The Hippo


Jul 22, 2019








Daniel E Will

 What are you into right now?

From a curiosity standpoint, I’ve lately been interested in doing research on antique boats. ... Practically speaking, as August wanes and the onset of fall is upon us, we’ve been looking into getting our winter wood supply ready. 

New general in town
State appoints top appellate lawyer


 In August, Daniel Will was sworn in as New Hampshire’s first solicitor general. Gov. Chris Sununu signed SB 390 earlier this year to create the position, which will oversee and coordinate the state’s appeals process for cases heard in state and federal courts. Will was hired by Devine Millimet & Branch of Manchester in 1997 and became a shareholder in 2003.

What does a Solicitor General do, and why is it important New Hampshire has one?
The Solicitor General’s office will be within the Attorney General’s office. We will be responsible for overseeing all appeals the state is involved with, which includes appeals in state and federal supreme courts. We will also look at decisions that have been delivered by lower courts and decide whether or not to appeal them. Additionally, we will keep an eye on cases and appeals making their way through other court systems that might affect New Hampshire. … Most states have [a Solicitor General], and I believe New Hampshire is the 40th state to adopt this position. The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office already had a group of very skilled and talented appellate lawyers, but I think Attorney General [Gordon] MacDonald saw an opportunity to pull them together under the Solicitor General’s auspices. … Attorney General McDonald reached out to me after the statute was passed, and now here I am.
How has your experience prepared you to take on this role?
I spent 21 years at Devine Millimet, where I was lucky enough to have a pretty significant volume of appeals over the years in my practice. I’ve always loved writing briefs and arguing appeals. I also had the opportunity to chair the firm’s litigation department and serve as a member of the board of directors, which provided me with experience on the management side. I’m excited to bring that experience to this new position. 
As the first person to hold this position in the state, what are you hoping to accomplish?
To me, it’s an amazing opportunity. It’s literally a once in a lifetime opportunity to be the state’s first Solicitor General. This position is brand new, and so am I. But I can tell you that even after just a short time on the job, I’ve joined an office filled with very skilled and dedicated attorneys. I’m excited to be a part of that, and I hope to help the office better serve the people of our state. 
What are some of the most important legal issues you’ll be overseeing on behalf of New Hampshire?
Honestly, I’m just beginning to learn about all the different things the Attorney General’s office is involved in. I really can’t say specifically any particular issues I’ll be involved with, but I can tell you I’ll be involved in some way with any issue that concerns an appeal with the state. … My focus for the last 21 years has been primarily on my business litigation cases. I really do feel like I’m on a learning curve, which is going to be part of my process of transitioning over here. 
You write in your bio that you live in and maintain a 200-year-old colonial home. What’s that like?
Both my wife I were really hoping to live in a more rural setting to have space and some land, and we’ve always loved colonial architecture. We were really drawn to our house in Loudon because it has a lot of its original features. It still has its original timber frame held together by wooden pegs. It’s amazing to think that we’re walking on the same floorboards people walked on 200 years ago, and we’re parking our cars in a barn that people used to put horses in. … I’ve also always gravitated toward old things. I cut a lot of firewood, and we burn wood in the winter which heats much of the house. I sometimes use 40- or 50-year-old equipment when I’m working around the place. ... Of course, with an old home, the things that are amazing can also be frustrating at the same time. There’s always something to be done. We never look at the house and see there’s no projects left to do. … But if you think you like old houses, don’t be scared off — it isn’t really that bad. You just have to live with a little “undone-ness” from time to time. We view ourselves as stewards of a historic house that we can hopefully maintain for future generations. 
— Scott Murphy 

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