp, and public member Dr. Daniel Botsford were reappointed to the alternate panel.

Among reports from Board members about local bar and other Association activities:

Governor-at-Large and longtime LRE supporter Ed Philpot reported on the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution National Finals recently held in Washington, DC. Milford High School had a very respectable showing, capturing a Unit 6 Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Coos County Governor Sandra Cabrera reported that Coos County recently held a very successful Court Staff Appreciation Day. She also informed the board that Jonathan Frizzell is the newly elected Coos County Bar President. (See complete list of county and local bar presidents.)

Vice President David Ruoff reported that the NHBA Leadership Academy Symposium held May 11 at the Bar Center was a successful event for the participants and the program, with lots of good ideas and discussion.

Hillsborough County South Governor Cathy Shanelaris encouraged board members to check the box on their annual dues invoice in June, to make a tax-deductible donation to the NHBA Pro Bono Referral Program.

The board’s next meeting was scheduled for Thursday, June 18, at the Sheraton Harborside Hotel in Portsmouth, followed by the Bar’s Annual Meeting on Friday, June 19.

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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