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Bar News - December 16, 2015

Time Underlying Theme in Fall Bar Journal Articles

The passage of time figures in each of the four articles published in the fall 2015 issue of the New Hampshire Bar Journal. The 40-page issue is posted online for reading or printing. We have a limited number of printed copies available in our online store.

Does the United States Need A Right to Be Forgotten?
By Kimberly Peaslee

Kicking off the issue, intellectual property attorney Kimberly Peaslee examines the policy and practical implications of the United States adopting laws or establishing a scheme to enable old material – embarassing, obsolete, irrelevant or excessive – to be removed from the Internet. She examines the legal framework of the “right to be forgotten” that exists in the European Union and compares a couple of approaches under consideration in the US before offering her own conclusions. Read the article.

A History of Civil and Criminal Commitment Statutes in NH
By Alexander de Nesnera

Alexander deNesnera, associate medical director of New Hampshire Hospital, returns to the pages of Bar Journal, tracing the evolution of the concept of maximum time for involuntary commitment laws for mental health treatment. He has previously written about the state’s mental health laws from both historical and clinicians’ perspectives. This article more narrowly focuses on tracing the development of state law, which presecribes a five-year maximum for either criminal or civil involuntary commitments, the longest in the country. Accompanying the article is a comment, solicited by the author, from retired NH Supreme Court Justice Joseph Nadeau, whose decades on the bench included service on every level of the courts. Nadeau notes that the interplay of legislative and judicial actions demonstrate how the two branches have shown deference to each other over a long period. Read the article.

Dormant Mistakes: The Statute of Limitations in Professional Negligence
By Christopher Hawkins

Statutes of limitations are about more than the tolling of time, points out Christopher Hawkins, of the Devine Millimet firm. His article discusses the challenges of applying statutes of limitations in professional liability cases involving lawyers, with particular attention to the fact that clients are often not aware until years later that their legal cases were harmed by attorney error. Although the statute of limitations begins accruing when the client discovers the error, different circumstances affect how the statute is viewed. Three concepts – the discovery rule, fraudulent concealment, and the continuous representation rule – come into play, depending on the situation. Read the article.

Trusts and Divorce – Good, Bad & Ugly
By Joseph McDonald and Megan Neal

Time and succeeding generations are inherent to estate law practice, as is the fragility of marriage. Thus, the potential for a divorce can be a factor in estate planning. Attorneys Joseph McDonald and Megan Neal, of the McDonald & Kanyuk firm, provide an in-depth study and recommendations regarding the treatment of a spouse’s discretionary trust interests and powers in a divorce, particularly as affected by Uniform Trust Code Article 5 and the recent Goodlander decision. Estate planning clients, the authors observe, often express a desire to protect their descendants’ inheritances from diversion to non-beneficiary spouses and child support orders in the event of a divorce. The authors describe a variety of strategies to fit different situations, point out potential pitfalls, and offer suggestions to remedy what they see as flaws in current New Hampshire law that jeopardize the state’s status as attractive location for siting trusts. Read the article.

Publication Note: Bar Journal is not on a regular publication schedule, and this is the only issue published in 2015. The NH Bar Association Communications Advisory Council will replace the Bar News and Bar Journal Advisory Boards and will be tasked with soliciting feedback and suggestions for a future Bar Journal format. Send article ideas for the Bar Journal to NHBA Communications Director Dan Wise.

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