Materials for the 2021-2022 Inns Season will be added below their subject as the Season progresses.
October 6, 2021
Judges' Roundtable - Supreme Court Perspectives
Since the mandatory retirement of Chief Justice Dalianis in 2018, Justice Conboy and Chief Justice Lynn have also retired for the same reason. In the near future Justice Hicks will also be forced to retire having reached the mandatory retirement age for New Hampshire judges. His retirement will mean the Court will have four new faces, all of whom will have been on the Court for less than four years and two will have been on the Court for less than two years. As a consequence, New Hampshire will have a Supreme Court composed of relatively new Justices. Justice Basset, who joined the Court in 2012, will be the longest service Justice. What should we expect from this new Court? How will New Hampshire jurisprudence be impacted by this significant change in the members of the Supreme Court? Is it time for New Hampshire to re-think the requirement for mandatory retirement at the age of 70?
November 3, 2021
The Turbulent Teen Years of Apportionment in Civil Cases
It has been 15 years since DeBenedetto v. CLD Consulting Engineers (and 18 years since Nilsson v. Bierman). My, how they’ve grown! The New Hampshire Supreme Court has refined the law of apportionment in civil cases during that time. However, there are still a lot of questions left unanswered. This program will explore apportionment in civil cases since DeBenedetto and Nilsson and will also discuss current issues being litigated in this area. This includes whether there should be apportionment of intentional and negligent tortfeasors, what to do with an unidentified tortfeasor, and what causes of action are subject to apportionment.
December 1, 2021
Intersection of Divorce and Estate Planning
Divorce changes everything, including decisions on wealth transfer upon death and who will care for your clients when needed. This program will include educating Inn members on the basics of what happens under the law if the divorced client does not change her will or trust and life insurance that has the ex-spouse as a legatee/beneficiary to changes in the estate plan of the client due to the evolved circumstances related to the divorce. The client may not want her assets inherited by her children to be in the control of her ex-spouse as the custodial parent of their minor children. What about child support after death? What about trusts for the benefit of the minor or adult children? What about the client’s parents’ estate planning for their grandchildren? Time to change the health care and financial Durable POA? What changes in your client’s investments and life style such as perhaps working longer to adapt to the evolving post-divorce retirement planning alter the estate plan? This program should provide Inn members with guidance on the right questions to ask the divorced client and the options for the evolving estate plan.
January 5, 2022
Sentencing Advocacy and Restitution Agreements
This CLE has something for everybody. Prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers will like it because it will help them step up their game. Other lawyers will like it because it will help them avoid becoming criminal defendants. Also, there’s an ethics component.
The first part of the CLE has to do with written and oral sentencing advocacy in criminal cases, predominantly in state court. The CLE should focus on the concrete steps that prosecutors and defense lawyers should take from the first day of the case through its conclusion. One good idea would be a “goofus and gallant” presentation, showing how the same case can be argued either persuasively or poorly.
The second part of the CLE has to do with restitution agreements when there is a possibility of criminal liability. Quite frequently attorneys are deployed by businesses to recover funds that have been embezzled or misappropriated. Can a lawyer draft to an offer for repayment in return for an agreement not to go to the police? Is this extortion? Is this obstruction of justice? Would you want to know before the ink is dry?
February 2, 2022
Civility and Professionalism (Ethics Program)
Civility and professionalism are two distinct but related topics. With respect to civility, attorneys practicing in New Hampshire often remark that they are grateful to practice law in a jurisdiction that does not suffer from the “sharp practice” that characterizes so many larger jurisdictions. Table members addressing this topic should consider how maintenance of civility impacts their practice and in particular how it assists attorneys in being better advocates for their clients, as well as the extent to which certain Rules of Professional Responsibility and similar materials encourage civil treatment of opposing parties and counsel.
Professionalism includes civility, but also encompasses other concepts like preparation, honesty, and integrity. As with civility, table members should consider how these concepts translate into better advocacy and client service. Table members may also consider the extent to which principles of professionalism are contained within the Rules of Professional Responsibility, court rules, and other related materials.
March 2, 2022
Implications of "Working from Home"
Prior to 2020, many employers allowed employees to work from home on a sporadic or as-needed basis (and commonly without the umbrella of an overarching policy), but the majority of employees were still expected to work from a primary office location. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many more employers have embraced “work from home” and/or broadened the type of remote work arrangements they will permit. As a result, many employees may be permanently working from a location distant from their employer, or temporarily (but on a sustained basis) working remotely from another state. Such arrangements create a number of legal issues for employers. This program will explore the issues and challenges faced by employers when employees ask to engage in telework from another state, such as tax considerations, wage and hour matters, employee leave/accommodation entitlements, workplace safety, and the application of employer work rules.
April 6, 2022
To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate, that is the Question: Legal Issues Arising from Vaccines
Vaccines are a public health necessity. The vast majority of vaccinations cause no injury at all. However, in rare instances, serious injuries can occur. This program will explore the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) and what relief is available to those injured by vaccines. The program will also briefly discuss the separate program for COVID vaccines. In addition, other issues surrounding vaccination will be discussed, including whether vaccinations can be required in workplaces, schools, and other settings.
May 4, 2022
Municipal Law and Town Meetings
Town meetings are a valuable way for New Hampshire’s citizens to interface and participate with their local government. The laws governing town meetings can at times seem byzantine, unintuitive, and outdated. The table is charged with providing a concise overview of how New Hampshire’s municipalities conduct their annual meetings. The table might consider discussing the various ways that an article can be proposed for a town’s warrant. Other topics could include: (1) what differences are there between a city and a town in how they conduct their annual business; (2) what are the differences between an SB-2 town and a town with a traditional town meeting; or (3) what roles do various municipal official play during the meeting and the preparation for the meeting. The table might also consider how a town goes about calling a special town meeting. The table might consider discussing what happens when something goes wrong at a town meeting or with a warrant article. Lastly, the table could consider conducting a portion of its presentation in the style of a traditional town meeting.