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News Release

For Immediate Release
March 20, 2018

Contact:
Governor Sununu Press Office
(603) 271-2121
Sununu.Press@nh.gov

Governor Chris Sununu to Nominate Patrick E. Donovan as Next Associate Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court

Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu announced that he will nominate Patrick E. Donovan of Salem, New Hampshire, to serve as the next Associate Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court. The nomination will be made at the March 21st Executive Council meeting.

"I am proud to nominate Patrick to be the next associate justice on our State's highest court," said Governor Chris Sununu. "As a long time litigator with a sterling reputation, Patrick has excelled in his representation of both public and private clients before all levels of New Hampshire's court system. With a trial record that includes major civil and criminal cases, his diverse experience in the law will enable him to bring a well-rounded perspective to the important issues that the Court will take up in the coming years."

Patrick is currently a partner and owner of the Law Office of Patrick E. Donovan, PLLC, which he opened in 2008. His practice focuses on civil and criminal litigation in both state and federal courts. Prior to opening his own firm, he served as legal counsel to the New Hampshire House of Representatives and as an Assistant Attorney General and Senior Assistant Attorney General at the New Hampshire Department of Justice. Governor Sununu selected Patrick for nomination from a list of candidates interviewed and approved by the Governor's bi-partisan Judicial Selection Commission.

"I am immensely proud and honored by Governor Sununu's nomination and would be grateful for the opportunity to serve as the 109th Associate Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court," Patrick said. "I want to thank Governor Sununu and the Judicial Selection Commission for putting my name forward. During the past 18 years of my 28 year legal career, I have had the privilege of representing hundreds of New Hampshire citizens and small businesses in private practice. The prospect of now returning to public service and sitting on our State's highest court where I can serve all of the citizens of New Hampshire is humbling and exciting. If confirmed, I promise to serve our great State by upholding the rule of law and honoring the intent of our Legislature with energy and integrity."

A 1986 graduate of Dartmouth College, Patrick received his law degree from Boston College Law School in 1990, where he served as Articles Editor for the Boston College Environmental Law Review. After law school, Patrick clerked for New Hampshire Supreme Court Justice Stephen Thayer. He went on to spend four years as an associate with Goodwin Procter in Boston, where he focused on environmental litigation, before moving to the New Hampshire Department of Justice in 1994.

In addition to his legal career, Patrick has devoted substantial time to a variety of community service activities, including service on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem in the positions of both Vice President and Chief Volunteer Officer. For the past thirteen years, he has also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for St. Joseph's Regional Catholic School.

Former U.S. Senator and New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, former New Hampshire Circuit Court Justice John Korbey, and Lucy Hodder, former Legal Counsel to Governor Maggie Hassan also weighed in on today's announcement.

"I had the privilege of working with Pat Donovan at the Attorney General's office prosecuting very difficult and complex murder cases," said Senator Ayotte. "He is an excellent attorney, top notch litigator, and man of integrity who cares deeply about ensuring that our justice system operates fairly. Pat's extensive experience in the public and private sector will make him an excellent Associate Justice on the New Hampshire Supreme Court and I commend Governor Sununu for making such a superb nomination."

"I was very pleased to learn of Governor Sununu's decision to nominate Attorney Patrick Donovan to the New Hampshire Supreme Court," Judge Korbey said. "I have known Attorney Donovan for over twenty years, and have found him to be a knowledgeable and skilled trial attorney, as well as a person of sound judgment and outstanding character. His demeanor and temperament will serve him well as a judge. I have every confidence that Attorney Donovan will be an excellent addition to the New Hampshire Supreme Court."

"I have known Patrick for over 20 years both professionally and personally," Attorney Hodder said. "I practiced with him at the Attorney General's office for several years, and referred cases to him when I was in private practice. He is an honorable, diligent and remarkable person, and incorporates all of the values a judge in New Hampshire should have. I am incredibly pleased and excited that Governor Sununu has nominated Patrick to serve on our State's highest court."

A confirmation vote will likely take place at the April 11th Executive Council meeting.

Office of Governor Christopher Sununu
State House  |  107 North Main Street  |  Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-2121  |  fax: (603) 271-7680