Governor Chris Sununu to Nominate Attorney General Gordon MacDonald as Next Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court

Concord, NH – Yesterday, Governor Chris Sununu announced that he will nominate Attorney General Gordon MacDonald to serve as the next Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court. The nomination will be made today, January 7th, at the first Executive Council Meeting of 2021. If confirmed, AG MacDonald will succeed Chief Justice Bob Lynn, who retired on August 23rd, 2019 and take over leadership of the Judicial Branch from Senior Associate Justice Gary Hicks, who has lead the branch admirably for the last year and a half.

“Gordon has served this State with distinction as Attorney General for the last four years, and I am honored to nominate him to lead our State’s highest court,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “From suing polluters to leading the fight against Massachusetts’ unconstitutional taxation of our citizens in the United States Supreme Court, Gordon has never been afraid to take the action that he believes is right, even when that course may not be the easiest. Our Department of Justice has continued to thrive under Gordon’s leadership and I am confident that, if confirmed, Gordon will lead our Judicial Branch with distinction.”

“I am grateful to Governor Sununu for the confidence he has placed in me and for the prospective opportunity to serve the people of New Hampshire in this extraordinarily important role,” said Attorney General MacDonald. 

“I am truly delighted to hear that Governor Sununu has decided to nominate Gordon MacDonald to be Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court,” said Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Bob Lynn.  “Gordon is exceptionally well-qualified for this important position.  He has a long and well-deserved reputation as an outstanding lawyer – smart, hardworking, thoughtful, and fair minded.   He also brings to the Court a proven record of service in both the private and public sectors, including his admirable performance over the last four years as Attorney General of New Hampshire.”

Information about Attorney General Gordon MacDonald:

AG MacDonald has served as the state’s Attorney General since April of 2017. In that role he has managed a team of over 140 employees, including more than 60 attorneys. His accomplishments during his time as Attorney General include joining with Governor Sununu to establish the Department’s first ever Civil Rights Unit, and spearheading an effort to create the position of Solicitor General, thereby consolidating all State appeals under the leadership of a Chief Legal Officer within the Department. On AG MacDonald’s recommendation, that legislation also established a new position dedicated to the training and professional development of all prosecutors in the state, including at the county and municipal levels. AG MacDonald has also been committed to bringing greater transparency to the Department’s work.

Prior to serving as Attorney General, AG MacDonald was a Partner at Nixon Peabody LLP in Manchester, where he was a member of the Commercial Litigation Practice Group. A graduate of Dartmouth College and Cornell Law School, he earned recognition as one of the state’s top attorneys for commercial and health care litigation by Chambers USA and Benchmark Litigation and successfully handled a number of high-profile cases in both state and federal court. Before entering private practice, AG MacDonald served as a judicial law clerk to Judge Norman H. Stahl of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He has been a member of the New Hampshire Bar since 1995.

A widely recognized and well-respected leader in the legal community, AG MacDonald served as the Chair of the New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners and the Chair of the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s Commission on the New Hampshire Bar in the 21st Century. He was appointed to both positions by the New Hampshire Supreme Court. His commitment to public service is further demonstrated through his work as a volunteer attorney for the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Domestic Violence Emergency Program and his service as the former chair of the Campaign for Legal Services Leadership Council, which raises funds for civil legal assistance in New Hampshire. AG MacDonald received the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Distinguished Service to the Public Award in 2014 and the John E. Tobin, Jr., Justice Award from the Campaign for Legal Services in 2017.  He currently serves as co-chair of the National Association of Attorneys General Committees on Training and Charities.  

Note: Background on Gordon MacDonald’s nomination to serve as Attorney General back in 2017 can be found here. Background on Gordon MacDonald’s first nomination to serve as Chief Justice in 2019 can be found here, and Governor Sununu’s statement following the Executive Council’s 2019 vote to reject his nomination can be found here.