Chris rejoins Advice To The Players, Sandwich’s own Shakespeare company, for their 2021 season finale – Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night or What You Will, the Company’s 4th annual holiday production. This year’s Twelfth Night will be performed by a 50+ cast of experienced professional and local actors, and will be filled with your favorite holiday songs between scenes. Chris will be playing the “hopeless romantic” Count Orsino as well as the “drunk uncle” Toby Belch. This production will be a hybrid. Zoom performances will be on December 11th at 7:30 and 12th at 5:30 , while “live” performances will be on December 18th at 7:30 and the 19th at 5:30 at the Sandwich Town Hall Theater. In-person performances will be masked, limited seating available. The in-person performances will be performed in an oral interpretation style at music stands, to allow for distancing of actors. Tickets to this production are available for reservation online at advicetotheplayers.org or by calling 603-284-7115. The suggested donation for tickets is $15.
The NH Bar Association would like to thank attorneys Robert Derosier, Douglas Mansfield, Eric Maher, Chris Hawkins, Elaina Hoeppner, and William Warren from the law firm of Donahue, Tucker & Ciandella, as well as attorneys Richard Samdperil, Joe Welsh, Keri Welch, Catherine Baumann, and Pamela Kozlowski, for taking part in Lawline on Wednesday, April 14. They fielded more than 50 calls from the public on a variety of legal issues, including family law, probate, landlord/tenant, and criminal law. When asked about why she participates in Lawline, Kozlowski said, “I’ve had the pleasure of participating in Lawline six times over the years and each time I walk away feeling like we’ve collectively delivered a valuable service to self-represented stakeholders in New Hampshire and beyond. In a 10-20 minute call you can hear the caller’s voice transforming from anxious to grounded. And the appreciation they express is not only rewarding it is reminder that this service is desperately needed. As a lawyer I am also grateful to Lawline for providing the means to be able to give back in such a meaningful way.”
To see the article click here LawLine article in May issue
DTC is pleased to announce that Christopher D. Hawkins has become an Attorney with the firm!
Chris comes to DTC as a litigator with 20 years of experience
representing clients on various issues including construction
claims, municipal and land use law, complex commercial
and civil issues, professional liability and discipline and
After 40 years of practicing law, Rob Ciandella has retired effective July 1, 2020. Rob wrote in a letter to his clients:
“Practicing law has been consistently rewarding and interesting. Practicing law has also introduced me to people like you, who are “in the arena” and looking to make things happen in this world. Finally, practicing law here at the Firm has put me in the mix of a rich, collegial atmosphere. I am deeply grateful for it all.
Now is my time to turn to other pursuits. I will bring to what comes next all that I have learned from my experience practicing law and servicing clients. Thank you for helping to shape that experience.”
Please join all of us in wishing Rob and his wife Debbie the best in many years of a well-earned retirement ahead
With many people in isolation due to COVID-19, and those that are deemed “essential employees” being put at risk, you may wonder how you can create legal documents regarding your health care and best protect yourself and your family with proper “social distancing.” You may be surprised to find out that you can execute healthcare estate planning documents now while maintaining social distancing and without needing the formality of a notary. What are these healthcare documents and why are they so important at a time like this?
First is a New Hampshire Advanced Directive, which allows you to appoint an agent to handle medical decisions should you be incapacitated and unable to communicate on your own or are unable to make medical decisions. It is a two part document comprising of (1) a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care in which you (the “principal”) appoint an agent to handle your medical decisions while honoring what you would want if you had capacity to make the decisions and (2) a “Living Will”, by which you may authorize two physicians or a physician and nurse practitioner to make end-of-life decisions.
These do not kick in unless a physician determines that you do not have the capacity to make health care decisions or to communicate. Once the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care has been activated, your agent takes over and makes decisions that you have authorized your agent to make.
It is important to have a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care in place because the general rule is that physicians and nurses must treat unless told otherwise. There may be situations in which you would not want to be kept alive. An agent, if authorized, may agree to a “Do Not Resuscitate” Order. If the patient is near death or in a persistent vegetative state, an agent may, if authorized, decline artificial feeding and hydration, can make decisions not to start medical treatment or, if it has been started, to discontinue it. Your agent will have all of the powers that you have to make medical decisions, including continuing care, if that is appropriate.
