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The investigation is over, the vote is in, and New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice David Brock may be on his way out. Following their dinner break on Wednesday night, the House Judiciary Committee members — after mulling Brock’s fate for two agonizing months — voted out three articles of impeachment to the full House of Representatives. After the committee decided that “clear and convincing” evidence, as opposed to a preponderance of the evidence, would be the benchmark for recommending Brock’s impeachment, many lawmakers and citizens thought Brock would soon be off the hook. They reasoned it would be difficult to prove allegations against Brock clearly and convincingly. However, to the chagrin of Brock and his attorneys — Ralph Lancaster and David Barry, of the Portland, Maine, law firm Pierce Atwood — the committee decided that there was enough “triable” evidence to let the House decide if Brock’s actions warranted a Senate trial sometime next month. The scene now shifts to the House, which is scheduled next Wednesday to take up the report of the House Judiciary committee. An impeachment article against Brock requires a majority vote to shift the matter to the Senate for trial. American Lawyer Media News Service interviewed David Barry shortly after the committee’s vote was made public. “I was disappointed, and my client was disappointed by the decision of the House Judiciary Committee to recommend the articles of impeachment to the full House of Representatives,” Barry said. “On the conduct which is the subject of the articles … it is safe to say that the bar for impeachment has been lowered by the decision of the committee.” Barry contends that if the committee had properly considered the allegations levied against Brock, the outcome of the vote may have been different. “It is our hope that the House will take a step back to view the conduct with some historical perspective.” What exactly does Barry mean by the term “historical perspective?” “What I’m referring to is the history of impeachment in New Hampshire and the United States,” said the seasoned Portland lawyer. “It is fair to say that the type of conduct that has warranted the extreme sanction of impeachment [in the past] has been malicious intent of an injurious nature to the state.” Many observers might argue that Brock’s actions met Barry’s standards of injury to the state. By committing and permitting ethics violations, Brock took away the proper scales of justice that are equally guaranteed to every citizen of New Hampshire by the state and U.S constitutions. By recommending the articles of impeachment, the House Judiciary Committee has said that Brock ran a court that virtually encouraged misconduct by his colleagues by permitting them to have influence over cases from which they were recused. “I can see how some would think that,” said Barry. “It is not so. There isn’t any clear and convincing evidence [regarding any of the accusations against Brock]. That standard has not been applied. It is not right to say you are going to have a clear and convincing standard, and then say, ‘I think we have a triable case here, let’s let the Senate decide.’”

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