On a warm Friday evening earlier this month the Capital Center for the Arts hosted Constitutionally Speaking, an initiative to engage NH citizens on constitutional issues, and to encourage civics education. So naturally they invited NPR’s legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg to come and speak. Over the course of the night she touched on many topics including the new Supreme court term, the lives of the justices, and her role as a journalist. Nina was joined onstage by, and fielded questions from Here and Now co-host, Robin Young. 

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has affirmed a record judgment against Exxon Mobil in a case over the chemical additive MtBE.

The $236 million verdict reached by a jury in 2013 was the largest jury award in state history. Exxon Mobil argued it used MtBE to reduce air pollution under federal law and shouldn’t be held liable for contamination in the state’s groundwater.

In its ruling Friday, the state’s high court rejected the company’s request for a new trial and about 10 other points it raised.

Town of Gilsum & AIDS Group Home Reach Settlement

Jul 9, 2012

A group home for people with HIV and Hepatitis C has settled its legal battle with the Town Of Gilsum. Under the terms of the settlement, AIDS Services of the Monadnock Region will be able to continue operating the Cleve Jones Wellness House.

The town had denied the facility a property tax exemption after receiving the necessary application several days late.

Photo: Chris Jensen

Much of the battle over the Northern Pass hydro-electric project has focused on cutting a new route through the forests of the North Country.

Northern Pass intends to use 140 miles of existing right of way for much of the remainder of the project.

That may not be as easy as it sounds.

NHPR's Chris Jensen reports.


It takes maybe five minutes – including crossing a large brook on a narrow board – for Kris Pastoriza to reach the right-of-way that cuts through her wooded land in Easton.

NHPR Staff

Do indigent parents have a constitutional right to a lawyer when the state charges that parent with abuse or neglect of their child?

That’s the question put to the state’s top court.

Last year, lawmakers passed a historic budget – making cuts to General Fund spending for the first time since World War II.

One of the casualties....the $1.2 million dollars provided to indigent parents for legal representation in child abuse and neglect proceedings.

Over the past several years, 350-400 parents a year are charged, typically for neglect.

Book Cover Courtesy Peter Nicolas & Mike Strong

With the constant legal and legislative changes affecting same-sex couples across the country, it might seem an impossible feat to keep track.

In The Geography of Love: Same-Sex Marriage & Relationship Recognition in America (The Story in Maps), authors Mike Strong and Peter Nicolas do just that. They offer a concise view of the political landscape regarding gay marriage.  And they do so in a unique way: offering visual representations of votes and legal rights.

The Attorney General’s Office Thursday argued a federal judge should dismiss a lawsuit filed by 10 hospitals against the state.

Hospitals are suing over the state’s decision to cut how much it pays doctors and hospitals for treating low-income Medicaid patients.

They say those cuts violate New Hampshire’s agreement with the federal government to provide care to the poor.

But Senior Assistant Attorney General Nancy Smith says hospitals have no legal authority to question state reimbursement rates.

New Hampshire is denying claims made by the U-S Department of Justice that the state is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Attorney General’s Office issued a formal response to the findings Tuesday.

The U-S Department of Justice concluded in April that the state was violating federal law in the way it treats the mentally ill.

It criticized the state for failing to provide adequate community-based services, leading to prolonged stays at the state hospital.