Hon. Joseph N. Laplante of the US District Court for the District of NH was appointed as a U.S. District Judge in 2007 (serving as Chief Judge from 2011-2018) after a career as a trial lawyer and litigator in several capacities: the US Attorney’s Offices in Boston and Concord, NH working primarily for the New England Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, and as both Assistant and First Assistant US Attorney, as well as the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice in Washington and Los Angeles, the NH Attorney General’s Office Homicide Unit, and the Manchester, NH law firm Wiggin & Nourie.
He earned both his A.B. cum laude (1987) and his J.D. cum laude (1990) from Georgetown University, and attended one semester (3L, non-matriculating) at University of Pennsylvania Law School (from which his spouse, Attorney Carol A. Fiore, graduated in 1990).
He is an adjunct professor of law at Boston College Law School, the University of New Hampshire School of Law, and Suffolk University Law School, teaching Statutory Interpretation. He was elected to the American Law Institute in 2018. He has written several articles of legal analysis published in NH Bar Journal, and book reviews for the NH Bar News.
Judge Laplante is the co-chair of the N.H. Access to Justice Commission, and a member of the Nashua Bar Association and the Webster-Batchelder American Inns of Court. He has served on the NHBA’s New Lawyers’ Committee (former chair) and the Committee on Professionalism (former chair), and serves on the Committee on Cooperation with the Courts.
Awards he has received include the American College of Trial Lawyers Golden Gavel Award (2018), the NH Bar Association’s Distinguished Service to the Public Award (2017), the NH Bar Foundation’s Robert E. Kirby Award (2001), the Edward “Ted” Jordan Humanitarian Award (Nashua Bar Association 2008), and the Thomas More Award. Prior to assuming the bench, he received several awards from the New England Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, the NH Drug Task Force, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Boston Police Department, and the NH Congressional Delegation.
Judge Laplante is the Vice Chair of the Rivier University Board of Trustees, Vice Chair of the St. Paul’s School Advanced Studies Program Board of Overseers, and sits on the Board of Trustees of the Southern NH Medical Center, as well as the Georgetown University Alumni Association Board of Governors. He is the former chair of the Nashua Region Board of thee New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.
He served on the United States Judicial Conference (governing body of US Judiciary) Committee on Court Administration and Case Management (CACM) and sits on the First Circuit Judicial Council and the Board of Directors for the Federal Judges Association. Locally, the majority of Judge Laplante’s “hands on” volunteer time is spent at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Nashua, and Nashua PAL.