Devine Millimet | NH Law Firm

NH Discipline System Now Allows for Prosecutorial Discretion

In an Order dated April 19, 2018, the New Hampshire Supreme Court amended Supreme Court Rule 37A to give the Attorney Discipline Office discretion to decline to docket a grievance for further consideration as a complaint, if it determines that there is no reasonable basis to conclude that a hearing panel would find clear and convincing evidence of a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct. In effect, this gives the lawyers at the Attorney Discipline Office the ability to dismiss grievances that technically describe a violation of Professional Conduct Rules, if they do not believe the charges can be proved at an evidentiary hearing. This revives a somewhat controversial practice, implemented on a temporary basis in 2007, which was intended to alleviate a long backlog of cases that had accumulated.

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