Date July 17, 2001 Contact: Laura Kiernan
Public Information Officer
271-2646 x359

NEWS RELEASE

 

CONCORD—The New Hampshire Supreme Court is looking for non-lawyer state residents interested in volunteering to serve on the Supreme Court’s attorney discipline committee.

The 18-member Professional Conduct Committee enforces the ethics code for lawyers known as the "Rules of Professional Conduct" and receives and processes complaints of alleged misconduct.

"Being on the committee is particularly challenging for a lay person who has to learn about the legal process and then evaluate the merits of a complaint," said retired investment banker Bayard F. Pope III of Hopkinton, who has served on the PCC for 14 years. He said non-lawyer members give the committee "a balanced approach to decision making that inspires public confidence in the system."

There are currently 13 lawyers and five public members on the committee, each serving three year terms. The court intends to increase the number of public members on the committee to six.

"It does require a lot of work," said Pope, who is now a vice-chairman of the committee. "But there is a great deal of satisfaction in it."

The committee conducts a full day of meetings and hearings on the third Wednesday of each month. Some sub-committee meetings and additional hearings are held as the need arises. Members review complaints and interview the parties involved. They are expected to analyze material, write reports and discuss their conclusions at committee meetings. The time commitment for members is at least 15-20 hours per month.

Anyone interested in being considered for appointment to the Committee should submit a biographical sketch and a letter detailing why they are seeking the position to Howard J. Zibel, Clerk, New Hampshire Supreme Court One Noble Drive, Concord, NH 03301.