Interviewer: What are the courts that you typically practice and what areas do they comprise?
David: My home court is Hillsborough County Superior Court, which when I first started, was one court for the entire county but now it is split into Manchester and Nashua. My office is in Manchester which is in the northern district of Hillsborough County.
The district court in New Hampshire tries first instance violations and misdemeanors. DWI as a first offense is a class D misdemeanor, which basically means that the case will be tried in the district court.
DWI second offense is a class A misdemeanor, which means as a first offense, the case will be tried in the district court. If you are convicted in district court you could get a jury trial in the Superior Court.
Basically my home courts are Manchester District, Hillsborough Superior, and Hillsborough North Superior. Other courts that are only a short drive away are Nashua District, Concord District, Goffstown District, Candia District, Hooksett District, and Merrimack District. All of these are like 25 minutes or less away from my office here in Manchester and I practice in all of them.
Attorney Horan Is Very Familiar with the Area Judges Due to the Fact He Practiced Alongside Many of Them When They Were Attorneys
One of the interesting aspects of being in the legal profession and doing this kind of work for so long is when there are judicial vacancies and all of a sudden the speculation begins about who the next judges are going to be.
Many of the judges I appear in front of are people that I knew as lawyers before they became judges. That takes an enormous amount of pressure off, if you will, that you are actually walking into a courthouse where I am familiar with most everyone’s personalities.
Because I’ve dealt with virtually all of the judges who sit in the courts that I’ve outlined to you I do not experience the anxiety or apprehension that another attorney might experience.
Interviewer: Are there any other factors that would be important in helping someone determine if the attorney they are speaking to is the one that they should have represent them?
Should people be wary if they attorney they are meeting with says, “I’ve done 100 trials”, or “I’m board certified”?
Avoid Attorneys Who Claim They Specialize in a Certain Aspect of the Law: There Is No Special Certification an Attorney Can Achieve After Passing the Bar
David: I’m not sure what board certified means. Obviously, all of the New Hampshire lawyers have passed the New Hampshire bar. Theoretically, any one of them could specialize in anything.
However, there is no special criterion that exists which distinguishes a person doing a civil practice from a person doing criminal practice. There are some people in the general practice of law that do both types of cases quite well.
I think the most important consideration though would be with respect to whether the person that’s being hired has done the type of case before, has appeared in the court before, has appeared in front of the judges, has dealt with the police department before.
Familiarity with the Courts Also Affords Attorneys Advantages When Negotiating Plea Bargains for Their Clients
Those types of factors I think help make the trial preparation work a lot easier. Additionally, in any negotiations that take place it’s an advantage if you are talking to somebody that you’ve actually talked with before.
You understand how they think because you’ve dealt with them before. That’s an advantage I have with respect to the prosecutors in the various courts I have listed.