Bar News - March 22, 2017
Two Lawyers Vie for NH Bar Board Vice Presidency
Two current members of the NH Bar Association Board of Governors, one a Lakes Region practitioner completing his most recent term as an at-large governor, and one a Manchester lawyer in the first year of his term as Hillsborough (North) governor, have submitted petitions to run for the position of NH Bar Association Vice President. The vice president is part of the board officer group and generally becomes president after two years on the board.
Trial lawyers Ed Philpot of Laconia and Dan Will of Manchester will face off during a board election that will take place online from April 1 to April 15. All active-status members are eligible to vote.
What follows are the biographical sketches and candidate statements submitted by Philpot and Will. Information about the rest of the candidates (see sidebar) is posted below and will appear with the electronic ballots.
One seat for each position unless otherwise indicated. Candidates nominated by petition unless otherwise specified.
David McGrath (board nominee)
Edward D. Philpot Jr.
Daniel E. Will
Governor at Large (2 seats)
Sandra L. Cabrera
Jonathan M. Eck
Cheshire County Governor
Richard C. Guerriero Jr.
Coos County Governor
Grafton County Governor
Merrimack County Governor
Adam Pignatelli (board nominee)
Rockingham County Governor
Susan Aileen Lowry
Sullivan County Governor
Lanea A. Witkus
ABA New Lawyer Delegate
NHBA Vice Presidential Candidates
Edward D. Philpot Jr.
Biography: Ed Philpot is a past member of the New Hampshire Trial Lawyers Board of Governors and his practice has been focused on trial work since 1987. He has extensive trial experience. Ed’s Lakes Region law practice has a statewide focus in construction law and litigation, and general civil litigation. In addition to his construction-related practice, Ed has extensive experience in the areas of municipal, condominium, and commercial law, land use, personal injury, and criminal defense. Ed also serves as a mediator and arbitrator in a variety of civil cases.
From 1997 to 2003, Ed served on the Laconia School Board. For three of those years he served as board chairman. As chair, Ed oversaw the renovation of three elementary schools. Ed was instrumental in the creation and development of the district’s strategic planning process, which was recognized by the New Hampshire School Boards Association as an innovative and dynamic approach to the management and operation of a municipal entity.
Ed served two terms as Belknap County Commissioner from 2008 to 2014. He served for two of his six years as the board chair, and as chair of the Jail Planning Committee.
Ed is currently completing his three-year term on the Bar Association Board of Governors as an at-large member. He also serves as vice chair of the CLE Committee. He formerly served as an arbitrator and mediator with the Dispute Resolution Committee.
Ed resides in Laconia, NH, with his wife of 29 years, Dianne. A 1984 graduate of Rutgers University, Ed graduated from UNH School of Law (formerly Franklin Pierce Law Center) in 1987. He is also a former bricklayer and member of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen Union.
Statement: Our Bar Association is composed of a diverse group of lawyers. We are public sector, criminal, civil, marital, large firm, small firm, and solo practitioners. Meeting the needs of all of these constituent groups presents an interesting set of challenges. My background and experience, both in and out of the bar setting, are valuable tools in navigating this environment.
I am currently completing my three-year term as an at-large member of the Board of Governors. I also serve as the vice chair of the CLE Committee. As a member of the Board of Governors, I have been actively involved in the development and implementation of the Board’s Strategic Plan, and I am currently participating with several bar staff members as the designated Board member in the Non Profit Sustainability Institute. The Institute’s six-month intensive training program is aimed at assessing the relationship between our program’s impact and our finances. This will greatly assist us in our strategic and business planning efforts.
The vast majority of our members are small-firm and solo practitioners. I have always been a voice for them through my involvement at the county and state bar levels. I think it is important that there be a balance between large-firm and small-firm/solo voices in our bars leadership. I bring that balance, and hope to continue to be a voice for all members as vice president.
