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Bar News - December 16, 2015


Section Connection: Doleac Receives International Lawyer of the Year Award

Attorney Charles Doleac (left), senior partner at Boynton, Waldron, Doleac, Woodman & Scott PA in Portsmouth NH, receives the 2015 Daniel Webster International Lawyer of the Year Award from NH Bar Association International Law Section Chair Bob Cheney, an attorney at Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green PA, during a ceremony at Sheehan Phinney’s Manchester, NH, offices on Nov. 17.

The International Law Section of the NH Bar Association recently honored attorney Charles Doleac, senior partner at Boynton, Waldron, Doleac, Woodman & Scott in Portsmouth, with its 2015 Daniel Webster International Lawyer of the Year Award.

Doleac is the tenth New Hampshire lawyer to receive this award since its inception in 2005. An expert on the 1905 Treaty of Portsmouth who had a lead role in the 100th and 105th anniversaries of the treaty, Doleac was presented with the award at a ceremony Nov. 17 in Manchester, after giving a talk to international law section members about the treaty and the history of the Russo-Japanese War of 1905.

Bob Cheney, an attorney at Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green who serves as chair of the international law section, noted: “This award recognizes a New Hampshire lawyer whose contributions to international law demonstrate the spirit of Daniel Webster and whose good works elevate the standing of the legal profession and serve as an inspiration to others. Besides building a practice that ranges from general corporate work, to litigation, to international transactions at the firm where he has worked for over 40 years, Chuck has spent much of the last 25 years preserving and promoting the memory and meaning of the 1905 Treaty of Portsmouth and its importance to the concept of multi-track diplomacy.”

Describing the Treaty of Portsmouth as “the beginning of the end of colonial imperialism,” Doleac recounted how Seacoast citizens welcomed the Russian and Japanese negotiators to Portsmouth – without picking sides or favorites – and then engaged constantly with them in numerous local venues over the course of August 1905 to keep the negotiators in Portsmouth and in a positive frame of mind. The outcome was a peace treaty for the Russian and Japanese empires, the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize for US President Theodore Roosevelt, and an enduring legacy for the City of Portsmouth. He summarized his message to the section members this way: “Individual citizens can make a difference, even when it comes to international diplomacy.”

In 1988, Doleac founded the Japan-America Society of New Hampshire and throughout the 1990s was the prime mover in organizing a series of four peace treaty forums with scholars and dignitaries from Russia, Japan and the US. “That was just the beginning of his efforts to educate the citizens of New Hamsphire and beyond regarding the significance and continued validity of multi-track diplomacy,” Cheney said.

The 100th and 105th anniversaries of the 1905 Treaty of Portsmouth helped to spin off documentaries, school curricula, the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Trail, and a new state law that honors Sept. 5 as “Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day.” In 2011, for his efforts to organize these events and raise awareness, the Emperor of Japan awarded Doleac the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette.

This year, on Sept. 5, there was a special reception at the Wentworth by the Sea Hotel, of which Doleac was chief organizer. The program included viewing a documentary of participants in the 100th anniversary recounting their interest and involvement in the commemorations and treaty history. “What made it especially memorable was that we had Russian and Japanese diplomats in the same room where the Japanese hosted a reception for their Russian counterparts on the eve of the treaty signing,” Cheney said. “It took 110 years to get them together again in New Hampshire – and our 2015 Daniel Webster International Lawyer of the Year was the chief architect behind that effort.”

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