Legal Briefs: News From Around NH

Flo Nicolas honored, more Best Lawyers honorees ... and more
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Rockingham County Deputy Sheriff George Abele uses the county’s new drug detection device. (Courtesy of Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office)
Flo Nicolas Head Shot

Flo Nicolas

Flo Nicolas honored with 2023 Women of Legal Tech title

The American Bar Association has named tech entrepreneur Flo Nicolas to its 2023 list of Women in Legal Tech — one of only 11 recipients chosen from across the country.

Starting in 2015, the ABA’s list aims to highlight women in the legal tech space in hopes of encouraging more women to join their ranks. According to the organization’s website, “One of the American Bar Association’s core values is a commitment to diversity, which the Law Practice Division aims to reinforce in the legal tech sector. From tech founders and CEOs to small business owners, women are making a big impact on legal tech in every field.”

Nicolas holds a powerful presence in New Hampshire’s tech sector with her online TV show Get Tech Smart, which she founded to showcase emerging technologies in the state, and DEI Directive, a digital platform executives can use to better measure their organizations’ DEI initiatives.

In addition, Nicolas was also chosen to participate in the ABA’s 2023 Women of Legal Tech Summit, taking place virtually on Sept. 13, where she will present on “Creating Inclusive Tech: Inclusive Legal Innovation.”

In a LinkedIn post announcing the award, Nicolas wrote, “I’m committed to championing access and opportunities for all in legal tech and across tech sectors. Inclusion means creating innovative technology that’s open to everyone. Let’s shape a future where technology knows no boundaries and offers equal access to all.” — AMANDA ANDREWS/NH BUSINESS REVIEW


23 Shaheen & Gordon attorneys recognized by Best Lawyers 2024

Best Lawyers is the oldest peer-review publication in the legal industry and uses an in-depth methodology to select honorees.

Attorneys James Rosenberg (Criminal Defense: General Practice), Brian Quirk (Criminal Defense: White-Collar), and Randall Smith (Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs) were named Lawyer of the Year in their respective practice areas, meaning they received the highest overall peer feedback in their geographic region.

Stephanie Annunziata, Jared O’Connor, and Alexander Spadinger were each recognized for the first time.

The 23 honorees were (in no particular order): attorneys Stephanie Annunziata, Tracey Goyette Cote, Steven M. Gordon, Cathy J. Green, Brian M. Quirk, James D. Rosenberg, James Armillay, Leah Cole Durst, Christine M. Craig, D. Michael Noonan, Sean O’Connell, William H. Shaheen, Lawrence A. Vogelman, Ronald L. Abramson, Crystal M. Maldonado, Heather Menezes, Colleen D. O’Connell, Laura Tetrault, Francis G. Murphy and Jared P. O’Connor.


Mobile drug scanners come to Rockingham County

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Rockingham County Deputy Sheriff George Abele uses the county’s new drug detection device. (Courtesy of Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office)

The Rockingham County sheriff’s office, including its drug task force, and county jail, recently received a mobile drug scanner that will allow officers to scan packages, either in the field or in the jail, containing potential drugs without opening them to make a preliminary determination as to contents. 

Opioid abatement funds totaling $62,713 were used to purchase the two scanners, approved by the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners.

Rockingham County received at least $2.87 million from the latest round of opioid settlement funds from various pharmaceutical companies and distributors who had a hand in the New Hampshire’s opioid crisis.

The state received the majority of $310 million in settlement funds, but 15% was distributed to 23 counties and towns which filed their own lawsuits against the companies.

“When fentanyl was introduced, it became very dangerous for us to even field test the drug,” said Major Christopher Bashaw from the Sheriff’s office. He mentioned that a few Rockingham County deputies experienced nonfatal overdoses from fentanyl exposure in the last couple years.

“The last thing you want to do is get someone hurt over securing potential evidence,” he added. “Our individual safety far exceeds the evidence’s value.”

He recalled an evidence processing deputy who was handling drugs and using test kits inside the sheriff’s office back room. Fentanyl became airborne when some of it was taken out of a container and tested. The deputy overdosed from the drug becoming airborne.

The DetectaChem scanners reduce exposure by allowing officers to point and scan at packages and identify the substances through packaging in about 20 seconds. The devices can detect 24,000 different chemicals, as well as explosives.

Bashaw said that the scanners will also help streamline testing at the over-booked New Hampshire state lab, narrowing down the range of tests required and moving cases along faster.

Quick information from the scanners will help determine if an area needs to be secured or evacuated. The devices will also help determine if further protective measures are needed as calls can become fluid, turning from court-ordered evictions to drug investigations. — Angelina Berube/The Eagle Tribune


Jaffrey Public Library offers legal help services

The Jaffrey Public Library has partnered with 603 Legal Aid and New Hampshire Legal Assistance to connect the community with free legal information and services. 

On Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 6 p.m., the library will host Chris Schott from New Hampshire Legal Assistance (NHLA), who will provide a presentation titled “Fair Housing and Tenant Rights in NH” on the Fair Housing Act and what other protections are available for tenants facing eviction in New Hampshire.

Schott is the fair housing project coordinator at NHLA.  He has been a staff attorney with NHLA since 2018. In his time at NHLA, he has served low-income citizens of New Hampshire in a number of legal areas, including assisting victims of domestic violence with receiving protective orders, helping seniors who are victims of elder exploitation and assisting tenants facing eviction. Currently, as coordinator of the Fair Housing Project, he assists tenants and homebuyers facing discrimination in housing.

Prior to the program, on Sept. 13, the library will host a drop-in with 603 Legal Aid from 4 to 6 p.m. to connect qualified individuals with free civil legal resources. 603 Legal Aid helps low-income individuals by providing free civil legal advice and information and referrals. Topics include family law, civil rights, housing, tax issues, benefits and criminal record annulment. The 603 Legal Aid drop-in will be a monthly program at the library. 

Both programs are free and open to all, regardless of residency. For  information or to register for the Fair Housing program, call the library at 603-532-7301. — MONADNOCK LEDGER-TRANSCRIPT

Categories: Law