Bar News - April 15, 2015
Honorary Members to Be Recognized at Annual Meeting
The following attorneys have been members of the bar for 50 years and will be recognized at the NH Bar Association Annual Meeting on Friday, June 19, at the Sheraton Harborside Hotel in Portsmouth.
George Basbanes decided to become an attorney in 1960 after seeing the film Witness for the Prosecution and never regretted his decision. A self-employed attorney for his entire career, he says he is proud of his ability to represent his clients aggressively against some very capable lawyers. A native of Lowell, Mass., Basbanes relocated to Dunstable, Mass., where he has served on the planning board for 37 years. A lover of animals, he has also served on the Merrimack Valley Animal Shelter Board of Directors for 40 years. His plan for retirement is to tour the world. He has made it to 52 countries so far, and has traveled around many of them on a motorcycle. His advice to new attorneys is: “Don’t trust your clients; they are potentially your worst enemy. And don’t confuse your profession with your life.”
A good working relationship with other lawyers, judges, court clerks and clients is Raymond Blanchard’s proudest achievement over his 50 years of practicing law. Primarily practicing in civil law, he worked with several law firms before venturing out on his own as a sole practitioner. Blanchard credits his father, Daniel Blanchard, along with Thomas Morris and Amos Blandon, with acting as his role models. His community involvement is focused on being active as a Democrat.
Having always been a government attorney, Clarence Bourassa started his law career as 1st Lt. in the USAF Judge Advocate General department, where he served until 1991, making a total of 30 years active military duty. As a civilian, he worked for the NH Department of Safety. But the position he found most rewarding was as chair of the NH Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board, which he held until his retirement in 2014. When he was young, Bourassa found motivation in the stories of the famous lawyers he read about and their sensational trials. “In my innocence I imagined myself the champion of the underdog,” he recalls. He has been married for 54 years “and counting.”
After 50 years of practicing law, David Bradley has no plans to stop. He started at the firm of Cotton, Tesreau, Stebbins & Johnson right out of law school in 1965 and has never left, although the firm is now called Stebbins Bradley. He is proud to have served on the NH Supreme Court’s Character & Fitness Committee for 32 years. Bradley says his most memorable case was when he sued the Pope. His advice to new lawyers: “Don’t let your duty to act with zeal on behalf of a client ever get in the way of treating fellow attorneys with courtesy, respect and goodwill.”
Cary P. Clark
Cary Clark’s interest in law came from his father, a non-lawyer, who served as a judge of the Lisbon, NH, Municipal Court. Now retired, Clark spent most of his career as general counsel at Dartmouth College, his alma mater. One of his proudest accomplishments is his involvement with the evolution and formation of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. A New Hampshire native living in Littleton, Clark also played a role in the formation and management of Ledyard National Bank. His retirement plans include reporting for a local newspaper and writing for pleasure and publication. To new lawyers he offers this: “Don’t be afraid to ask the ‘dumb questions’ which often reveal the weaknesses in and incorrectness of assumptions made by others.”
Charles “Bucky” Dalton Jr.
After an active career, Charles Dalton was happy to retire in 2011. He received his JD from Boston University law School and practiced general litigation for several New Hampshire firms. He then returned to his hometown of Andover, Mass., to open an office with first his brother, then his wife, Susan.
W. Michael Dunn
Having ruled out the possibility of becoming a golf pro early on, Michael Dunn’s saw his choice of career as either pilot or attorney. His poor eyesight in one eye made it so he couldn’t fly, which in turn led him to Albany Law School. During Dunn’s short time with the NH Attorney General’s Office, where he worked with Warren Rudman and David Souter, he quickly moved through the ranks to head the Criminal Division. Two of his proudest achievements were successfully arguing before the US Supreme Court at a young age and prosecuting Robert Breest, an alleged serial killer. For the past 42 years, he has worked at Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green, where he continues to represent clients with catastrophic injuries and estates of individuals who suffered untimely deaths as a result of the carelessness of others. His advice to new attorneys is: “Representing your client, honestly and with true dedication is your duty and it must come before your concern with popularity, status or money.”
