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Bar News - September 16, 2015


Supreme Court Orders

In accordance with Supreme Court Rule 37(3)(d), the Supreme Court appoints Scott Harris, Vice President of the New Hampshire Bar Association, to serve as the Board of Governors’ representative on the Professional Conduct Committee, for a term commencing August 1, 2015, and expiring on August 1, 2016.

Issued: August 14, 2015
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk of Court
Supreme Court of New Hampshire


The Supreme Court makes the following appointments to the Access to Justice Commission, which was established by Supreme Court order dated January 12, 2007.

The following persons are appointed to serve three-year terms beginning September 1, 2015, and expiring on August 31, 2018:

Honorable Joseph LaPlante
Attorney Richard Y. Uchida
Honorable James P. Bassett
Professor Erin B. Corcoran
Ms. Nina Gardner
Attorney Paula Hurley
Honorable Edwin Kelly
Honorable James Leary
Attorney Gordon MacDonald
Attorney Jaye Rancourt
Honorable Deborah Kane Rein
Attorney Mark Rouvalis
Attorney Deborah Schachter

The following persons are appointed to serve two-year terms beginning September 1, 2015, and expiring on August 31, 2017:

Honorable James E. Duggan
Attorney Blaine “Randy” Hawkes
Ms. Celina Hurley
Attorney Christopher M. Keating
Attorney James Kerouac
Attorney Mary Krueger
Ms. Virginia Martin
Ms. Jeannine L. McCoy
Attorney Amy Messer
Attorney Jack Middleton
Attorney Lynne Parker
Attorney Connie L. Rakowsky
Attorney Emily Gray Rice
Attorney L. Jonathan Ross
Attorney David Ruoff
Ms. Mary Searles
Attorney Cathy Shanelaris
Attorney Brian Shaughnessy
Ms. Marcia Sink
Attorney James J. Tenn Mr. Dan R. Wise
Professor Susan Zago

The court designates the Honorable Joseph N. LaPlante and Attorney Richard Uchida to serve as co-chairs of the commission.

Issued: August 14, 2015
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk of Court
Supreme Court of New Hampshire


R-2015-0003
In re 2015 Annual Report of the Advisory Committee on Rules

The New Hampshire Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules (committee) has reported a number of proposed rule amendments to the New Hampshire Supreme Court with a recommendation that they be adopted. On or before October 9, 2015, members of the bench, bar, legislature, executive branch or public may file with the clerk of the supreme court comments on any of the proposed rule amendments. An original and seven copies of all comments shall be filed. Comments may also be emailed to the court at rulescomment@courts.state.nh.us.

To see the language of the proposed rules changes and background regarding the proposals, please see the attached 2015 Advisory Committee on Rules Annual Report.

Copies of the 2015 Advisory Committee on Rules Annual Report are also available upon request to the clerk of the supreme court at the N.H. Supreme Court Building, 1 Charles Doe Drive, Concord, New Hampshire 03301 (Tel. 603-271-2646).

The current rules of the New Hampshire state courts are also available online.

A summary of the proposals made in the 2015 Advisory Committee on Rules Annual Report is set forth below.

A. Supreme Court Rule 7. Appeals in criminal or juvenile delinquency proceedings.

Supreme Court Rule 7. These proposed amendments would confirm the time within which an appeal in a criminal or juvenile delinquency proceeding must be filed.

The language of the proposed rule changes is set forth Appendix A of the 2015 Advisory Committee on Rules Annual Report.

B. Supreme Court Rule 12. Confidentiality of a Case Record or a Portion of a Case Record in a Supreme Court case.

Supreme Court Rule 12. These amendments would clarify that a ruling by a trial court, administrative agency or other tribunal on confidentiality will presumptively apply on appeal, but that the Supreme Court may determine on its own motion, or upon motion of the party that that there is no statute, administrative or court rule, or other compelling interest that requires that the case record or portion of the case record be kept confidential.

The language of the proposed rule changes is set forth in Appendix B of the 2015 Advisory Committee on Rules Annual Report.

C. Supreme Court Rule 16 and Supreme Court Rule 20. Copy of Opinion; Non-Precedential Status of Orders

Supreme Court Rules 16 and 20. The proposed amendments would allow litigants to cite and discuss unpublished opinions, but also provide that they do not constitute binding precedent.

The language of the proposed rule changes is set forth in Appendices C and D of the 2015 Advisory Committee on Rules Annual Report.

D. Supreme Court Rule 28. Parties’ Designation

Supreme Court Rule 28. These proposed amendments would make clear that in cases in which a statute or a rule of court requires that the name of a party be kept confidential, only the first letter of the forename and the first letter of the surname of that party shall be listed.

The language of the proposed rule changes is set forth in Appendix E of the 2015 Advisory Committee on Rules Annual Report.

E. Supreme Court Rule 40(12) and (13). Procedural Rules of the Committee on Judicial Conduct – Dispositions Following Hearing

Supreme Court Rule 40(12) and (13). These proposed amendments would resolve an inconsistency in paragraph 12, which sets forth the procedure to be followed when the Judicial Conduct Committee determines that a judge has committed a serious violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct and would clarify two procedural issues.

The language of the proposed rule changes is set forth in Appendices F and G of the 2015 Advisory Committee on Rules Annual Report.

