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  • Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:13 PM | Anonymous

    On Thursday, October 11th, 2018, we held our 21st Annual Fall Reception at the Concord Country Club in Concord, New Hampshire. The event was attended by distinguished attorneys and members of the judiciary from across the Granite State.

    At the reception, the 2018 Marilla M. Ricker Achievement Award, named in honor of Marilla M. Ricker, the first woman to apply for admission to the New Hampshire Bar, was presented to Attorney Catherine E. Shanelaris. She is a founding member and partner at the successful all-female firm Shanelaris & Schirch in Nashua, which specializes in family law.

    Her many nominators wrote of her with clear warmth, appreciation, and admiration. She was described as "a pillar in the legal community", a "mentor for a multitude of female attorneys", and someone who "exemplifies the highest standards of professionalism, from integrity, good judgement, and civility to her deep and abiding dedication to the provision of free legal assistance to the vulnerable and needy."

    In her remarks, Attorney Shanelaris aimed to inspire her audience. “As attorneys we have extraordinary power, the power of all the great knowledge and experience we have. People come to us, pay us for us to impart our knowledge to them, to assist them in helping them through the most difficult time in their lives. When we are presented with the opportunity, and we should all use our power for good.”

    In addition, we presented the Winnie McLaughlin scholarship for 2018-2019 to Kirsten J. Allen, a student at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. The scholarship is a joint venture of the NHWBA and the law school, named after the first woman admitted to practice law in New Hampshire. It is awarded annually to a second-year law student who has demonstrated academic achievement and has performed community service focused on advancing women.

    Allen has interned with the New Hampshire Women's Foundation as well as with Have Justice Will Travel, which provides free legal services for victims of domestic abuse in Vermont. She is an Executive Board Member for the Domestic and Sexual Violence Project at UNH Law, where she is pursuing the Health Law and Policy Certificate.

  • Monday, October 08, 2018 11:02 AM | Anonymous

    Please join the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association in providing Thanksgiving baskets to families in need. NHWBA will be providing Thanksgiving baskets to New Horizons for distribution. You can either assemble a basket yourself, or build one or more with your office or firm. 

    Drop off your basket on November 14th or November 15th before 5:00PM. Drop off locations include:

    • Hage Hodes, PA, 1855 Elm Street, Manchester, NH 03104
    • Gallagher, Callahan, & Gartrell, 214 N. Main Street, Concord, NH 03301
    • Bernazzani Law, 30 Temple Street, Suite 515, Nashua, NH 03060

    If you need to drop off your basket at another location, please contact us to make arrangements.

    Each basket should provide a Thanksgiving meal for 5 to 8 people. We recommend purchasing laundry baskets to fill with food. Suggested items to include in your basket:

    • 1 basket
    • 1 turkey
    • stuffing
    • vegetables
    • cranberry sauce
    • gravy
    • dessert/mixes
    • a greeting card signed by you and/or your group
    • bread
    • tablecloths
    • napkins
    • gift cards (to grocery stores for remaining ingredients)

    Whether you wish to donate a basket or not, you can also sign up to volunteer at New Horizons in Manchester on Saturday, November 17 to help distribute baskets. Available shifts include:

    • 8:00 am to 11:00 am – Set up and get ready for distribution;
    • 10:30 am to 2:00 pm – Help register people for delivery for Christmas or help with distribution
    • 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm – Clean up

    Please RSVP online if you plan to drop off a basket and/or want to volunteer. If you have any questions, please e-mail Kat Hedges or Lyndsay Robinson.

  • Wednesday, September 19, 2018 12:21 PM | Anonymous

    NHWBA President Christina Ferrari, board member Lindsay Nadeau, and others were on hand last Friday as the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Rules considered language changes to Proposed Rule 8.4(g), which would prohibit discriminating and harassing conduct by attorneys.

    During the meeting, the Advisory Committee voted 12-3 to send the following proposed language to the Supreme Court:

    “(g) engage in conduct while acting as a lawyer in any context that a lawyer knew, or reasonably should have known, is harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, or gender identity. Statutory or regulatory exemptions, based upon the number of personnel in a law firm, shall not relieve a lawyer of the requirement to comply with this Rule. This paragraph shall not limit the ability of the lawyer to accept, decline or withdraw from representation consistent with other Rules, nor does it infringe on any Constitutional right of a lawyer, including advocacy on matters of public policy, the exercise of religion, or a lawyer's right to advocate for a client.”

    While this proposed language is very close to the language that the NHWBA was advocating for, the NHWBA still needs your help to ensure that the Supreme Court votes to implement this language! We need as many people as possible to testify and write letters, articles, etc. in support of this version of the Proposed Rule. In addition, the Advisory Committee indicated that it wants a brief from interested parties on this proposed language. We do not yet know when the next hearing will take place, or when the brief will be due, but if you are interested in assisting the NHWBA in this effort, please contact NHWBA President, Christina Ferrari, at (603) 665-8827 or cferrari@bernsteinshur.com. We will keep you updated on this very important issue.

