A YDC Settlement Fund has been established by act of the Legislature to administer and settle claims of abuse at New Hampshire's Youth Development Center in prior decades, and is intended to provide a trauma-informed, victim-centered alternative to litigation for the efficient and fair resolution of those claims (See, H.B. 1677, signed by the Governor on May 27, 2022, enacting RSA 21-M:11-a.). Pursuant to HB 1677, the Attorney General is required to work with claimants' counsel in good faith to reach agreement on a draft claims process. The draft claims process must then be submitted to the Joint Fiscal Committee for approval. Please see the following for information on the current draft documents for the claims process (note that these are current drafts that are still under discussion and are not the final product that will be submitted to the Joint Fiscal Committee):
Do you anticipate that out-of-state attorneys (i.e., not licensed as NH Bar members) will be authorized to participate in claims to the Fund?
We have not attempted to survey the professional responsibility rules of the other 49 states, and so will leave it to each practitioner to make their own independent judgment regarding whether they may ethically represent clients in connection with the settlement fund insofar as their home state's rules are concerned. For our part, we do not view representing a client in what is essentially an ADR process, as violating the New Hampshire Rules of Professional Conduct and do anticipate that out of state attorneys may be, appropriately, involved. See RPC 5.5 (c)(3).
Interested parties wishing to provide comment are requested to send written comments no later than June 22, 2022 at 5pm:
Portable Document Format (.pdf). Visit nh.gov for a list of free .pdf readers for a variety of operating systems.
Microsoft Word format.
New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301