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Joseph DiClerico, longtime federal judge in NH, dies

"He was the consummate trial judge: patient, wise, fair, kind, and humble."

This image provided by the U.S. District Court of New Hampshire shows Joseph A. DiClerico, Jr., a federal judge who served on the U.S. District Court in New Hampshire for three decades. U.S. District Court of New Hampshire via AP


CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Joseph A. DiClerico, Jr., a federal judge who served on the U.S. District Court in New Hampshire for three decades, has died, the court said in a statement Sunday.

DiClerico died Saturday. He was 81. The cause of death was not disclosed.

“He was the consummate trial judge: patient, wise, fair, kind, and humble,” current Chief Judge Landya McCafferty said in a statement. “He was also a judge’s judge, possessing attributes that many of his state and federal judicial colleagues sought to emulate over the past four decades.”

DiClerico will also be remembered for his “wit, friendship, thoughtfulness, and caring nature,” she said.

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DiClerico was nominated to the federal bench by President George H.W. Bush in 1992, and served as the court’s chief judge from 1992 to 1997. He assumed senior status in 2007, a sort of semi-retirement in which a federal judge usually handles a reduced caseload.

DiClerico was raised in Nahant, Massachusetts, and earned degrees from Williams College and Yale Law School.

He served as a law clerk both at both the federal court and at the New Hampshire Supreme Court. He was in private practice from 1968 to 1970 until he was hired as an assistant attorney general for New Hampshire.

He was appointed as an associate justice on the New Hampshire Superior Court in 1977, and served as chief justice of the Superior Court from 1991 to 1992.

“Few judges in history have had as prominent a federal and state role in the administration of justice for New Hampshire citizens as Judge DiClerico,” Jeffrey Howard, the former chief judge of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said in a statement.

He was also a mentor and a friend, Howard said.

DiClerico is survived by his wife, Laurie, a daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren.

No funeral arrangements were provided.

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