  • Tuesday, September 11, 2018 2:33 PM | Anonymous

    We just closed our survey on parental leave continuance rules and there were 41 responses.

    We will continue to look into whether this is something that we should work on, as Florida has recently done.

    Here are a few examples of the written responses we received:

    "I would support the rule only if it is gender-neutral and applies to adoptive families as well."

    "Often clients lives are in the balance and they should not have to put their case on hold for their attorney's family leave... If they are agreeable to pushing a hearing or trial out until their attorney's return from leave, fine, but many do not want further delays."

    "...getting continuances was not a problem for me and most people were understanding... For me, the rule would not have been necessary but I recognize my experience may not have been the norm and would be supportive of any rules that make having children and being a lawyer easier."

    "When I had my children, the Courts didn't really seem to give much weight to the fact that cases would need to work around maternity leave. ...I was told that my schedule would not be taken into consideration. Also, new moms who are nursing are not given breaks to allow for pumping during lengthy trials that is an issue as well."

    "...when I was pregnant...I alerted the court to the potential conflict...and the court responded that the Order said "No Further Continuances" (my client had never requested a continuance) and literally said on the Order that my client can find new counsel."

    "I have personally had my maternity leave interrupted and felt as if the court would receive my being on maternity leave as invalid reason to change the matter's schedule."

    "Cases are continued all the time for lesser reasons."

    "I know many attorneys who were back in the courtroom days after giving birth, which is not good for anyone."

    "I believe this can bring unwanted attention to the fact a child is being added to my family. I also do not want my opposings to have another reason to discount the mom in the court room and label me as such."

    Do you think New Hampshire courts should adopt a policy of granting three-month continuances in cases where the lead counsel is planning to add a child to their family?

  • Wednesday, August 29, 2018 8:41 PM | Anonymous

    The New Hampshire Women's Bar Association congratulates attorney Jennifer L. Parent of the law firm of McLane Middleton, Professional Association on being named President of the National Conference of Bar Presidents’ (NCBP) Executive Council.

    The NCBP was founded in 1950 to provide information and training to state, local, metro, and specialty bar association leaders from across the country. Its primary mission is to provide high-quality programming to current bar leaders at two meetings held each year contemporaneously with the annual and midyear meetings of the ABA. NCBP provides resources for bar leaders on leadership, innovation, and collaboration. Presentations and workshops have focused on changes in the practice of law, how to put on a hackathon, cybersecurity, and community outreach as well as “bread and butter” subjects and issues like membership expansion, continuing education, access to justice, and diversity and inclusion. NCBP also offers a webinar series through its 21st Century Lawyer programming and awards diversity scholarships for membership to bar leaders.

    Jennifer talks about the National Conference of Bar Presidents and their focus on leadership, innovation, and collaboration in a podcast from 8/7/2018.

    Jennifer is a director and chair of the McLane Middleton’s Litigation Department. She has over 20 years of experience litigating and resolving disputes for companies and business owners in a wide range of complex commercial cases and employment matters.

    Throughout her career, Jennifer has been recognized with numerous awards and recognitions, including our own Marilla M. Ricker Achievement award  in 2016, 2015 Outstanding Women in Business award by the New Hampshire Business Review, the New England Top 50 Women Lawyers of 2013 by Super Lawyers, the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Judge Philip S. Hollman Gender Equality Award, a Trailblazer in the Law by the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association, the Union Leader’s 40 Under Forty Business Leaders, and the Robert E. Kirby Award presented by the N.H. Bar Foundation.

    In addition, Jennifer is rated by Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers, and is ranked by Chambers USA: A Guide to America’s Best Lawyers in the Labor and Employment category.

    Jennifer serves as Vice-Chair of the Palace Theatre’s Board of Trustees and Co-Chair of its Advisory Board.

    Jennifer can be reached in the McLane Middleton’s Manchester office at (603) 628-1360 or jennifer.parent@mclane.com.

  • Tuesday, August 14, 2018 3:15 PM | Anonymous

    The Florida Supreme Court is set to consider a new rule that would grant three-month continuances in most cases in trials where lead counsel is adding a child to their family.

    We're interested in finding out whether our members would support a rule like this here in New Hampshire and if this is something we should work on in the future.

    Please see below to read more about the issue and voice your opinion in our poll.

    Interested in reading more about this issue? Here are some recent articles about the potential rule in Florida.


