DATE: January 3, 2007 


Laura Kiernan
Judicial Branch
Communications Director

Judge David D. King Photo



David D. King of Colebrook named Probate Court Administrative Judge  

Appointment by Supreme Court follows retirement of John R. Maher

CONCORD—The New Hampshire Supreme Court today named David D. King, a Coos County Probate judge for more than 16 years, to be the Administrative Judge of the Probate Court which handles wills, estates, trusts, guardianships of adults and involuntary commitments statewide. King, a partner in the law firm of Waystack & King in Colebrook, succeeds John R. Maher, who has been the administrative judge since 1990. Maher retired in December, after serving for 23 years as a Probate Court judge in Rockingham County.

A graduate of Plymouth State College, King served in the New Hampshire House for one term while attending Franklin Pierce Law School in Concord, receiving his law degree in 1984. That same year he served as a delegate to New Hampshire’s 17th Constitutional Convention. He has been a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Board of Governors and is a past president and vice-president of the Coos County Bar Association.

"David King has the life experience, energy, and vision to lead the Probate Court into the future," Chief Justice John T. Broderick Jr. said. "He understands that as a court system, we need to embrace change, and as an Administrative Judge, he will play an important role in achieving that goal," Broderick said.

Estimates are that each year the state probate courts handle assets valued at more than $500 million as they pass from estates to beneficiaries. In 2005, more than half of the more than 10,000 cases filed in the Probate Courts involved estates and trusts.

"I am humbled and honored by the opportunity that has been presented to me by the Supreme Court," King said. "It has been a privilege to serve under the leadership of Judge Maher who was instrumental in standardizing the Probate Courts, expanding our jurisdiction, and making the courts more user friendly for the public," King said.

"I recognize that his will be big shoes to fill, both as an administrator and as a role model for all judges and lawyers in this state," King added.

In addition to presiding over cases, the administrative judge of the Probate Court is also a member of the Judicial Branch Administrative Council, which was established in 1990 to improve communications among the courts and the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). The AOC provides centralized services, including fiscal management, technology services and case flow analysis to all court locations. The Chief Justice of the Superior Court and the Administrative Judge of the District Court and the Family Division are also members of the Administrative Council, which makes recommendations on management and policy issues to the Supreme Court.

King and his family live in Colebrook, where he has a long record of community service. In 2005 King received the Vickie M. Bunnell Award which is presented by the state bar association to an attorney from a small law firm who exemplifies contribution and dedication to community. King has served for 19 years as President of the Board of Directors of the Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital and he is a longtime director of the Colebrook Development Corporation and the Upper Connecticut Valley Community Coalition. Since 1985, he has been the Colebrook School District moderator.

King was appointed a Probate Court judge in January 1990 by then Governor Judd Gregg. Like other Probate Court judges, King served as a part-time judge while maintaining his law practice. As Administrative Judge, King will continue to sit one day a week in the Coos County Probate Court in Lancaster and he will sit as a judge in other Probate Court locations around the state, as needed. King said that he expects to work three days a week for the Probate Court while he is in the process of withdrawing from his private law practice, after which he will work five days per week for the Probate Court.

As Administrative Judge, King will have supervisory authority over the administration and operation of the Probate Courts, including budget and policy implementation, oversight of case flow management and assignment of judges and personal to 10 Probate Court locations around the state.