Legal Briefs: News From Around NH

Legislative Dems continue remote access case ... and more

While the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal in a lawsuit by New Hampshire House Democrats seeking remote participation in the state Legislature – dealing the effort a major setback – Democrats say they’re not finished litigating.

The New Hampshire Bulletin reported that the top court backed a First Circuit Court of Appeals ruling against the Democrats’ effort, meaning that denial to appeal that ruling now stands.

But Democrats say the circuit court ruled only on their request for a preliminary injunction, a common initial step in a lawsuit. With the appeals for that motion now exhausted, the party has returned to federal court in Concord to attempt to enter into a full civil trial.

“The state is taking the position that essentially all the issues have been decided, there’s nothing else, there’s no other grounds for us to move forward,” said Israel Piedra, a Democratic state representative from Manchester and an attorney representing Democrats in the case. “And we obviously disagree.”

The Democratic plaintiffs, who include current House Democratic Leader David Cote, are asking the court to force the New Hampshire House to allow House lawmakers to vote remotely on session days, arguing that the decision to require in-person meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic had prevented immunocompromised members from voting.

24 McLane attorneys named Super Lawyers

The law firm of McLane Middleton has announced that 24 of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2022 edition of New England Super Lawyers or the Massachusetts Super Lawyers list.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have been judged to attain a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The McLane Middleton lawyers selected for inclusion:

Manchester Office: Peter D. Anderson, family law; Steven M. Burke, tax; Michael A. Delaney, criminal defense; Steven J. Dutton, business litigation; Bruce W. Felmly, civil litigation-defense; Joseph A. Foster, bankruptcy business; Wilbur A. Glahn III, business litigation; Adam M. Hamel, business litigation;

Scott H. Harris, business litigation; Ralph F. Holmes, estate and trust litigation; Linda S. Johnson, schools and education;

Daniel J. Norris,, business/corporate; Margaret “Peg” O’Brien, employment and labor; Jennifer L. Parent, business litigation;

Mark C. Rouvalis, environmental litigation; Cameron C. Shilling, cybersecurity; Mark A. Wright, intellectual property; and William V.A. Zorn, trusts and estates.

Concord office: Mary Susan Leahy, estate and probate; Barry Needleman, environmental litigation; and Gregory H. Smith, environmental.

Portsmouth office: Patrick Closson, business/corporate.

Woburn, Mass. office: John D. Colucci, business/corporate and George L. Cushing, estate and probate.

$5 million in COPS funding headed to NH

New Hampshire U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Department of Justice, has announced that over $5 million in federal funding is heading to New Hampshire allocated through the department’s Community Oriented Policing (COPS) Technology and Equipment Program.

The program helps communities develop and acquire equipment, technology and communications systems aimed at helping improve community policing efforts and responding to and preventing crime. Recipients of this funding include police departments in Merrimack and Durham, Cheshire County and Strafford County as well as the NH Department of Safety. The funds will be used to upgrade communications infrastructure and provide advanced training to law enforcement officers.

Insurance Department, NEC in educational partnership

The New Hampshire Insurance Department and New England College have joined to create what they say is a first-of-its-kind course designed to provide students with the opportunity to learn about the insurance industry.

The course will introduce students to the nature of risk, risk identification, general risk management techniques and the management of risk through insurance. It covers why the individual or corporation purchases insurance, what constitutes an intelligent insurance plan, what products are available in the insurance marketplace and how those products are regulated by the NHID.

The four-credit course will begin in the Spring 2023 semester, and students will have the opportunity to undertake an internship for additional academic credit. A team of experts at the Insurance Department will teach the course.

Insurance Commissioner Christopher Nicolopoulos said the goal of the course is to attract “highly educated individuals into the industry – whether as producers or regulators” because it’s “critically important to the health of our markets and the furtherance of our consumer protection efforts.”

News publisher waives arraignment over political ad arrest

The publisher of The Londonderry Times, a weekly newspaper, has waived her arraignment, pleading not guilty to charges that she published advertisements for local races without properly marking them as political advertising, the state attorney general’s office said.

The six misdemeanor charges allege that the publisher, Debra Paul, failed to identify the ads with “appropriate language” indicating that they were ads and saying who paid for them as required by state law, the attorney general’s office said in August after reviewing cases that go back to 2019.

At the time, Paul said the AG’s action made it a case of “a small business needing to defend itself against overreaching government.”

Categories: Law, News