Articles

THE NEW FEDERAL OVERTIME LAW – Not so fast

A U.S. District Court judge in Texas has issued a nationwide injunction prohibiting the US Department of Labor (“DOL”) from implementing the new federal overtime rule.  The new rule impacts one of the most often used exemptions to avoid paying overtime wages under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, known as the “white collar” exemption.  … Continue reading →

New Audit Rules Require Planning For Entities Taxed As Partnerships

The Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2015 changed the rules governing federal tax audits of entities taxed as partnerships for federal income tax purposes, including LLCs (collectively “partnerships”). This article will summarize the mechanics and application of the new rules and describe the benefits of electing out. Continue reading →

Cady v. Deerfield: Supreme Court Provides Guidance as to Municipal Governance

This month, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Cady v. Deerfield, analyzing the parameters within which an “SB2” town can amend petitioned warrant articles. SB2 towns are towns that adopted a bifurcated town meeting, wherein articles are discussed, explained, and debated at a “deliberative session” and later voted on through official ballot at a second session. Warrant articles can be amended at the “deliberative session”; however, RSA 40:13, IV(c) prohibits amendments that “eliminate the subject matter of the article.” Continue reading →

Materials: Wireless Facilities: Managing the Approval Process to Protect Municipal Interests and Comply with State and Federal Law

Materials from November 16, 2016 NHMA Presentation by Attorneys Sharon Somers and Kate Miller 2016-11-16-nhma-presentation

Gifts to Minors: Strategies for Minimizing Gift Tax

Relatives frequently wish to make gifts to minor children to help support the child’s future needs and desires. Donors frequently have two goals for gifts to minors: (1) ensure funds are used for a specific purpose and (2) minimize gift tax. This article will provide an overview of strategies for minimizing gift tax and ensuring that funds are used for the donor’s intended purpose. Continue reading →

So You Want to Set Up a Charity?

We often have clients come in wanting to set up their own non-profit, charitable group. New Hampshire ranks very high in the number of individuals engaged in non-profit work, for which we should all be proud. Although I applaud the good intentions of people wanting to create a new charity, it takes a great deal of time, effort and, yes, money to set up a new charity. Sometimes, it is more cost effective for clients to use an existing charity, such as the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, to handle a special project they have in mind, or to create a “donor advised fund,” which gives clients the ability to direct where their donations go, tax exempt, while avoiding the cost and time of setting up their own foundations. Either way, more dollars go to “good works,” and less is spent on administrative costs. Continue reading →

New Legislation Leads to Cost Savings for Real Estate Transactions

Business owners frequently engage in real estate transactions. For example, business owners occasionally change their choice of entity, effectively transferring real estate from the original entity to the newly formed organization. Furthermore, business owners often transfer real estate in and out of an entity. Previously, these real estate transactions were subject to the New Hampshire real estate transfer tax. However, the New Hampshire Legislature recently passed a bill creating the opportunity for significant real estate transfer tax savings. Continue reading →

Navigating New Hampshire’s New Accessory Apartment Law

A new state law that will take effect June 1, 2017 limits municipalities’ ability to enact zoning and land use regulations that prohibit or restrict “accessory dwelling units” (also called “accessory apartments”). Senate Bill 146, which Gov. Maggie Hassan signed in March, added three new sections to RSA 674 – sections 71, 72, and 73 … Continue reading →

Once and Done: the Fisher v. Dover Rule Applies to Planning Boards as well as ZBAs.

In the recent case of CBDA Development, LLC v. Town of Thornton, (Docket # 2014-0775; Issued April 7, 2016) the NH Supreme Court held that a developer’s minimally amended Site Plan did not have to be considered by the Planning Board which had previously rejected a similar Site Plan as not in compliance with Town … Continue reading →

Attorney Boldt’s OEP Presentation

Materials from Attorney Boldt’s May 2, 2015 OEP Presentation


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ALERT: NH TAX AMNESTY TO EXPIRE FEBRAURY 15, 2016

New Hampshire taxpayers with potential liability for delinquent returns or for paying outstanding tax due have a short time left to take advantage of the Amnesty Program authorized by the legislature and administered by the NH Department of Revenue Administration (DRA). The Amnesty applies only to taxes due but unpaid before February 15, 2016, regardless of whether the DRA has assessed the tax due or the taxpayer has filed a return. Appeal rights may also be preserved under the Program. Continue reading →

Tips for Using the Limited Liability Company Wisely

Allow me to set the scene: You’re driving along a picturesque New Hampshire road. The sun is shining, and on your right is a beautiful, pristine lake. Coming up, you spy a quaint cottage with a for sale sign sitting in the front yard. The cottage is right on the water — perfect for that vacation or weekend getaway. The timing couldn’t be better: the kids graduated college, you’re financially secure, and you have some disposable income. You figure: “Why not? I could buy the property, use it when I want, rent it when I don’t, and the income will cover much of the taxes and other carrying costs.” Fast-forward a few months, and you’re about to close on your vacation house, when your pragmatic side starts to chirp: “What if someone gets injured on my property? What can I do to protect myself?” Continue reading →

Estate Planning and the Family Vacation Home, Part 1

A camp in New Hampshire, a cottage on Cape Cod, a cabin in the Sierra, is often much beloved by a generation or two of a family. You have had great days there, you know you are not eternal, but you hope, somehow, the camp, cottage, or cabin, will stay in the family for many … Continue reading →

Estate Planning and the Family Vacation Home, Part 2: Taxes

Last month’s article entitled “Estate Planning and the Family Vacation Home” highlighted important family considerations associated with the transfer of a vacation home. Lawyers can help families deal with complexities and develop a plan that will allow a vacation home to stay in the family for generations to come. Lawyers can also help clients navigate … Continue reading →

