PRESS RELEASE

FOR RELEASE

JANUARY 15, 2002

Special Panel – Matter of Associate Justices Broderick and Duggan

New Hampshire Supreme Court
Judicial Conduct Committee
100 Central Avenue
Dover, NH 03820

Dover, N.H. – A Special Panel of the Supreme Court Judicial Conduct Committee issued its report and findings today in the matter of the conduct of Associate Justices James Duggan and John Broderick. The conduct in question related to the informal resolution of the Judicial Conduct Committee’s investigation of Chief Justice David A. Brock.

The Special Panel was appointed on May 21, 2001 by a substitute Supreme Court, designated to exercise jurisdiction over complaints against sitting Justices of the Supreme Court. The members of the substitute Supreme Court are Justices George Manias, Philip B. Mangones, James D. O’Neill, Patricia C. Coffey and Larry M. Smukler of the New Hampshire Superior Court. The Special Panel was composed of ten members, five of whom were laypersons. The members are:

William R. Grimm, Chair
Dale Thompson, Vice Chair
Hon. Martha Crocker
Brenda Tibbetts
George T. Hamilton
Hon. Richard Hampe
Hon. Bruce Mohl
Erick Leadbeater
Timothy Vaughn, Esquire
Gerald Giles, Esquire

The Special Panel’s investigation began after Associate Justices Duggan and Broderick self reported to the Judicial Conduct Committee in response to public controversy about their role in the informal resolution of the Chief Justice Brock complaint. After the sitting Judicial Conduct Committee members recused themselves, the Special Panel was appointed and has exercised jurisdiction over the matter since its May 21, 2001 appointment.

After conducting an investigation which included a review of the Judicial Conduct Committee file, interviews with the Committee’s counsel and sworn testimony of several involved parties, including Associate Justices Broderick and Duggan, the Special Panel concluded that Associate Justices Broderick and Duggan had not violated the Rules of Judicial Conduct, nor had they violated New Hampshire’s improper influence statute, RSA 640:3.

The Special Panel report describes the sequence of events leading up to the April 20, 2001 informal resolution of the complaint against Chief Justice Brock. The report also states the conclusions and comments of the Special Panel based on the evidence it received, including from Anne Coughlin and Terry Pfaff, members of the Judicial Conduct Committee who publicly dissented from the informal resolution of the complaint Chief Justice Brock.

The Special Panels Executive Director is Anthony McManus, Esquire, 100 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820. The counsel to the Special Panel was Edmund J. Boutin, P.O. Box 1107, Londonderry, NH 03053. Copes of the report and the witness testimony are available at the office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court at Frank R. Kenison Supreme Court Bldg., One Noble Drive, Concord, New Hampshire 03301.