|Date||April 13, 2001||Contact:||Laura Kiernan
Public Information Officer
CONCORDDeputy Clerk Lana Lesperance, whose nine years of experience at the Coos County Superior Court has included duties in every division of the court, is the April winner of the Spirit of the Judiciary Award, Chief Justice David A. Brock has announced.
Lesperances ability to take on a wide variety of assignments is an important asset for the court system in rural Coos County, where a staff of just six people oversees day to day operations.
"In a small courthouse, you have to possess a thorough knowledge of court procedures as well as a lot of common sense," said Lesperance, who lives in Stratford with her husband Jamie and two young children.
Described as a quick study who stays cool under stress, Lesperance knows the court system from "soup to nuts" said Judge Peter W. Smith and court clerk Barbara A. Hogan who nominated Lesperance for the award. Her ability to fill any position "has made her an invaluable employee and a role model for fellow workers," they said.
"I have a terrific staff across the board," Hogan said, "but Lana is one of a kind."
The list of responsibilities Lesperance has taken on over the years includes receptionist, criminal and jury clerk, cashier, computerization and bookkeeping, implementing a video arraignment system, coordinating interagency services and even giving tours of the courthouse to visitors.
Lesperance was also cited for her calm demeanor and quick thinking during times of crisis in the courthouse, including the 1995 assault on a corrections officer by a defendant in custody.
"Lana is an individual with unflagging energy, indomitable spirit, unquestioned integrity and a willingness to accept any responsibility," Smith and Hogan said in explaining why they believed Lesperence should receive the award.
"I enjoy my job and co-workers," Lesperance said. "Everyday presents a new challenge and a rewarding experience," she added.
The Spirit of the Judiciary Award was established in 1999 by Chief Justice Brock to recognize examples of outstanding public service within the Judicial Branch.
"We depend on employees like Lana Lesperance who have the experience and energy to pitch in whenever they can," the Chief Justice said. "Thats especially true in the North Country, where the courthouse staff is small, but the duty to administer justice in a fair and timely way is exactly the same as it is anywhere else in our state," Brock added.
Lesperance will receive her award at a ceremony at the Supreme Court on April 18th.