Why Everyone Needs an Estate Plan

An estate plan ensures that your health and financial wishes are met during your lifetime and after your death. Absent proper planning, your family and heirs may be subject to expensive court proceedings. Better to take matters into your own hands now! Below are the key documents that comprise an estate plan. Health Care Advance … Continue reading →

Why Leaving Your IRA to Charity May Help Your Family

Typically, giving an inheritance is a great way to ensure that your loved ones are provided for. Unfortunately, without careful planning, your loved ones can be burdened by heavy taxes that may drain the assets you left behind. If you have a non-Roth IRA, it may be an advantage to your loved ones if you … Continue reading →

Estate Tax Planning in an Uncertain Environment

Often, estate plans are all but set in stone. Someone sets up a will or a trust or a joint account and once the T’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted, it is forgotten. Why take the time and expense to constantly update the documents? The problem with this approach is that an estate … Continue reading →

Simple and Sophisticated Estate Tax Planning for Spouses

Whether you have an elaborate estate plan or a list of ideas on a napkin, your plan could likely use an update, because the way estates are taxed has changed drastically in the last five years. Married couples now have four major tools that can be used to avoid the burden of federal estate taxes: … Continue reading →

How RSA 359-G Affects You, The Homeowner

You hired a contractor to install a brand new roof on your house. You’ve paid him; you’re happy, the contractor is happy but then the first big rainstorm hits. Leaks everywhere and the rain damages your walls and floors. Angry you call your attorney and demand suit be filed immediately. But there’s a catch. Your lawyer can’t because New Hampshire has a residential construction defects dispute resolution requirement, RSA 359-G. Continue reading →

Forster v. Town of Henniker: Agritourism and New Hampshire’s Changing Farms

Back in 2006, the New Hampshire Legislature faced a growing issue: the decline of rural farms due to growing demands for farmers to sell their lands, regulation, and the need to diversify agricultural services. In response to these challenges, in 2007, the legislature enacted House Bill 56, with the intent to promote the growth of agriculture in the State. As part of House Bill 56, the legislature amended RSA 21:34-a, which defines the word “agriculture” and in doing so defined the word “agritourism.” The statute defines “agritourism” as “attracting visitors to a working farm for the purpose of eating a meal, making overnight stays, enjoyment of the farm environment, education on farm operations, or active involvement in the activity of the farm which is ancillary to the farm operation.” Several communities from Haverhill to Hollis and from Newport to North Hampton incorporate the statutory definition of “agriculture” in their own land use regulations. The issue is whether the Legislature’s 2007 amendment to RSA 21:34-a now incorporates “agritourism” as an “agricultural use” in the land use regulations of those communities that adopted the State’s definition of “agriculture” under RSA 21:34-a. Continue reading →

2015 Update in Estate Planning

What are the key items for consideration in estate planning these days? For many years, federal estate tax exemption levels drove estate planning decisions. Avoiding or minimizing the federal estate tax led to tax planning trusts and other techniques. Now, with the federal estate tax exemption amount set at $5.43 million per person in 2015, for combined lifetime and death transfers, and $10.86 million for married couples, the federal estate tax is less of a concern. In all the New England States, except New Hampshire, however, there are state estate taxes to consider. Those state estate taxes continue to drive estate planning techniques in all the New England states, except New Hampshire. For Granite Staters who own no real estate outside New Hampshire, often other considerations are becoming more important for the financial side of estate planning. Considerations of income tax, specifically capital gains taxes, are becoming more prominent. Continue reading →

Avoiding Probate Without A Trust

Let’s assume that your estate is under $5.43 million dollars ($10.86 for married couples), that your beneficiaries are not minors and are mature enough to receive their inheritance in one lump sum. If so, the primary reason for having a trust would be to avoid probate. While a trust can certainly accomplish that goal and, if you are willing to spend the extra money to create one, a trust is the best way to avoid probate. However, if you do not want to spend the extra money or you do not like the idea of having to fund a trust, then you can still achieve your goal of avoiding probate without a trust for most of your assets by utilizing the following techniques: Continue reading →

Estate Planning IRA’s, 401-k’s, 403-b’s, & Other Tax-Deferred Retirement Accounts

Tax-deferred retirement accounts, whether set up by an individual (such as an IRA) or through an employer (such as a 401-k or 403-b) are a way of deferring income taxes on income you earn this year, so you can save it, and invest it, and when you retire, take the funds out at what hopefully will be a lower income tax rate after you retire. Continue reading →

In the Pipe: New Hunting and Fishing Regulations on the Horizon

The New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game is currently considering adopting two new sets of regulations which would affect hunting and fishing in the Granite State. The first would be a blanket prohibition on hunting using drones, “smart rifles,” and “live action game cameras.” The second, and the more recent proposal, would be a revision to the State’s current fishing regulations to prohibit the taking of Atlantic Cod within tidal waters but would decrease restrictions on taking Haddock. Continue reading →

Attorney Boldt’s OEP Presentation

Materials from Attorney Boldt’s May 2, 2015 OEP Presentation OEP Power Point Presentation OPE Written Materials

Naming a Trust as a Beneficiary of a Retirement Account

In 2015, the federal estate tax exemption is $5.43 million dollars, per person. Married couples, therefore, can shield $10.86 million dollars without having to pay any estate taxes to Uncle Sam. Because of this increasingly high (indexed for inflation) estate tax exemption, the focus of estate planning has shifted away from avoiding estate taxes to more practical considerations, such as asset protection and income tax planning. Continue reading →

