The New Hampshire Judicial Branch today announced that Attorney Mark C. Rouvalis has been appointed the new co-chair of the state Supreme Court's Access to Justice Commission (AJC). Rouvalis is a director in the litigation department at McLane Middleton and has been a member of the AJC since 2012. He joins fellow co-chair U.S. District Court Chief Judge Joseph N. Laplante.
Access to Justice was established in 2007 and currently has 35 members. The commission's goal is to expand and enhance access to justice in civil legal matters for New Hampshire residents. The commission develops and implements policy initiatives along with its partners in New Hampshire's state and federal judiciary.
“I am honored to be appointed co-chair of the Access to Justice Commission with Chief Judge Laplante,” said Rouvalis. “I look forward to working with the Supreme Court and the other dedicated commission members to recommend and implement ways to improve access to justice for all. As lawyers, we know that providing justice is one of the fundamental tenets of a democratic society. Ancient Greeks recognized the connection between democracy and justice. Sophocles is said to have written, ‘If we are to keep our democracy, there shall be one commandment: Thou shall not ration justice.' The mission of AJC is, in effect, to work toward achieving Sophocles' commandment of not rationing justice. I am pleased to undertake this new role, and to further the commission's efforts to increase access to justice.”
Commenting on Rouvalis's appointment, Judge Laplante said, “I could not be more pleased with the Court's appointment of Attorney Rouvalis to co-chair the Access to Justice Commission. He shares former co-chair Richard Uchida's commitment to these important issues, and he has a demonstrated record of engagement and effectiveness in dealing with them. Our next meeting is October 16, and I know Mark and the entire commission are ready to hit the ground running."
New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice Linda Stewart Dalianis added, “When the New Hampshire Supreme Court created AJC ten years ago, it noted that the level of participation in the state's bar association's pro bono program was considerably higher than comparable programs in other states, but that it was still not enough to meet the need for civil legal services for New Hampshire's low-income residents. We get closer to the goal of realizing equal justice for all in our state when talented attorneys like Mark volunteer their time and energy for such an important cause. I am delighted that he is our new co-chair, and, fully expect that, together with Judge Laplante, the commission will be even more driven to close the gap for those who need, and deserve, legal representation in civil cases but cannot afford it.”
Rouvalis is a trial lawyer who handles primarily business and environmental litigation. He has served on numerous bar association committees and non-profit boards. He presently is a member of the Committee on Cooperation with the Courts, and formerly was a board member and board chair of New Hampshire Legal Assistance. Rouvalis also is a long-time pro bono volunteer through the Bar's Pro Bono program.
Attorney Rouvalis received his J.D. with honors from Boston College Law School in 1988 and his B.A. from Brown University in 1983. He clerked for Justice William Batchelder with the New Hampshire Supreme Court from 1988-1989.