Daniel E. Will
Biography: Dan Will is a shareholder at Devine Millimet where he enjoys a business and nonprofit litigation practice. On behalf of a variety of business clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to family businesses to nursing homes and hospitals, Dan has handled contract and business obligation claims, including between businesses and vendors, and brokers and sales personnel, shareholders in closely held entities, among others. Dan also has extensive experience in property tax abatement and exemption litigation, state and federal tax litigation, and intellectual property litigation. Dan’s clients have taken him through trial and appeal in state and federal trial courts in New Hampshire, as well as the New Hampshire Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
Prior to joining Devine, Millimet, Dan spent a year clerking for the honorable Morton A. Brody of the United States District Court for the District of Maine, and for the Honorable Norman H. Stahl of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
Dan lives in Loudon with his wife Laurel and two daughters, Emma and Samantha. He graduated (cum laude) from the University of Pennsylvania and earned his law degree (summa cum laude) at Boston College Law School.
Statement: The Bar Association is much more than the sum of its many parts – the CLE programming, the Bar News, the various bar committees and sections, among others. It has been, for me, the source of many of my relationships within our bar, and the source of much of the collegiality and professionalism that mark New Hampshire practice.
And I have found, with the Bar Association, the more I give, the more I get. I have enjoyed serving the Bar over the years I have been practicing, from longstanding involvement in and chairing the Committee on Cooperation with Courts to involvement in and chairing the Federal Practice Section, to service on the Supreme Court’s Judicial Performance Evaluation Advisory Committee as the Cooperation with Courts designee, among other ways. Most recently, I have appreciated the opportunity to serve as a member of the Board of Governors. Throughout the journey, I have worked on fascinating issues and with many of you, all aimed at improving our Bar Association and our practice experience. As much as I hope that I have helped the Bar, I find that the effort has added significant satisfaction to my professional life.
I hope to continue that service as Vice President of the New Hampshire Bar Association. As everyone knows, we continue to face challenges in the practice that stretch our resources, professionalism and even patience. These same challenges face the New Hampshire Bar Association as well, and I would like to continue to be among those who work to help our bar association meet them. We are lucky in New Hampshire to belong to an organization like the Bar Association that pulls us together and helps us to maintain what makes practice in New Hampshire great. As Vice President, I hope to help enhance the Bar Association’s continuing efforts to provide support to all of its members.
David McGrath (nominated by board)
Biography: President and Managing Director of Sheehan Phinney; JD, Cornell Law School; NHBA Board of Governors, 2014-present; Vice President, NHBA, 2016 - present; NH Professional Conduct Committee, 2016 - present; Leadership NH, Class of 2013; Certified Mediator with state and federal courts and New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights.
Statement: Change has always been integral to the practice of law. Yet, the relatively recent dynamic changes in technology, commoditization of legal work, alternative fee arrangements and increased competition for client loyalty are unparalleled in my nearly 25 years of practice. Many lawyers are averse to change so it is not surprising that we are seeing troubling signs of lawyer dissatisfaction with the profession. This is not unique to our Bar, of course, and in fact it is the relative insularity of our Bar that provides a special opportunity to improve our connectedness to and support for one another and our overall outlook.
We come together from diverse backgrounds, practices and interests. A look at the current composition of our Bar membership reveals a rich diversity, with lawyers from virtually all geographical areas of New Hampshire and from neighboring states; lawyers from solo offices and larger, regionalized offices; lawyers with specialized and generalized practices; and lawyers from public and private sectors. Despite our differences, we share common core values: civility, collegiality, community and charitable involvement, commitment to continuing legal education and client service, and strong connections and communications between members and the judiciary.
With the many changes and challenges confronting lawyers today, it is especially important for each of us to remember our common values, which unite us and enhance our professional and personal satisfaction. In this, our Bar provides substantial opportunities for all.
With your support, I look forward to serving as President-Elect and furthering the important work of our association.