The Doctrine of Preemption in the Context of Municipal Ordinances and Regulations

Town Meeting season is in full swing. Every year questions arise regarding the legality of proposed ordinances, or amendments to ordinances, in the context of the preemption doctrine. This article will succinctly explain the doctrine of preemption in the context of municipal ordinances and regulations and site a recent Supreme Court of New Hampshire decision regarding the same. Continue reading →

Common Defensive Strategies Available to Government Officials and Municipalities in §1983 Suits

Title 42, Section 1983 of the United States Code, commonly referred to as §1983, is the provision of the federal law that authorizes individuals to bring suit against government actors for violations of the United States Constitution. Deprivations of constitutional rights can arise in a variety of circumstances. Decisions of local land use boards, revocations of business permits, and actions taken by local law enforcement are all scenarios in which municipal officials have been threatened with §1983 liability. Continue reading →

DTC Successful in NH Supreme Court’s Interpretation of Impact Fee Ordinance

DTC Lawyers recently won a Supreme Court case on behalf of the Town of Pelham in litigation brought by several developers in the Town challenging the Town’s retention of impact fees imposed on the developers when their properties were built. KLN Construction Company, Inc. v. Town of Pelham, (decided December 10, 2014) available at www.courts.state.nh.us/supreme/opinions/2014/index.htm. The legal issue in the case turned on the technical question of whether the developers had standing to challenge the Town’s retention of the impact fees, but it required the Supreme Court to determine whether the Town had authority to adopt its impact fee ordinance. Pelham’s Ordinance provided that any unused or unencumbered impact fees be returned to current homeowners, not the developers who initially paid the impact fees. Continue reading →

Streamlined Application Process for the Collocation and Modification of Personal Wireless Service Facilities in NH

Recent changes to RSA 12-K facilitate a streamlined application process for the collocation or modification of personal wireless service facilities (“PWSF”) such that carriers may, in many instances, side-step the local land use board approval process, traditionally employed by New Hampshire municipalities in this context, altogether. Governing bodies and local land use boards alike should be familiar with the changes to the law. Continue reading →

New Rights of Property Owners to Notice of Zoning Changes

The Legislature has recently granted additional rights to receive notice of proposed zoning changes being considered by a municipality’s planning board. Previously, notice was by publication and posting of a summary of any change and the onus was on a property owner to stay informed of changes that might impact their property or their neighborhood. RSA 675:7 has been amended in two ways to place the burden of notice to property owners of the consideration of zoning changes on the municipality. Continue reading →

FEMA Flood Map Follies: Part II

This fall, FEMA released their preliminary coastal flood maps for the State of New Hampshire. The maps were highly anticipated amongst municipalities and developers in light of the release of the costal flood maps in Massachusetts and Maine, wherein it was revealed that FEMA had utilized wave patterns of the Pacific Ocean in developing its flood maps. Continue reading →

New Hampshire Adopts New Benefit Corporation Law

Effective January 1, 2015 with the passing of SB 215 and enactment of RSA 293-C, New Hampshire will join the ranks of 24 other states (including Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island) providing for the formation of Benefit Corporations, in addition to the traditional Business and Not for Profit Corporations. Additionally, existing corporations may elect to become Benefit Corporations, and the law will also permit professional corporations to form as or elect to become Benefit Professional Corporations. Continue reading →

Preserving Goodwill in your Business

Successful business owners invest significant time and money in building value in their business. A well-run business can increase in value over time and can act as a retirement nest egg, which can be cashed in by way of selling the business when the owner is ready to retire. Continue reading →

But Which Do I Need? The Differences between a Special Exception and a Variance

Now that Fall has arrived in earnest, many homeowners are rushing to complete those home improvement projects before the snow flies. But beware: you may not be able to place that new deck or patio exactly where you’d like it. Homeowners have a responsibility under NH law to comply with existing Zoning regulations in their Towns; and all but eleven or so municipalities in NH have Zoning Ordinances, which will govern such things as setbacks from front, side and rear property lines and wetlands for structures such as new homes, additions, decks, patios and even garden or wood sheds. The claim of “but I didn’t know” seldom succeeds before a Zoning Board of Adjustment (“ZBA”). Continue reading →

“Current Use” Properties May be Unilaterally Reclassified by Municipalities

“Highest and best use” is a vital phrase in the world of property appraisal; it is the standard applied to determine how a piece of property will be evaluated to determine its value. In a nut-shell, it figures out the use that would yield the biggest return and thus the largest value (and the largest tax for local property taxation). Continue reading →

To Settle or Not To Settle

One of the issues that arise in a personal injury claim is whether the injured person, the plaintiff, should settle. A 2008 study published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, suggests that plaintiffs who reject settlement offers and go onto trial get less money than if they had taken the offer and settled. The basis for this conclusion is that in 61% of the cases studied, plaintiffs made the wrong decision, that is, they passed on an offer and went to trial but the jury awarded them less money than the settlement offer. Defendants in the study were wrong 24% of the cases, that is, a jury awarded the plaintiff more money than was offered to settle the case. On average, making the wrong decision cost plaintiffs about $43,000 the study found. Continue reading →

“Grandfathered” : It Doesn’t Mean that Grandpa Walton Is Sitting on the Porch

Most people have a general understanding of the concept of “grandfathered”. They understand it means that a use of land which does not adhere to the strict letter of the law but which is allowed to continue because it was established before zoning was adopted. Continue reading →

