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Bar News - September 21, 2016

Board Governance: Bar Board Learns More about New Court Commission


The NH Bar Association Board of Governors last month heard from representatives of the NH Supreme Court Commission on the Bar of the 21st Century about the commission’s work and goals.

Commission Chair Gordon MacDonald of Nixon Peabody and member John Broderick, former NH Supreme Court chief justice and former dean of UNH Law School, attended a portion of the board’s daylong retreat in Portsmouth on Aug. 18. MacDonald said that first and foremost, the commission does not plan to consider whether NH Bar Association membership should be mandatory.

“We are a unified bar and we are going to remain a unified bar, and that is the focus and the basic operating premise of the commission,” said MacDonald, who also chairs the NH Board of Bar Examiners.

MacDonald and Broderick also asked the NHBA Board to appropriate $5,000 for the commission’s work, which Broderick said would pay for part-time administrative support. The board agreed to consider the request and vote on it at a later meeting.

The commission is scheduled to issue a report on its findings by Jan. 17, 2017.

Also at the board retreat, a representative from the Atom Group, the Portsmouth-based company that is redeveloping the NH Bar Association website, gave an update on the progress of the project. Functional specifications have been approved and development has now begun.

Board members also split into smaller groups to discuss different aspects of the member survey results and determine action steps to adapt to member expectations and needs. (View more information about the survey results.)

The board was scheduled to meet again Sept. 15.

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