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Donovan Sworn In As N.H. Supreme Court Justice

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Patrick Donovan is an Ivy League graduate, a standout football player, and a successful private practice attorney. You’d never hear him say that, though.

During his swearing in ceremony on Tuesday in Concord, the 54-year old was praised by colleagues in the legal community for his modesty, work ethic, and temperament.

“He questions incisively, he reasons logically, and he analyzes precisely,” said Judge Joseph LaPlante. “He speaks persuasively, but more important than all of these, Patrick listens carefully.”

Donovan has spent much of his legal career in New Hampshire, including as a clerk at the state Supreme Court, an Assistant Attorney General alongside LaPlante, and for the past decade, in private practice in Salem.

“New Hampshire is very much woven into the fabric of my character, my work ethic, and my belief system,” he said to a crowd of friends and family.

Donovan, who was nominated by Governor Chris Sununu and unanimously approved by the Executive Council, fills a seat on the court left vacant after Chief Justice Linda S. Dalianis reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.

“As I see it, this court and my role on it is to recognize and apply the rule of law, while ensuring that we protect people from the improper use of power, whether it be by our government, the privileged, or the majority,” said Donovan.

He was joined at the ceremony by his wife Monique, also an attorney, and his four children.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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