Finally, Some Good News from the IRS for Small Non-Profits

For years, I have represented small non-profit organizations as they have struggled with an unwieldy form to apply to the IRS for recognition of tax exempt status. This application process is necessary for organizations to be deemed tax exempt pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) (for charities) and the other subsections, such as 501(c)(4) for social welfare organizations. Currently, there is only one IRS form, Form 1023, which is used by large, well-heeled private foundations and the smallest, local organizations alike. Continue reading →

New Rules for Permitting Cell Towers and Antennae

We rely on our cell phones and hand held devices more and more, and the laws are changing to make the process of approving new towers and antennae quicker. This will speed the build-out of additional infrastructure for personal wireless services, improving our ability to stay connected, but it also poses challenges for local land use boards tasked with reviewing applications and following those new laws. Local land use boards, such as Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Adjustment, must apply complex federal, state and local laws, and they must balance the needs of their communities with the rights of the applicants. This article covers the legal and practical aspects of local land use board actions on applications for cell towers and antennae.
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The Difference between an Attorney-in-Fact, Executor and Trustee with Respect to Decision Making Authority

In addition to being chalk-full with legalese and various complicated documents, part of the estate planning process includes naming people to make financial and health care decisions on your behalf during your lifetime, as well as naming individuals to carry out your wishes after you pass away. The names assigned to these various roles are not readily understandable and can be quite confusing. More than simply getting the names right, it is important to know who has authority to make decisions in instances where there is an apparent overlap in power. Below I endeavor to explain the differences between an Attorney-in-Fact, an Executor, and a Trustee and discuss who has the right to make decisions in three common examples. Continue reading →

Economic Incentives for Renewable Energy Systems

New Hampshire residents are fortunate to have access to several economic incentives to utilizing renewable energy systems which have been developed at the local, state, and federal levels. These incentives help facilitate the development and use of renewable energy systems which benefit the environment and our beautiful state. Continue reading →

Sad Song for Hospitality Businesses

The New Hampshire Supreme Court issued an opinion on May 8, 2014 in the case of Appeal of Niadni, Inc. d/b/a Indian Head Resort Motel (New Hampshire Department of Employment Security) finding that a musician who frequently played at the resort was an employee and eligible for unemployment benefits. The musician had negotiated a regular rate of pay. He provided his own instruments and selected the songs he would play. He performed not only at the resort, but at many other venues from 1980 to June of 2012 when he had his last booking at the resort. The resort argued that the musician was not an employee because he was an independent contractor and fit within the statute’s exemption for independent contractors. Continue reading →

Attorney Boldt OEP Conference ZBA Power Point Presentation

Attorney Boldt’s Power Point Presentation Materials for the Spring 2014 OEP Presentation


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Attorney Boldt OEP Conference ZBA Presentation Materials

The purpose of this Article is to give you as a volunteer ZBA member a basic overview of the organization, powers, duties and relevant statutory and case law authority to make your service both more enjoyable and productive. Continue reading →


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TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE: WIRELESS FACILITY SITING, CABLE TELEVISION, RIGHT-OF-WAY MANAGEMENT & LOCAL

These materials were originally presented at the April 10, 2014 meeting of the Central NH Regional Planning Commission. Overview: Municipalities should treat their telecommunications infrastructure as a valuable asset which corresponds to economic development. This outlines how municipalities can practically and comprehensively address telecommunications infrastructure issues including rights-of-way issues, cable franchising issues, wireless zoning issues, … Continue reading →


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In My View: It Is That Time of Year, Again!

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY JIM GOVE, GOVE ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES, INC. IN MARCH, 2014

Last August, I was out looking at a parcel of land with a client. We had flagged the wetlands on the site the month before. We were walking along the center line of the proposed subdivision road. We had already walked over a stream channel that was dry, where a dredge and fill application would need to be filed for a crossing. We crested over a hill and looked downslope. She said to me, “is that little hole a problem?’
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Warning to Agents Under Durable Power of Attorneys and Others

If someone has appointed you as his/her financial Agent under a power of attorney which relates primarily to financial affairs, or you are informally assisting a person in managing their financial affairs, there are a few very important cautions. Continue reading →

FEMA Flood Map Follies

The Atlantic and the Pacific: you don’t have to be from the Seacoast to know that they’re different—very different. For example, the Pacific is the largest ocean in the world and is up to two times deeper than the Atlantic Ocean in some places. When comparing oceans, these differences are pretty fundamental. So when Federal Emergency Management Administration issued its flood maps for Massachusetts relying on wave models for the Pacific Ocean, it ruffled a few feathers. Luckily, FEMA has delayed issuing its flood maps for New Hampshire, and hopefully, the negative response FEMA has received, will cause it to rethink its flood maps for the Granite State. Continue reading →

Selected Developments in Telecommunications Law

This surveys selected developments in telecommunications law. The prevailing legal and regulatory framework is shaped by jurisdiction at the Federal, State and Town levels. The practical framework is shaped by a dynamic technological, investment and economic context. Continue reading →

Protecting Trade Secrets

It is easier to transfer information now than at any time in history. E-mails, thumb drives, the “cloud”, copy machines and any number of modern devices allow for easy copy, storage and transmission of almost all types of data. If you manage a business where your commercial model or product is unique, or maintain client lists, pricing lists, or similar information, you need to consider your strategy for protecting proprietary information. Continue reading →

Reflections of a First Time Moderator

I was elected just over a year ago to serve as the Moderator for the Exeter Regional Cooperative School District, a six-town cooperative that operates the Cooperative Middle School, the Exeter High School, the Seacoast School of Technology and Exeter Adult Education. It is an impressive entity, with a budget for next year of over $5.5 million. This is an “S.B. 2,” or official ballot law, district, so I had the honor of presiding over the deliberative session in February, at which members of the six towns that make up the cooperative meet to discuss the articles on the warrant and offer, debate and vote on amendments to them. Continue reading →

Can an LLC Transfer Real Estate Without Triggering the Real Estate Transfer Tax?