  • Tuesday, August 14, 2018 12:08 PM | Anonymous

    Former Public Service Committee Co-Chair Laura Maistrosky was on hand in Chicago recently to receive the National Conference of Women’s Bar Association’s 2018 Public Service Award – Honorable Mention on NHWBA’s behalf for its Women to Women Project.

    This Project is a collaboration of the NHWBA and the New Hampshire Department of Corrections to provide legal information on various topics of interest to the female inmates. It allows licensed practitioners to offer limited legal advice and information to an underserved population on a varied spectrum of legal issues.

    The Project provides pro bono legal services that would otherwise not be available to the women through another organization or court program. The Project helps these women get a jump start on taking back control of their lives before they are released from incarceration. The transitional period before they are released can be challenging. The women are often not able to access forms, instructions and basic legal information prior to their release from prison. The Project bridges this gap and provides needed forms and instructions, which can be crucial when the issues involve matters such as parenting rights and responsibilities.

    Special thanks to NHWBA Public Service Committee Co-chairs, Lindsey Courtney and Laura Maistrosky, for spearheading this project.

    The NHWBA was honored to accept this prestigious award.

  • Monday, July 30, 2018 12:37 PM | Anonymous
    Congratulations to Kirsten J. Allen, the recipient of our Winnie McLaughlin scholarship for 2018-2019!
    Allen is a rising 2L law student at the University of New Hampshire School of Law devoted to public service and advancing women’s rights. During her first year, she volunteered with the New Hampshire Women's Foundation conducting research to be used in the “Women Run” program. This summer, she is interning with Have Justice Will Travel in Vermont, an organization which provides free legal services for victims of domestic abuse.
  • Tuesday, July 24, 2018 11:49 AM | Anonymous

    The NHWBA is pleased to announce the selection of Attorney Catherine E. Shanelaris as the recipient of the 2018 Marilla M. Ricker Achievement Award. The Ricker Award honors an outstanding woman lawyer in New Hampshire who has achieved professional excellence and paved the way to success for other women lawyers, advanced opportunities for women in the profession, and/or performed exemplary public service on behalf of women. Attorney Shanelaris clearly exceeds all of these criteria.

    Attorney Shanelaris was nominated for this award by seven different attorneys over multiple years. They wrote of her with clear warmth, appreciation, and admiration. She was described as "a pillar in the legal community", a "mentor for a multitude of female attorneys", and someone who has "achieved professional excellence and paved the way for the success of other women lawyers."

    She is a founding member and partner at the successful all-female firm Shanelaris & Schirch in Nashua and has dedicated her career to children and families. She previously worked as the chief staff attorney for the NH Division of Child Support Services. She also serves or has served as a volunteer on many boards, from here at the NHWBA to the NH Trial Lawyers Association, the NHBA Board of Governors, the NHBA Pro Bono Governing Board, the NHBA Finance Committee, and the Nashua Bar Association Executive Committee.

    Throughout her career, she has received many awards and accolades including the L. Jonathan Ross Award for Outstanding Commitment to Legal Services for the Poor from the NHBA and the Ted Jordan Humanitarian Award from the Nashua Bar Association. She was also appointed to the Access to Justice Commission and the Commission on the NH Bar in the 21st Century by the NH Supreme Court. The Governor appointed her to the NH Board of Psychologists as its public board member. In addition, she is a NH Bar Foundation Fellow.

    Attorney Shanelaris is well-deserving of this award, as, in the words of one of her many nominators, she "exemplifies the highest standards of professionalism, from integrity, good judgement, and civility to her deep and abiding dedication to the provision of free legal assistance to the vulnerable and needy."

    21st Annual Fall Reception

    Please save the date of Thursday, October 11th, 2018 for a night recognizing the achievements of Attorney Shanelaris and networking with our members and friends. The reception will be held at the Concord Country Club in Concord, New Hampshire from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Space is limited and tickets will be required. Hors d'oeuvres will be provided. At the reception, a 50/50 raffle to support the McLaughlin Scholarship Fund will also be held. Please click here for more information about sponsoring the Fall Reception.

  • Friday, June 15, 2018 12:26 PM | Anonymous

    On June 1, 2018, during a public hearing, the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association submitted written and oral testimony to the New Hampshire Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules regarding Proposed Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4(g). This Proposed Rule addressed the prohibition of discrimination and harassment based on a number of protected classes in the practice of law. More information regarding this Proposed Rule can be found here. The NHWBA supported the version of the Proposed Rule contained in Appendix K. A copy of the NHWBA’s written testimony can be found here. If you have any comments or questions, please contact us.

This web site is for informational purposes only. No information submitted to this site will be deemed to be, or kept, confidential. The NHWBA is a voluntary professional organization. It is not affiliated with the New Hampshire Bar Association.

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New Hampshire Women's Bar Association

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