The “Living Will” is a separate part of the Advance Directive. It allows you to authorize two physicians, or one physician and a nurse practitioner, to make end-of-life decisions for you. You may like having this option; it is like an additional backup, in case the agents that you name cannot make decisions for you. Or, you may decline to execute the Living Will, preferring instead to leave your health care decisions to the agents you appoint. Either choice is fine, but taking steps to execute at least one part of this document is important.
A statute, effective January 1, 2014, made minor changes to the Advance Directive form. If you do not have an Advance Directive, or if you have not updated your Health Care Advance Directive within the past six years, you should consider executing the updated form.
The second important document is a HIPAA Release, named after the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which allows you to name people that you trust with your health information to talk with healthcare providers, even before the Advanced Directive kicks in. If you are in the hospital and want family members or trusted friends to be able to find out how you are doing, sometimes the hospital may require those people to be named in your HIPAA Release before disclosing information about your medical condition. A HIPAA Release will protect your health information from disclosure to people that you do not want to have it. It also enables the people you name to be able to help with follow-up care, appointments, etc.
Now, you may be wondering how to execute these healthcare documents while taking precautions in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. The New Hampshire Advanced Directive can be executed without a notary and with just two disinterested witnesses, meaning two people that are not named in the document to act as your health care agents. Those two witnesses can watch you sign the New Hampshire Advance Directive, and then sign themselves, at least six-feet-apart with proper sanitization measures in place to limit exposure. Our practice during the pandemic is to have clients sign in the comfort of their car while we watch them sign through the windows and then our witnesses sanitize their hands and sign the documents outside, or, if inclement weather, sign across from each other while wearing masks at a large, disinfected conference table.
The HIPAA Release does not require witnesses or a notary to sign. If you have to go to a hospital or doctor’s office, you can fill out and sign the “in-house” HIPAA Releases there. Many hospitals and medical practices make their HIPAA “Authorizations” available directly on their websites to fill out and return by mail or fax, and others may enable you to download their HIPAA Release form through a “Patient Portal”.
With proper social distancing and proper sanitization, you can protect your healthcare wishes during this uncertain time with an Advanced Directive and HIPAA Release.
By Elaina Hoeppner, Esq. and Katherine B. Miller, Esq.
As the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation evolves daily, Donahue, Tucker & Ciandella, PLLC continues to take every measure possible to protect the well-being of our employees, clients and visitors. We have developed a plan and are working to ensure that we will continue to meet our clients’ legal and business needs. The firm has secure technology to enable our attorneys to work remotely and both attorneys and staff to remain accessible to you throughout this challenging time. We are monitoring the situation daily and will adhere to recommendations from WHO, CDC and our local health organizations and government officials.
Your emails and calls will be responded to in a timely manner as we continue to conduct our business. We recommend if emailing, you include both the attorney and the staff person you have been working with.
Please do not hesitate to reach out if we can be of assistance or if you have any questions. You can reach all our offices through our main line at 603-778-0686.
DTC Lawyers – Dedicated To Clients.
DTC Partner Katherine B. Miller will be speaking on November 14, 2019, at the conference of the Northern New England chapter of the American Planning Association, at the Mount Washington Hotel, in Bretton Woods, NH. Kate will be on a panel with New Hampshire planners, discussing updates to federal laws that planners should know about. Kate will be covering telecommunications law, including recent changes in federal rules on permitting wireless communications facilities, including granting them access to public rights of way. Her Power Point Presentation is included here.
Kate is the Chair of the Telecommunications and Utilities Practice Groups at DTC.
DTC is pleased to announce that Elaina L. Hoeppner has become an Associate with the firm!
Elaina graduated from Western New England University School of Law in 2019. While at Western New England University, Elaina worked at the Elder Law Clinic and interned in the Probate, Family, Civil and Magistrate Courts. Elaina’s practice areas include Estate Planning and Probate, Real Estate and Municipal Law.
We are very excited to be sponsoring this year’s American Independence Museum’s Beer for History series. Join us on Thursday, September 26th from 6pm to 8pm at the American Independence Museum’s Folsom Tavern in Exeter, NH for the first event with beer from von Trapp Brewing. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here!
[Photo by Paul Royal]
DTC is proud to be named among NH top law firms by Business NH Magazine. As always, our valued clients and colleagues make this possible. DTC will continue to serve the needs of our clients in a professional and cost effective manner with a results driven approach.