If you’ve bought or transferred an interest in real property in the Granite State, you’ve likely encountered the Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT). It imposes a tax of $1.50 for every $100 of value of the property being transferred. If the property is worth big money, as is often the case in the business context, that $1.50 piles up fast. But how exactly does the real estate transfer tax interact with Limited Liability Companies—now the most commonly formed business entity in this state? The answer, as is often the case in the law, is “it depends.” Continue reading →

New Hampshire Interest & Dividends (I&D) Tax

Continuing to make New Hampshire an attractive state for trusts, the legislature last year exempted irrevocable “non-grantor trusts” from the New Hampshire I&D Tax. Such irrevocable trusts can accumulate income and not pay income taxes at the state level. However, such trusts pay federal income taxes on the trust’s ordinary income at much higher, compressed … Continue reading →

Same Sex Marriages

When the U.S. Supreme Court decided on June 26, 2013, in United States v. Windsor, that Section 3 of the Federal “Defense of Marriage Act” (which limited the definition of “marriage” under Federal law to exclude same-sex marriages) is unconstitutional, it placed same-sex marriages in New Hampshire on the same footing as all other marriages. … Continue reading →

Medicaid Planning Basics

At some point in the future, it may be necessary for you or someone you care for to be admitted to a nursing home. The average cost of nursing home care for self-payer patients in New Hampshire is approximately $9,000 per month or $108,000 per year. One way to pay such costs is to qualify … Continue reading →

Federal Estate and Gift Tax Update

The 2014 unified gift and estate tax exemption is set at $5.34 million per person. For married couples, a surviving spouse can tack onto his or her $5.34 million exemption the unused exclusion amount of a previously deceased spouse (known as “portability”). In addition, the IRS recognizes an unlimited marital deduction for assets that pass … Continue reading →

Why Everyone Needs an Estate Plan

RESPECTING YOUR WISHES, PROTECTING YOUR ASSETS, AND ACCOMPLISHING YOUR GOALS – WHY EVERYONE NEEDS AN ESTATE PLAN You may have heard that the Federal estate tax exemption amount is now over $5,000,000 per person, and wondered, why bother to do estate planning now? Regardless of your net worth, it’s important to have an estate plan … Continue reading →

Limited Opportunity to Restore Involuntarily Merged Lots of Record

If you own property that was originally subdivided and/or deeded with two or more lots in a configuration that differs from the depiction of your property on your municipality’s tax map, you may have an opportunity to restore it to its original configuration. The Legislature has acted to allow property owners to seek to unmerge … Continue reading →

Supreme Court & Legislative Update Presented at DTC’s “Current Legal Issues in Land Use, Permitting & Development”

Full text of the statutes/legislation and Supreme Court cases present at DTC’s October 8, 2013 Presentation. Continue reading →


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The ABCs of the ACA: The Affordable Care Act as it Relates to Small Businesses

Weighing in at 1990 pages long, the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) is an understandably complex piece of legislation, major components of which may be difficult to wade through. The goal of this article is to inform New Hampshire small-business owners employing under 25 full-time employees of several key provisions of the ACA. Continue reading →

New Law Simplifies Probate Process

It is always difficult when a family loses a loved one. A new law provides a measure of relief by easing the probate process. Most people are aware of the need to have a will, to specify where they want their property to go when they die. Young families can also nominate a guardian for minor children in a will, should both parents die leaving children under the age of 18. Having a will is good, but it is not effective to actually pass property until it is filed with the Probate Court and an administrator or executor is appointed. Then, it is the administrator or executor that takes care of safeguarding all the property, receiving creditors’ claims and reviewing all bills owed by the decedent. The administrator or executor is charged with paying all valid claims and, when the time for creditors to make claims has passed, distributing all the assets. In New Hampshire, the Probate Court oversees this process in most cases. It requires an inventory of the property and appraisals of the assets, and, in most cases the executor or administrator must be bonded, all of which takes time and costs money. Accounts must be filed and the process generally takes over a year. Continue reading →

Postnuptial Agreements Now Valid in New Hampshire

What was once an open question in New Hampshire—whether or not postnuptial agreements are valid—has now been resolved by the New Hampshire Supreme Court in Estate of Richard B. Wilber, No. 2012-368 (2013). Continue reading →

Recent Court Rulings Increase the Complexity of Landlord Pitfalls

Many landlords fail to realize that certain actions subject them to massive judgment awards if done in violation of RSA 540-A, et seq. The author of this article obtained a judgment for an innocent tenant in the case of Ruma v. Kehaias, Nashua Circuit Court Docket No. 2011-LT-750, well in excess of $100,000. Similar judgments, while sometimes not so large, are not out of the ordinary and thus warrant careful attention. Normally, landlords own the tenanted property and otherwise have assets to lose, given that such assets are subject to collection. Continue reading →

Integrated Land Development Permit and More

In June 2013, the New Hampshire Legislature passed SB 124, which created an Integrated Land Development Permit (“Integrated Permit”) pursuant to new RSA chapter 489. As designed, the Integrated Permit will be sought, at the discretion of the applicant, as an alternative to the process of seeking various individual land development permits or approvals from the Department of Environmental Services (“DES”). Continue reading →

New Potential Liability for Fiduciaries

Responding to the financial straits affecting nursing and assisted living facilities in New Hampshire, the legislature recently passed a new law, RSA 151-E:19. The law gives nursing and assisted living facilities the right to sue fiduciaries (i.e., guardians, financial powers of attorney, trustees and representative payees. “Representative payee” is a person or entity authorized by the Social Security Administration to handle the social security benefits received by an individual) who negligently fail to timely apply for Medicaid for a person residing in a nursing or assisted living facility who has no other means to pay for such care. If found negligent by the court, fiduciaries may be personally liable for the resident’s cost of care at the Medicaid rate. In addition to paying their own legal fees, they may have to pay the nursing or assisted living facility’s legal fees incurred in bringing the suit. Continue reading →

So You Want to Set Up a Charity?

