Associate Justice James P. Bassett spent more than 27 years as a trial and appellate lawyer in New Hampshire, specializing in complex commercial and civil litigation, First Amendment issues and land use cases. He was nominated to the Supreme Court by Governor John Lynch and, following confirmation by the Executive Council, Justice Bassett was sworn in as the 107th member of the court on July 19, 2012.
A graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia Law School, Justice Bassett took an active role in many non-profit organizations before he came to the bench, including the United Way of Merrimack County, where he was a volunteer for 25 years and served as chairman of the annual campaign in 2009. He was also a long-time member of the Board of Trustees of the Capitol Center for the Arts, served on the board of the Friends of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and was an appointed member of both the state Rivers Management Advisory Committee and legislative Shoreline Study Committee. He also served on the Leadership Council of the Campaign for Legal Services.
In October 2016, the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, John G. Roberts, Jr., appointed Justice Bassett to a three-year term on the high court's Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules, the national policy-making body for the federal courts.
Justice Bassett lives with his family in Canterbury where his contribution to his community included 15 years on the town planning board, including several terms as chairman and six years on the board of selectmen, including a term as chairman. He also served on the Canterbury Conservation Commission and is a member of the Board of Incorporators of the Canterbury Shaker Village.
Speeches and statements:
July 19, 2012: Watch the swearing-in of Associate Justice James P. Bassett
July 19, 2012: Remarks after taking the oath as Associate Justice
May 18, 2012: Statement to the Executive Council