(l to r) NH Supreme Court Law Librarian Mary Searles; Professor John Phillip Reid
(John Phillip Reid is Professor Emeritus at New York University School of Law. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, a former law clerk for the U.S. District Court for New Hampshire, and the author of many books, including most recently Controlling the Law).
Thanks to the generous support of the Kenison Legacy Committee, the “New Hampshire Supreme Court Historical Society” is being established to “promote understanding and appreciation of the history of the Supreme Court and the State Judiciary.” The Kension Legacy Committee, chaired by Concord lawyer John Funk, raised funds for the new portrait of Chief Justice Frank Rowe Kenison now on display in the foyer of the Supreme Court building in Concord.
The mission of the volunteer, non-profit organization will be to preserve judicial and legal history through educational and social events including lectures and other programs, and to preserve documents and court artifacts including portraits and furniture. New Hampshire now joins state courts around the country, including Massachusetts and Connecticut, that have formed volunteer organizations to oversee historic preservation of judicial and legal history.
The members of the founding board of directors the New Hampshire Supreme Court Historical Society are retired Supreme Court Justice Joseph P. Nadeau; Susan Leidy, deputy director of the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester; Robert O. Wilson, former president and long time member of the board of the State Historical Society; Sylvio Dupuis, former interim executive director of the State Historical Society and a long time civic activist; and Mary Susan Leahy, Esq. of the McLane Law Firm and program chair for the Kenison Legacy Committee. A much larger board will be appointed to help run the organization. Membership will be open to the public.
April, Supreme Court Justice Richard Galway, state law librarian Mary
Searles and Judicial Branch Communications Director Laura Kiernan met at
the statehouse with Joint Legislative Historical Committee Chairman
State Sen. Robert Odell, committee member Rep. Janet Wall, Secretary of
State William Gardner, State Cultural Resources Commissioner Van McLeod,
a representative from Gov. John Lynch’s office and from the National
Guard to discuss how to care for state owned artifacts and art. Curators
from the Currier, the New Hampshire Historical Society and the
Manchester Historical Association, spoke to the group about their work.
Commissioner McLeod hopes to combine state government resources in all
three branches to enhance historic preservation.