We often have clients come in wanting to set up their own non-profit, charitable group. New Hampshire ranks very high in the number of individuals engaged in non-profit work, for which we should all be proud. Although I applaud the good intentions of people wanting to create a new charity, it takes a great deal of time, effort and, yes, money to set up a new charity. Sometimes, it is more cost effective for clients to use an existing charity, such as the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, to handle a special project they have in mind, or to create a “donor advised fund,” which gives clients the ability to direct where their donations go, tax exempt, while avoiding the cost and time of setting up their own foundations. Either way, more dollars go to “good works,” and less is spent on administrative costs. Continue reading →

New Law in NH Allows Divorcing Parents to Agree on College Payments for Adult Children

New Hampshire law changed in a significant way with the institution of RSA 461-A:14 (V) in 2004 which provides: “No child support order shall require a parent to contribute to an adult child’s college expenses or other educational expenses beyond the completion of high school. “ This statute was interpreted by the New Hampshire Supreme Court in the Goulart case (2009) to mean that a parent could not be required to pay college expenses even in a case where that parent knowingly entered into a negotiated stipulation and specifically agreed to pay college expenses for a child. Continue reading →

Selected Developments in Telecommunications Law

This surveys selected developments in telecommunications law. The prevailing legal and regulatory framework is shaped by jurisdiction at the Federal, State and Town levels. The practical framework is shaped by a dynamic technological, investment and economic context. Continue reading →

2013 Changes to the Child Support Guidelines

On June 12, 2013, Attorney Jessica Ecker attended a webinar sponsored by the New Hampshire Bar Association regarding the upcoming changes to the NH Child Support Guidelines. The new guidelines take effect for any order issued after July 1, 2013. The changes to the guidelines were based on a study performed by the UNH Cooperative Extension regarding the actual cost to raise a child at varying income levels.
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A Legal Take on Insurance Reservation of Rights Letters

You have alerted your insurance company you need coverage, your insurer has appointed counsel, but then you receive a reservation of rights letter stating that the company is reserving its rights to deny coverage in the future because the incident may fall within one of the policy exclusions. Many times, policyholders ignore these letters because their immediate need, the appointment of counsel, has been met. However, the better course is to respond to this letter, not to ignore it.
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Planning For Control of Your Health Care Decisions

How many of us have items on our “To Do” lists, such as: “Do a new Will;” “Do a Health Care Advance Directive,” or “Do a Living Will?” Whenever we talk with clients about estate planning, we always emphasize one of the most important documents to execute is an Advance Directive, also known in other states as a Health Care Proxy, and/or a Living Will, by which you authorize others to make health care decisions for you, if you cannot, and to express your end-of-life care wishes. Does everyone need them? Yes, because none of us knows when a disability might strike us, either temporarily or permanently. Continue reading →

DOMA Decision is Good News for Married Same Sex Couples

When the U.S. Supreme Court’s decided on June 26, 2013, in United States v. Windsor, that Section 3 of the Federal “Defense of Marriage Act” (which limited the definition of “marriage” under Federal law to exclude same-sex marriages) is unconstitutional, it placed same-sex marriages in New Hampshire and other states that recognize same-sex marriages, on the same footing as all other marriages. In strong terms, the Court stated that DOMA “demeans” same-sex, married couples and “humiliates” their children, in the State of New York, which, like New Hampshire, recognizes and protects same-sex marriages. Continue reading →

Professional Limited Liability Companies

What form is your business? Sole proprietorship, partnership, professional association, professional corporation? There are many different forms to choose from in operating a professional practice. The form you choose will have consequences affecting taxes, operations, overhead expenses, and liability issues. Continue reading →

Choice of Entity for Your Business

There are many choices for the type of legal entity for your business in New Hampshire. There are pluses and minuses to each one, so the right one depends on many things, including your type of business, your desire to limit personal liability, ease of management, tax considerations and your long term plans regarding exit or succession. Below are some basic considerations about sole proprietorships, corporations and limited liability companies (“LLC’s”). Partnerships are not covered in this article. Continue reading →

Due Diligence In Connection With Real Estate Acquisition and Construction

As the economy stabilizes and shows signs of improvement, many business owners are revisiting delayed plans to acquire new space or to make improvements to their existing locations as there are good opportunities in the commercial real estate market. In some locations, designated as Economic Revitalization Zones, State tax incentives with credits against the Business … Continue reading →

Ten Reasons Why You Should Have an Estate Plan

1. To Preserve Wealth and Maximize Its Transmission to Descendants With the uncertainty of the federal estate tax and some states now imposing a separate state estate tax where couples may own a second home, it is very important to have an estate plan that minimizes income, gift and estate taxes. It is also equally … Continue reading →

So You Want ot Put that Garden Where? Traps for the Unwary in the Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act

The snows of February are now gone and the Black Flies have not yet appeared; and like many New Hampshire residents, my thoughts naturally turn to being outdoors and working in my gardens. For those with water frontage, however, there are several things you should know about the Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act found in RSA 483-B (“the Act”) before you start that new project. Continue reading →

