University of New Hampshire

School of Law

School of Law

Governor Nominates UNH Law Professor to Superior Court Judgeship

Professor Charles Temple, a UNH/UNH Law Alum, Directs Law School's Criminal Practice Clinic

UNH Law Professor Charles Temple has been nominated to serve as a New Hampshire Superior Court Judge.

Temple, who graduated from UNH in 1982 and from UNH Law in 1985, was one of five nominees appointed by NH Governor Maggie Hassan. Another nominee, Elizabeth Leonard, graduated from UNH Law in 1995.

“Identifying highly qualified judges with the utmost experience, character, and integrity is essential for ensuring an effective, fair, and transparent judicial system,” Governor Hassan said in her public announcement. “These five candidates have each proven throughout their careers that they have the temperament and experience required to serve as excellent judges, and I thank them for accepting this great responsibility on behalf of the people of New Hampshire.”

A longtime professor at UNH Law who has taught a range of courses, Temple heads the school’s Criminal Practice Clinic. Students in the clinic appear in the state's Circuit and Superior Courts under Temple's supervision in a variety of criminal cases, representing clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies. Over the past 10 years, students have tried multiple jury and bench trials in Circuit and Superior Courts. Many students have gone on to successful careers as public defenders and prosecutors. Prior to his work in the Criminal Practice Clinic, Temple taught as an adjunct professor in UNH Law’s Civil Practice Clinic.

“I’m very honored by Governor Hassan’s nomination to the Superior Court, and I look forward to my confirmation hearing with the Executive Council,” Temple said. “I am more than thankful for UNH Law and the relationships I’ve built with faculty, staff, and students.”

Prior to his tenure at UNH Law, Temple was a partner in the NH firm Upshall, Cooper and Temple for 18 years, practicing in the state’s District, Superior, and Supreme Courts. He also has appeared in the New Hampshire Federal District Court and the First Circuit Court of Appeals. His father, the late Robert Temple, served as a NH Superior Court judge for 13 years.

“When I heard the news that Chuck had been nominated to the Superior Court bench, I immediately thought of his dad, who was an exemplary jurist,” said UNH Law Professor Peter Wright, who heads the school’s Consumer & Commercial Law Clinic. “I know Chuck will bring to the bench the same compassion, caring, respect, and deep knowledge of the law that his dad contributed over the many years he served on the bench. His father would have been very proud to learn of Chuck’s nomination.”

“Professor Temple is a gifted teacher and talented lawyer,” added UNH Law Visiting Professor Emeritus Mitchell Simon, a national expert on legal ethics. “His integrity, intellect, and unfailing good humor will make him a great judge.”

Temple is one of 46 UNH Law alumni who have gone on to serve as judges, including Associate Justice Carol Conboy JD ’78 of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, and Chief Justice Tina Nadeau JD ’85 of the New Hampshire Superior Court.

“I met Chuck on our very first day of law school back in 1982,” said NH Circuit Court Judge Kristin Spath, who graduated from UNH Law alongside Temple in 1985. “He was then, and continues to be, one of the nicest, funniest, and most capable people I know. He is a great lawyer and will be an excellent judge.”

UNH Law Professor Buzz Scherr, chair of the law school’s International Criminal Law and Justice Programs, praised Governor Hassan’s choice.

“Professor Temple is an excellent teacher and advocate who respects and cares deeply for his students and clients,” Scherr said. “I have no doubt that he'll bring that respect and caring spirit to the bench. I’m sure his father is smiling with pride up in heaven."