Governor at Large
Sandra L. Cabrera
Biography: Sandra L. Cabrera is an associate with Waystack Frizzell, Trial Lawyers in Colebrook, New Hampshire. She practices in all areas of civil litigation, including personal injury, in both federal and state courts. She has also written briefs for, and argued before, the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
Sandra is an active member of the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association. In 2010 she was elected to its Board of Directors as the Strafford County representative, and has served as its Coos County Representative since moving to Colebrook in 2012.
For two years before joining Waystack Frizzell, Sandra served as a law clerk for the judges of the Strafford and Carroll County Superior Courts. Sandra graduated magna cum laude from Vermont Law School. As a law student, she served as the Associate Articles Editor of the Vermont Law Review. Sandra received her Bachelor of Science degree, magna cum laude, in Environmental Policy from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
Statement: The New Hampshire Bar Association is dedicated to supporting the needs of its members, whether by offering quality CLE opportunities, providing resources to assist practicing attorneys, or by fostering the atmosphere of professionalism and collegiality that has distinguished our Bar from others.
I have served as the Coos County Governor for the NHBA for the past four years, and I have learned the important role that the Board of Governors plays in helping the NHBA achieve its mission. The Board is often charged with making critical decisions that affect access to justice, the relationship between the Association and the Courts, and the regulation of our profession, among other things.
The Board makes these critical decisions by drawing on the collective wisdom and experience of its Governors. If I am elected as a Governor-at-Large, I will bring a unique perspective from my experience working at a small private practice in the North Country. I have previously worked as a Superior Court Law Clerk on the Seacoast, and therefore I can also draw from these experiences when working as a member of the Board. I am committed to helping the Board continue improving its service to its members and the public, and I would be honored for the opportunity to serve as a Governor-at-Large.
Jonathan M. Eck
Biography: Jonathan M. Eck is a shareholder and member of the litigation department at Devine, Millimet & Branch, P.A. in Manchester, where his practice frequently involves handling probate litigation matters, commercial lease disputes, and real estate litigation. For the past six years, Jonathan has been on the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Board of Governors as a Governor-at-Large. Additionally, for the past two years, he has served on the Bar Association’s Committee on Cooperation With the Courts. Jonathan is also a member of the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire’s Federal Court Advisory Committee and a trustee for the New Hampshire Supreme Court Society. In 2014-15 Jonathan was president of the Manchester Bar Association. Jonathan, who was admitted to the New Hampshire Bar in 2006, received his law degree from Vermont Law School and is a graduate of Colby College in Waterville, Maine.
Statement: Since the fall of 2011, I have served as a Governor-at-Large on the NHBA Board of Governors. I am now seeking to be re-elected to the Board of Governors for another 3-year term as a Governor-at-Large. In the past six years, I have faithfully attended Board of Governors meetings and I make meaningful contributions both during those meetings and relative to NHBA matters outside of the meetings. I have demonstrated a commitment to promoting the advancement of the NHBA and I want to help ensure that the Association best serves its members. With your support, I hope that I will have the opportunity to continue to contribute to the important work that the Board of Governors is doing on behalf of the Association.
Please contact me if you have any questions, concerns, or comments that you want to share with me or would like to see brought before the Board of Governors.
Cheshire County Governor
Richard C. Guerriero, Jr.
Statement & Biography: Richard Guerriero is the current Board of Governors representative from Cheshire County. He respectfully seeks reelection to that position so that he might continue to represent the interests of his home county and local colleagues at the bar. Richard is a criminal defense attorney in private practice at Lothstein Guerriero, PLLC. His office is in Keene and he practices in all New Hampshire courts.
Richard is originally from Louisiana. He attended Louisiana State University as an undergraduate, completing his bachelor's degree in three years and graduating magna cum laude. He was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. He then attended LSU's law school where he was on the Louisiana Law Review. From 1984 to 1985, Richard clerked at the Louisiana Supreme Court in New Orleans. After his clerkship, he entered into private practice in Baton Rouge. From 1985 to 1993, Richard had a general litigation practice in Baton Rouge, with the majority of his cases being criminal defense cases.