Professional Designers Now Entitled to Mechanic’s Liens

As a result of the passage of SB 371, effective January 1, 2013, the services provided by licensed architects, licensed landscape architects, licensed engineers, permitted septic designers, certified wetland scientists, certified soil scientists and licensed land surveyors fall within the scope of the New Hampshire Mechanic’s Lien Statute, RSA 447:1 et seq. Thus, the services of these specific design professionals are entitled to the attachment power of this statute if they are “directly related to the improvement of real property”. See, RSA 447:2, II. Continue reading →

Annulment of Criminal Records

In the state of New Hampshire there is a statutory mechanism whereby individuals may petition to annul a record of arrest, conviction, and sentence. This can be an invaluable tool for individuals who are looking to clean up their record and make themselves more attractive to prospective employers or schools or who just want to officially move past a mistake they made in their past. Continue reading →

Finally – – Certainty About the Federal Estate Tax

Much to the surprise of many, the “fiscal cliff deal” brought much needed certainty to the federal estate tax. At the end of 2012, the federal estate tax exemption amount (temporarily at $5.12 million) was scheduled to revert to $1 million. Many expected that Congress would temporarily continue the $5.12 million exemption amount or some time later in 2013 make it permanent at $3.5 million. Continue reading →

Essential Estate Planning Documents

How many of us have items on our “To Do” lists, such as: “Do a new Will, Do a health care advance directive or living will?” Whenever we talk with clients about estate planning, we always emphasize one of the most important documents to execute, and especially for elders to have in place, is an Advance Directive, also known in other states as a Health Care Proxy, and/or a Living Will, by which you authorize others to make health care decisions for you, if you cannot, and to express your end-of-life care wishes. Does everyone need them? Yes, because none of us knows when a disability might strike us, either temporarily or permanently. Continue reading →

Investing in Education to Boost the New Hampshire Economy

The country and our state are still reeling from the economic recession. Our economy in New Hampshire is recovering more slowly from this recession than it has from past recessions. New Hampshire has usually been a leader coming out of past recessions, and this time, job growth and the recovery of jobs lost is slower that in the past. In fact, New Hampshire is now ranked 42nd out of 50 states over the last year in job growth. That is not where we want to be. How can we change that? Continue reading →

Attorney Chris Boldt NH OEP Materials

Attorney Chris Boldt spoke at the NH Office of Energy and Planning 2013 Spring Planning and Zoning Conference.  Here you will find the materials presented.


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A Better Way to Divorce

Everyone knows someone (and probably more than one someone) with a divorce horror story. When people contemplate a divorce, one of the biggest fears they may have is that while they have simply fallen out of love, they could end up hating one another. In my family law practice, I have seen that happen too many times, and I am happy to tell you that there is another way. Continue reading →

The 2012 Voter ID Law, What is Next?

The New Hampshire “Voter ID” Law requires that for any election, voters present a photo ID to check in and vote.  For elections held prior to September 1, 2013, the identification can be:  a U.S. Passport, Federal ID card such as a military ID, State ID such as driver’s License (even if expired) or DMV … Continue reading →


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The NH Revised Limited Liability Company Act

On January 1, 2013 the NH Limited Liability Company Act will be replaced in its entirety by the New Hampshire Revised Limited Liability Company Act (the “New Act.”)  Since the first New Hampshire limited liability companies were formed in 1993, they have become the entity of choice for both small and large businesses in New … Continue reading →


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Strategic Estate Planning: Making Gifts in 2012

2012 provides an excellent opportunity for well-off individuals to gift money or other assets to family or friends, thereby reducing the size of the well-off donors’ estates and increasing the amounts they can transfer tax free.  This is due to the $5 million federal gift tax exemption currently available to individuals for their lifetimes. 


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Ten Reasons Why You Should Have An Estate Plan


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NHLSA Presentation – Sept. 2012

Brandt Development v. Somersworth and the “New” Variance Standard


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Case Law Developments Interpreting Real Estate Transfer Tax

Since 2003 the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration (“NH DRA”) has been fully authorized by statute to aggressively apply and collect the real estate transfer tax upon a transfer of any interest in a limited liability company that holds New Hampshire Real Estate.  Whether a business owner is a developer of real estate or … Continue reading →


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Attorney Roman Interviews NH Supreme Court Justice Gary E. Hicks

Attorney Roman interviews NH Supreme Court Justice Gary E. Hicks on receipt of the Phillip S. Hollman Gender Equality Award


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2012 Estate Tax Update

2012 Estate Tax Update


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February 2012 E-Alert

February 2012 E-Alert – Employment and Labor Newsletter


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Tax Deed Acquired Properties: An Opportunity and a Burden

Tax Deed Acquired Properties:  Legal Issues for Municipalities


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North American Dismantling Corporation v. City of Berlin

Supreme Court Order Issued September 15, 2011


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Municipalis Fall 2011

Fall 2011 edition of DTC’s Municipal Newsletter


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Current Case Law and Legislative Updates Impacting the Tax-Exempt Organization

Federal and state current case law and legislative updates impacting the tax-exempt organization. 


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Introduction To Tax Exempt Organizations

An introduction to tax exempt organizations.


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The Impact of Sarbanes Oxley and the Era of Corporate Governance on Non-Profit Organizations

The Sarbanes Oxley Act (P.L. 107-204), known in shorthand as “SOX”, was passed in the summer of 2002, in response to a growing number of financial scandals of for-profit companies that issue securities, including, but not exclusively, Enron, World Com, Global Crossing, Tyco, Adelphia Communications, and others.


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New IRS Worker Classification Settlement Program

On September 21, 2011, the IRS announced a new program called the Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (“VCSP”) that allows employers to correct worker classification errors and pay significantly reduced penalties without having to go through an examination or complicated administrative procedures.


