2004 Spring, 4. Back to the Future.

AuthorBy Attorney General Peter Heed (EN1)

New Hampshire Bar Journal


2004 Spring, 4.

Back to the Future

New Hampshire Bar Journal Spring 2004, Volume 45, Number 1 Back to the Future: The Attorney General's Office, Then and Now By Attorney General Peter Heed (EN1)

It was the fall of 1974, and I still remember seeing the notice on the Cornell Law School bulletin board. It was from the Attorney General's Office in New Hampshire, and it indicated that there was an opening in the Criminal Division for a prosecutor. Starting salary: $12,200.

I was intrigued, because I wanted to prosecute. I also adored New Hampshire, having spent four years in Hanover while attending Dartmouth College. I had already interviewed at the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, and the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, and somehow starting out in the "Parking Ticket Prosecution Unit" of a huge urban office was not appealing.

Sometime during the first few weeks of January, 1975, I was scheduled to have an interview at the Attorney General's Office in Concord. As fate would have it, the weather was miserable. I drove from Ithaca, New York to Concord in a blinding snowstorm. Route 9 through Bennington, Vermont then on to Brattleboro and Keene is a challenging drive, even in the best of circumstances. I finally arrived in Concord late at night and stayed at the Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge (no longer there) on South Main Street.

My interview took place in the morning, at a building called the "State House Annex." I located this nondescript, grey government-looking building directly across from the State House. The Attorney General's Office was on the second floor, and occupied only one half of that floor. There was a glass partition with the words "Attorney General's Office" across the top. No security. The place was spare. The floors were linoleum, without any carpet, and the walls were tiled and painted in drab colors. The desks in the office appeared to be of the army surplus-type metal variety. I began to think more fondly of those big D.A. offices in New York and Philadelphia.

Into the interview room I went, and awaiting me were Attorney General Warren Rudman and Deputy Attorney General David Souter. It was initially intimidating, but Warren and David quickly put me at ease. Warren spoke about college football, and I recall discussing with David his love of hiking in the White Mountains and his efforts to climb all of the four thousand footers. We launched into a long discussion of legal issues. Somehow I got the job. I was told that I would be primarily prosecuting homicide cases and arguing criminal appeals before the New Hampshire Supreme Court. I was thrilled.

After graduating from law school in the early summer of 1975, I moved to New Hampshire, and I have never left. That summer was spent studying for the bar. Courses were held at the original Franklin Pierce Law School, which was in an old converted farm in West Concord. We studied in what used to be the "milking parlor." As with all lawyers trying to pass the bar, this was not a fun time. Anxiety was high. My job with the Attorney...

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