At the end of 1993, Richard moved to New Hampshire with his wife who wanted to return home to New England. From 1994 to 2013, Richard was an attorney at the New Hampshire Public Defender, first at NHPD's Keene Office and then at NHPD's Concord and Manchester Offices. From 2000 to 2013, Richard was the Litigation Director at NHPD.
Richard has devoted a substantial part of his career to service of the bar and the community at large. He served on the NH Bar Association’s CLE Committee for over ten years. He then joined the Bar’s Ethics Committee, where he still serves. Richard speaks at, or co-chairs, CLE events on a regular basis. Richard has also been on the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers for many years. He served on a committee established by the New Hampshire Supreme Court to compile the recently adopted New Hampshire Rules of Criminal Procedure. He also serves on the Advisory Committee for the United States District Court in Concord.
In 2007, Richard was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. In 2009, he received the New Hampshire Bar Foundation's Frank Rowe Kenison Award for community service. Richard has twice been named a "Champion of Justice," by the New Hampshire Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in 2005, and previously by the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, in 1991.
Richard has also been active in the nonprofit community, serving on the board of directors of the Montessori School House of Cheshire County for five years, the board of directors of the Keene Community Music Center for three years, and the board of directors of the Colonial Theater in Keene for three years. He currently serves on the board of directors of the New Hampshire Disabilities Rights Center.
Richard has lived in Keene for almost 25 years. His wife, Anne, is a middle school teacher in Keene. They have two daughters.
Coos County Governor
Biography: Nearly a dozen years after earning my Bachelors Degree from Boston College, I decided to return to school and was accepted at Franklin Pierce Law Center, now known as UNH Law, to earn my Juris Doctor degree. At the time, I fully expected to be back in Boston after those three years.
However, small town life agreed with me, and in 1992, I “hung out my shingle” in Loudon, New Hampshire. Since then, I’ve been providing legal advice to individuals, small businesses owners and their families, and representation in State and Federal Courts.
Along the way, in 2006, I moved to Berlin, the state’s northernmost city. I was elected to the City Council for one four-year term. I continue to serve on the Berlin Planning Board, currently as Chair. I serve as an Alternate member on the Coos County Planning Board. I represent Berlin at the New Hampshire Municipal Association.
I look forward to becoming more involved with NHBA, serving as County Governor Representing Coos County on the Board of Governors.
Statement: I would appreciate the opportunity to serve on the Board of Governors of the New Hampshire Bar Association (NHBA), as the County Governor Representing Coos County. I have been a member of NHBA since 1992, and, at this point in my career, I am willing and able to participate more actively.
As the number of attorneys practicing in New Hampshire grows, it is important we continue to observe our tradition of collegiality, while providing services meeting the highest standards for our clients. Technology advances by leaps and bounds, and yet, while some of our responsibilities are lightened, we still face daunting challenges in our cases.
NHBA provides many services for its members. Being based in the North Country since 2006, I appreciate the value of online programming and CLE webcasts. Keeping up the relevance and delivery of member services is an ongoing task. I look forward to being part of these efforts.
Grafton County Governor
Statement & Biography: Martha Ann Hornick is the Managing Attorney of the Littleton office of the New Hampshire Public Defender.
She has represented indigent persons of all ages charged with all types of crimes across the state since she joined the public defender program in 2003. She has trained and mentored a number of attorneys. She has been a part of the Justice Involved Veterans Task Force, the Friends of Drug Courts, as well as helping establish local and county wide alternative sentencing programs. Marcie was recently elected to the Board of the NHACDL.
Marcie received her J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law. Upon her return to the north country to work as a Public Defender where she previously owned a restaurant and enjoyed catering, she was elected to the Littleton Library Board, appointed to the Board of the Littleton Conservation Commission and was elected to the Board of the Littleton Food Co-op where she serves as treasurer. She also enjoys teaching tennis.
Marcie decided to run for the County Governor for Grafton County because of her interest in being the conduit -or bridge- between the statewide Bar Association and Grafton County practitioners. She is also generally interested in continuing the overall collegiality enjoyed between attorneys both in Grafton County and across the state and thus looks to continue to foster that as well.
