Rockingham County Attorney
State of New Hampshire

 

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WELCOME........MEET THE COUNTY ATTORNEY

James M. Reams, Esq.

 

NATIONAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S ASSOCIATION (NDAA)

  • Elected to serve as the State Director for New Hampshire on the Board of the National District Attorney’s Association (NDAA) by the NH County Attorneys Association in 2001. Jim was then nominated by then-President Paul Walsh to be a Vice President of the NDAA and was elected to that position by the Board members at the Summer convention held in Portland, Maine.  President Paul Logli asked Jim to be the Treasurer to fill a coming vacancy and Jim was elected Treasurer by the Board at the Summer Convention in Sante Fe, NM in July of 2006.  Re-elected as Treasurer for his 3rd term by the Board of Directors at the Summer Conference in Tucson, AZ on July 11, 2008.

  • Appointed to the U.S. Attorney General’s Executive Working Group (EWG) by President Paul Logli and met with the U.S. Attorney General and his senior staff 3 times a year at the Department of Justice to discuss issues facing law enforcement at all levels of government. Jim did a presentation to the EWG concerning internet crimes.

  • Asked to come to Washington to brief the Staff of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce about the prosecution of “cyber-crime”, particularly internet crimes against children in preparation for House Hearings held in April of 2006.

  • Served on the Science and Technology Committee of the NDAA.

  • 2010-2011 - Elected President of the National District Attorney's Association at the Summer convention held in Napa Valley, California.

INTERNET CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN TASK FORCE (ICAC)

  • Asked to help develop an Investigators course for the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, Training and Technical Assistance Division. Since that time he has been asked to help develop other courses for the Task Force. He now teaches the legal block for the various courses to investigators around the country.

  • Asked to join the Legal Committee of the Task Force to formulate legal policy for the Task Force.

GENERAL BACKGROUND 

  • Resident of the seacoast of New Hampshire since 1972.  Jim was born and raised in Nebraska.  His father was a small businessman, owning businesses, generally related to the construction industry.  As a result of his father’s construction career, his family lived in the jungle of Liberia, Africa over 6 months in 1956. His mother worked as a secretary until her retirement in the 1980's.

  • Father was a fighter pilot in WWII flying P-47 Thunderbolt’s.  Jim’s father served in the Italian campaign in 1944-45 conducting ground support and bombing runs in the Alps. His father was in the Panama Canal on his way to the invasion of Japan when the war ended. 

  • Served in the US Navy from 1968 until Honorably Discharged in 1971.  After attending Radar “A” school in San Francisco, Jim was transferred to the Myles C. Fox (DD-829), a destroyer in Newport, RI.  As a Radarman, Jim was assigned to the Combat Information Center (CIC, the ships equivalent of a “war room”) on the destroyer and commanded a CIC watch section as a Third Class Petty Officer. Jim was underway on the ocean 50% of the two+ years that he was assigned to the Destroyer.  He made a “Middle East” cruise (Africa, Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf) and a “Unitas” cruise ( around South America and through the Panama Canal).  He also made many short cruises around the Atlantic and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

  • Worked way through college with the help of the G.I. Bill graduating from University of New Hampshire in 1974, with a double major in Political Science and Economics.

  • Attended Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, NH graduating in 1977.

LEGAL CAREER

  • Worked in the Rockingham County Attorney’s Office during his 3rd year of law school (1976-77) as an intern, and was offered a job upon graduation as the  sole Assistant County Attorney.  At that time, the Assistant County Attorney was a full time position and Carleton Eldredge, the County Attorney was still part time.  During his tenure as Assistant County Attorney, Jim ran the office on a day-to-day basis.  Jim prosecuted the first batch of the 1600+ “Seabrook Protest” jury trials. Jim won the cases that set the precedent for the remainder of the Seabrook prosecutions.  His winning of the legal issue of the use of the “competing harms” defense, assured the remaining convictions.

  • In 1978, began private practice in the Exeter area and remained in private practice in the Exeter-Hampton area for the past 20 years.

  • Prior to the creation of the current Public Defender program, lawyers were appointed by the Court to represent defendants accused of murder only if the judges were confident that the lawyers had significant criminal jury trial experience, and could competently handle a murder trial.  Jim was appointed by the Superior Court to represent criminal defendants in a number of homicide cases.  Three of those cases went all the way to jury verdicts and two included appeals to the NH Supreme Court.  Jim was Co-Counsel for Joseph Lister, the defendant in a case that was the first murder case in New Hampshire history to be tried (“in absentia”) after escaping from the prison during the trial.  Jim has represented individuals and institutions, banks and hospitals among them, in their litigation in the New Hampshire Courts.  Jim was hired to help a number of local banks to attempt to collect on their defaulted loans, and clean up their commercial lending portfolios. 

PERSONAL

  • Married Janis C. Reams in 1990.  Janis is Vice President of Commercial Lending for Centrix Bank in Manchester. 

  • Has two children, Jackson, an attorney in private practice in Washington, D.C. and Ashleigh, a graduate of Keene State College and employed at the Keene District Court.

  • Two grandchildren.

CIVIC INVOLVEMENT

  • Past Chairman of the Board of the Seacoast Chapter of the American Red Cross and a member of the Board of Directors for a number of years.

  • Past Member of the Board of Directors of the Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce.  Jim have served on the Business Development Committee of the Chamber and wrote the articles on the legislature for the Chamber newsletter.

  • Has served on many other boards, municipal and civic over the years, such as the Exeter Historic District Commission and N.H. Legal Assistance.

CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Inns Of Court.  The Inns of Court movement was started in America after former Chief Justice Warren Burger visited the Inns of Court in London.  The American Inns of Court strive to teach new lawyers civility, excellence and ethics.  There are now over 250 Inns in America, including 4 in New Hampshire.

  • A founding member of the Daniel Webster Inn in Manchester and Chairman of the Membership Committee.  When the Daniel Webster Inn became successful, Jim helped found the Charles C. Doe Inn of Court here in the seacoast.  The Charles C. Doe Inn now has almost 80 judges and lawyers as members.

  • American Board of Trial Advocates.  Charter member of the New Hampshire chapter.  ABOTA is dedicated to preserving the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial.  Membership is by invitation only and is available only to Plaintiff’s and Defense attorneys who have significant trial experience.

  • N.H. Bar Association.  Elected to serve on the Board of Governors of the Bar Association for 10 years;  two terms representing Rockingham County and one term at large, representing the entire state.