F. Supreme Court Rule 42B. Character and Fitness Standards.

Supreme Court Rule 42B. These proposed amendments would make technical and stylistic changes to the rule.

The language of the proposed rule changes is set forth in Appendix H of the 2015 Advisory Committee on Rules Annual Report.

G. Supreme Court Rule 51. Rulemaking Procedures

Supreme Court Rule 51. This proposed amendment would delete Supreme Court Rule 51 and replace it with a new rule. The new rule would make substantive changes to the rulemaking process.

The language of the proposed rule changes is set forth in Appendix I of the 2015 Advisory Committee on Rules Annual Report.

H. Superior Court (Civ.) Rule 26. Depositions: Notice or Subpoena Directed to an Organization.

This proposed amendment would amend Rule 26 of the Rules of the Superior Court of the State of New Hampshire Applicable in Civil Actions. This amendment would add a provision which would allow a party to name as a deponent a public or private corporation, a partnership, an association, or a governmental agency, and require the named organization to designate one or more officers, directors, managing agents, or other persons who consent to testify on its behalf.

The language of the proposed rule changes is set forth in Appendix J of the 2015 Advisory Committee on Rules Annual Report.

I. Circuit Court District Division Rule 2.18. Application to annul record of conviction and sentence.

Circuit Court – District Division Rule 2.18. These proposed amendments are designed to facilitate electronic filing and make other substantive changes to the rule to streamline the annulment process in the district division.

The language of the proposed rule changes is set forth in Appendix K of the 2015 Advisory Committee on Rules Annual Report.

J. Rules of Professional Conduct. ABA 20/20 Initiative.

Rule of Professional Conduct 1, 1.4, 1.6 and 5.5, Ethics Committee Comments and ABA Comments to the Model Rules. The proposed amendments to the New Hampshire Rules of Professional Conduct were recommended by the New Hampshire Bar Association Ethics Committee. They were prompted by the Ethics Committee’s review of recent changes made to the American Bar Association (“ABA”) Model Rules of Professional Conduct and accompanying comments in light of advances in technology and global legal practice development.

The language of the proposed rule changes is set forth in Appendices L-X of the 2015 Advisory Committee on Rules Annual Report.

K. Technical Amendments

Throughout the year, the Committee voted to recommend certain proposed technical amendments to court rules without holding public hearings on the proposals.

1. Supreme Court Rules 1 and 3
These proposed amendments delete references to “registers of probate” in Supreme Court Rules 1 and 3. The language of the proposed rule changes is set forth in appendices Y and Z of the 2015 Advisory Committee on Rules Annual Report.

2. Circuit Court – Family Division Rule 2.29
The proposed amendment inserts the words, “or countersigned by a judge” prior to the words “pursuant to RSA 490-D:9 in the rule. The language of the proposed rule changes is set forth in Appendix AA of the 2015 Advisory Committee on Rules Annual Report.

L. Temporary Rules Currently In Effect

1. Bar Admissions
Supreme Court Rule 42(IV). These proposed amendments would make permanent temporary rule amendments adopted by the Court on December 29, 2014. The temporary amendments allow the disclosure of name-specific pass/fail information to the law schools and clarify the circumstances under which the Board of Bar Examiners and Character and Fitness Committee may disclose otherwise confidential information. The temporary rule amendment the Committee recommends that the Court adopt on a permanent basis is set forth in Appendix BB.

2. Judicial Conduct Committee
Supreme Court Rule 40(11)(j). These proposed amendments would make permanent temporary rule amendments adopted by the Court on April 4, 2014. The temporary amendments made some technical changes to the rule and adopted the same amendment recently adopted to govern media access to proceedings in the trial courts to clarify the presumption that the photographing, recording and broadcasting of Judicial Conduct Committee Proceedings that are open to the public is permissible. The temporary rule amendment the Committee recommends that the Court adopt on a permanent basis is set forth in Appendix CC.

3. Superior Court Rules (Crim.)
Superior Court (Crim.) Rule 98. These proposed amendment would make permanent temporary rule amendments adopted by the Court on February 20, 2014. The temporary amendments made structural changes, changed how discovery deadlines are calculated, and added a provision regarding dispositional conferences. The temporary rule amendment the Commitee recommends that the Court adopt on a permanent basis is set forth in Appendix DD.

4. Proof of Validity of Will/Trust
Circuit Court – Probate Division Rule 96-A. This proposed amendment would make permanent a temporary rule adopted by the Court on December 29, 2014. The temporary rule, prompted by recent statutory changes to the Uniform Trust Code, provides the procedure to allow an individual to petition the court to declare a will or trust valid. The temporary rule amendment the Committee recommends that the Court adopt on a permanent basis is set forth in Appendix EE.

5. Gestational Carrier Agreements – Parentage Orders
Circuit Court – Probate Division Rule 94. This proposed amendment would make permanent a temporary rule adopted by the Court on December 29, 2014. The temporary rule, prompted by the legislature’s repeal of the old law regarding surrogacy and enactment of a comprehensive law to govern surrogacy and other reproductive technologies, provides the procedure for petitioning the Circuit Court for a parentage order. The temporary rule amendment the Committee recommends that the Court adopt on a permanent basis is set forth in Appendix FF.

August 18, 2015
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk
Supreme Court of New Hampshire

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