After college, Robert Earley completed one tour in the Republic of Vietnam as a US Army Intelligence officer. He followed in his parent’s footsteps and joined the family law firm after his discharge. After being appointed as assistant Hillsborough Country attorney, he proudly prosecuted the case of State v. Jahn Karl Laaman, which culminated in the conviction of the Manchester police station bomber. Earley is enjoying his retirement and says he looks forward to “a continued respite from the obligation to render advice.”
Retirement has allowed William Hayes to focus on a longtime goal to preserve local history through working with local and state historical societies. As an attorney, he headed the criminal tax division of the IRS for 25 years. In 1991, he and his team conducted an 11-day trial in New York City involving a complicated nationwide abuse tax shelter resulting in approximately $500 million in tax, interest and penalties. Hayes lives in Pelham, where he was born and where he was heavily involved in land use issues. He has co-authored Reflections: A Pictorial History of Pelham.
With no plans for a retirement, Arthur Hoover hopes to continue to show up at the office for as long as his health permits. He spent 30 years in the Rochester area where his practice was “focused on solving problems for his clients,” rather than a specific area of law. Hoover now resides in the Lakes Region where he is of counsel with Ransmeier and Spellman. His daughter is an associate at the same firm. One of the most significant changes he has seen since first becoming an attorney is the use of technology in law practice. “I miss the personal exchanges and phone exchanges that were once the primary method of communications. I find the new technology impersonal and often frustrating.”
After law school, John McEachern’s first job was carrying the bag of the late John Sheehan. He prepared his civil cases, drove him around and accompanied him at trials while still trying criminal cases of his own. McEachern then joined his brothers and the late Robert Shaines by forming Shaines, Madrigan and McEachern, one of the first law corporations in New Hampshire. A Vietnam veteran, McEachern served three years in the Army with the 9th Infantry and 1st Calvary.
Intrigued by the law early in life, Pierre Morin read about the Monkey Trials and the Lincoln-Douglas debates. His mentors included his father, who he viewed as a very patient man. Morin served as Coos County Attorney on a part-time basis while maintaining a solo practice for 30 years before becoming full-time county attorney for a total of 20 consecutive terms. He initiated a victim-witness program in Coos County and successfully advocated his one NH Supreme Court case on behalf of an injured client. His advice to new attorneys: “1) Honesty is the only policy... 2) Let your word be your bond... and, 3) Always be prepared and know your case.”
Other than one summer clerking position, Alan Reische has spent his entire career with Sheehan, Phinney Bass + Green. With no immediate plans to retire, his role has shifted more to advisor than hands-on lawyer. He has been involved with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and the NH Center for Nonprofits for many years, as well as several committees for political campaigns. One piece of advice he gives new attorneys is: “This is still a state that prizes community involvement. State government doesn’t do very well in funding critical human needs, and NGOs must fill the gap. Lawyers can play an important role in that effort, and in the process, will meet and work with other community leaders. I continue to believe that the practice of law is not just an honorary title; it’s one that calls for significant contributions in return for the benefits we derive from our profession.”
A New Jersey native, Barry Scotch started out in pre-med, but he quickly determined that medicine was not the right career path for him and ended up following his father and uncle into the law. After graduating from Columbia Law School, he served in the military and reached the rank of lieutenant commander in the JAG Corps. Since arriving in New Hampshire in 1974, he has remained active in community and nonprofit organizations, including the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the New Hampshire Association for the Blind, the statewide Jewish organizations, and the New Hampshire Bar Association, particularly the CLE Committee and the Supreme Court MCLE Board. A civil litigator, Scotch plans to keep practicing at Backus Meyer & Branch, but he is now more selective about which matters he accepts. “Reaching 50 years is a fun thing,” he says. “Like ‘Old Man River,’ I just keep rolling along.”