Merrimack County Governor
Adam Pignatelli (nominated by board)
Biography: Adam B. Pignatelli is a shareholder and member of the litigation department at Rath, Young and Pignatelli, P.C. in Concord. He focuses on business litigation and medical-legal matters before New Hampshire and Massachusetts State and Federal courts. He also represents professionals before State licensing boards, including the Boards of Medicine, Dentistry and Chiropractic Examiners. Adam has litigated a diverse range of cases involving professional negligence, partnership and limited liability company disputes, business torts, employment disputes and non-competition agreements.
Adam earned his law degree from American University and his Bachelor's degree from Tufts University. Prior being admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, Adam practiced law in Washington, D.C.
Statement: I have been a member of the New Hampshire Bar since 2010 and an attorney since 2005. If elected to the Board of Governors, I would proudly serve the NHBA and its members. I would encourage the continuation of NHBA's partnerships with other professions and embracing of a new generation of attorneys and technology. It would be an honor to work with the fine NHBA Staff and Board.
Please contact me with any questions or concerns. Thank you for considering my candidacy.
Rockingham County Governor
Susan Aileen Lowry
Statement & Biography: Susan was admitted to practice in New Hampshire in 2008 after graduating magna cum laude from Vermont Law School. During law school, she was an Articles Editor for the Vermont Law Review and served as a judicial extern to Justice Denise R. Johnson of the Vermont Supreme Court and Magistrate Judge Robert J. Johnston of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. After law school, Susan had the privilege of working at the New Hampshire Public Defenders’ Office. She then entered private practice and has been practicing both civil and criminal law ever since.
I have been privileged to practice law in Rockingham County since being admitted to the bar in 2008. I have served on the Rockingham County Bar Association Board of Directors for the past 6 years, serving as the Association President for the past year. I am also a graduate of the 2014-2015 N.H. Bar Association Leadership Academy and an active participant in the Charles C. Doe Inns of Court. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had so far in my career to serve, and I welcome the opportunity to continue to contribute to the practice of law for Rockingham County and the State through a role on the Board of Governors.
Sullivan County Governor
Lania A. Witkus
Statement & Biography: Lanea A. Witkus is the 99th woman member of the NH Bar Association. She practices in Newport as a sole practitioner, having been partnered in small firms or solo in the past. "I am excited about the potential of efiling. I have been following that process as it unfolds. It is an opportunity to use the power of the computer to make changes which, if done mindfully, will make the practice of law easier for judges, attorneys and parties. I will have practiced 40 years this October. I do not advocate for a return to "the old days" but that perspective has shown me there are many ways to effectively address the problems which clients come to us and, often pro se, to the court system to settle. We must all be open to change, and a proclivity to resist change is not a function of age."
ABA Association New Lawyer Delegate
Biography: Andrew Hamilton is an associate with McLane Middleton, Professional Association. His practice focuses on commercial litigation, especially complex litigation, as well as emerging energy technologies and real estate litigation. He was a summer associate at McLane Middleton, and also served as a judicial intern at the US District Court for the Southern District of NY.
Andrew graduated from St. John’s University School of Law in 2013, and from Dartmouth College in 2004, with an A.B. in Anthropology. Between college and law school, Andrew served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bulgaria and worked as a paralegal at a large, international law firm in Manhattan. He grew up in Concord, New Hampshire.
Statement: I am pleased to be nominated for the Bar Association New Lawyer Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates. If elected, I look forward to representing the interests of New Hampshire young lawyers at the national level. Like most other young lawyers, I am daily concerned with growing my practice and honing my practical skills. I also strive every day to practice with professionalism and do my part to maintain the collegial legal community we are lucky enough to have here in New Hampshire. Additionally, as a husband and as a father to a toddler and an infant, I am intimately aware of the unique pressures facing other young lawyers, especially the often discussed “work/life balance.” I would ask for your vote and would be honored to represent you.