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Requirements for Variance

Appendix A to Land Use Law Update Article Below

Supplement #1 to Land Use Law Update

Supplement to Land Use Law Update Article Below


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Commercium Fall 2011

Fall 2011 Issue of Commercium


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Modification of a Final Parenting Plan

One important discussion I have with my clients who are going through a divorce or a parenting case concerns the parts of their Decrees which are permanent versus the parts of their Decrees which are modifiable. 


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Land Use Law Update

The purpose of these materials is to give Selectmen, Planning Board and ZBA Members and Staff a summary of the fifty plus land use/board related opinions issued by the New Hampshire Supreme Court since Fall 2007 (the last time I presented this lecture for the LGC). As with all legal issues, the actual of facts … Continue reading →


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“Reasonable Under the Circumstances”: Checklist for Compliance with All Notice Requirements for Sale of Tax Deeded Property

RSA 80:89, I and VIII require that the municipality notify the former owner by certified mail, return receipt requested, of an impending sale of tax deeded property, if the property is offered for sale within three years of the date the tax deed is recorded.


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Tax Deed Time

With the economy the way it is, New Hampshire towns and cities may be faced with more delinquencies of property taxes.


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Federal Estate Tax Update for 2011 and 2012

With the passage of the Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the “Act”), we have temporary estate tax relief for the years 2011 and 2012.


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The Zoning Board of Adjustments in New Hampshire

The purpose of this Article is to give volunteer ZBA members a basic overview of the organization, powers, duties and relevant statutory and case law authority.


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Municipalis April 2011

Spring 2011 edition of DTC’s municipal newsletter.


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Municipalis Winter 2010

Winter 2010 edition of DTC’s Municipal Newsletter


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Municipalis Fall 2010

Fall 2010 edition of DTC’s Municipal Newsletter


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Municipalis Special Telecommunications Edition 2009

2009 Special Edition of DTC’s Municipal Newsletter


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Municipalis Fall 2009

Fall 2009 edition of DTC’s Municipal Newsletter


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Municipalis Summer 2009

Summer 2009 edition of DTC’s Municipal Newsletter


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Basics for the ZBA in NH


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Municipalis – Summer 2008


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What to Expect from the Divorce Process

Published in The Applaud Magazine Spring 2008 Issue


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Commercium – November 2006


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Commercium – October 2007


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Commercium – Winter 2008


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Municipalis – November 2006


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Municipalis – October 2007


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Consequences of Land Use Policy: Why & How New Hampshire Communities Can Grow Smart


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Municipalis – March 2007


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Zoning Board of Adjustment in New Hampshire


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Business Law E-Letter – October 2004


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Business Law E-Letter – July 2004


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Business Law E-Letter – March 2004


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Business Law E-Letter – May 2005


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Commercium – January 2006


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Commercium – May 2006


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Municipalis – September 2005


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Municipalis – March 2005


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Municipalis – September 2004


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Municipalis – June 2006


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2005 Legislative Changes and What’s Ahead


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Checklist for Appeals


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Eminent Domain – Kelo V. New London


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Stays in Zoning Board and Planning Board Appeals


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Appeals Of ZBA And Planning Board Decisions


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Requirements for Variance


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A Brief History of Variance Standards for the Municipal Law Practitioner


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Veterinary Newsletter June 2003


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Veterinary Newsletter October 2003


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Veterinary Newsletter May 2004


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Business Law E-Letter July 2004


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March 2004 Business E-Letter


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Town of Kingston v. ATC Realty, LLC; SBA Towers, Inc.

Brief of Appellant/Appeal from the United States District Court of the District of New Hampshire


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Disposition of Unclaimed Animals


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Prevention: Sexual Harassment


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Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act – “RLUIPA”


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The Role of the Moderator as an Election Official


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Class VI Roads: Defining the Relationship…

Revised October 2005


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Description of Cable Television Franchise Renewal Negotiation Project


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OPPORTUNITIES TO RETURN BROWNFIELDS TO THE TAX ROLLS

Revised October 2005


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PRIMER ON NEW HAMPSHIRE’S RIGHT-TO-KNOW LAW

This article presents in question and answers format a primer on the Right To Know Law of New Hampshire. It is intended to assist Municipal officials in understanding and implementing, the New Hampshire Right to Know Law, codified at RSA 91-A.


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ZONING OF WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES IN NEW HAMPSHIRE: AMHERST AND BEYOND

This article abstracts recent case law and statutory law bearing on the zoning of wireless telecommunications facilities in New Hampshire. The article focuses on developments in the law since the 1999 decision of the First Circuit Court of Appeals in a case in which our firm acted as counsel to the Town of Amherst, New … Continue reading →


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RECENT CASE LAW BEARING ON CABLE FRANCHISE RENEWALS

This article summarizes two cases decided recently, which bear on the law governing cable television franchise renewals. This article abstracts those cases and provides a brief review of the law governing cable franchise renewals.


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First Circuit Decision Affirms Local Zoning Authority Over Wireless Facility Sitings

This article described the decision of the First Circuit Court of Appeals in the first case in our circuit that describes the interplay between the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and New Hampshire law of zoning.


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Telecommunications as Infrastructure: Managing Rights of Way and Municipal Infrastructure in The Age Of Telecommunications and T

In an information economy, municipalities should treat their telecommunications infrastructure as a valuable asset that corresponds to economic development. The following article outlines how municipalities can practically and comprehensively address telecommunications infrastructure issues including rights-of-way issues, cable-franchising issues, wireless zoning issues, universal service issues and telecommunications planning issues.


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