Meegan Reis, Esq.
Mediator, Attorney, Collaborative Practicioner
- Family Law
I have been practicing law since 1998 and have been a trial attorney in the New Hampshire Seacoast for over 20 years. During that time I have handled over a thousand cases in the Superior, District, and Family courts. During my career, I have been in private civil practice and in the public sector. I enjoyed the rare opportunity to spend time on both sides of the criminal bar, spending four years as a prosecutor with the Strafford County Attorney’s Office and seven years as a defense attorney with the New Hampshire Public Defender. As both a defense attorney and a prosecutor, trial was always the traditional way to resolve a case and in some cases, that was the best process. In many more cases though, the client or the public was better served by striving to find a fair resolution. I learned to strike a balance between fighting hard and effectively for my clients while not making the case more contentious.
After being a trial attorney for most of my career, my passion for mediation and collaboration developed in a rather non-traditional way. Prior to coming back into private practice in 2011, I was hired by the Strafford County Attorney’s Office to create and implement an early case resolution program focused on alternative resolution and sentencing. In creating this new program I had to convince Judges, prosecutors, police chiefs, law enforcement, victims and counsel that we needed to put away our old ways of thinking and be open to new and different ways to resolve cases. The crux of the new program was to get parties who normally felt the need to battle to come together and agree on what a “fair” resolution was. In order to do that, the focus needed to be on determining what each party’s needs were and then creatively meeting them. In hindsight I realize that was my biggest and most complicated mediation to date. This program thrives today as New Hampshire’s first alternative dispute resolution system of its kind in the criminal justice system. I continue to travel the state assisting other counties in implementing the program and training judges on the practice.
I have been lucky to be able to take that passion for mediation and collaboration and create a practice where that is the focus. Over the last few years I have become committed to developing a practice that uses alternative dispute resolution whenever possible. I continue to try and learn from the best mediators and practitioners and to help teach others how to use mediation and collaborative law in their practice. Last year I attended a week long training in California on mediation and settlement. This year I have been asked back to serve as an assistant trainer. I have presented trainings on mediation to the litigation bar and am now a board member of the Collaborative Law Alliance of New Hampshire. I believe that the clients are the best people to make these important decisions for their families. I strive to create a practice that supports families in doing that and that makes a process that allows them to succeed.
In my practice my goal is to help you find a process and a resolution that is best for you and your unique case. As your lawyer or your mediator, I work for you. My job is to be creative, supportive and empowering so that you can make these important decisions for your family. I offer you my years of experience, insight, and knowledge so as to enable you to make the best choices. In representing you, I draw upon both my extensive trial skills and my sense of when to compromise. In some cases, litigation is the only way to come to resolution. In those cases, I have the expertise to ensure that your interests are protected, and when necessary, vindicated. But I believe that litigation should not be the first sword drawn. I believe that your goals can best be met by being ever vigilant to exhaust settlement so that we can maximize the chance that you can resolve your case with dignity and compassion.
Trainings and Presentations
- Completed over 80 hours of training in New Hampshire Family Mediator Certification, Collaborative Divorce, and Neuroscience in Family Law.
- Completed an additional 40 hour Family Law Mediation Training with Forrest Mosten in Los Angeles, California. I was then invited back as an assistant trainer alongside Attorney Mosten for a week long mediation training in San Diego.
- Presented a training on “Legal Roadblocks to Settlement” to the New Hampshire Association for Justice.
- Completed a training with Boston Law Collaborative on Internal Family Systems and Mediation.
- Selected to be on a “Difficult Cases Panel” for the Divorce Mediation Training Associates Masters Training Series.
- Presented a training on Ethical Issues in Family Law for the National Business Institute • Member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators
- Trained both prosecutors and defense attorneys throughout the State in negotiations, cross examination and advanced trial skills.
- Trained Police Departments throughout Strafford County on legal issues and investigation.
- Implemented an alternative case resolution program in Strafford County meant to facilitate early negotiation and resolution of Superior Court Cases. Trained Judges, Defense Attorneys and Prosecutors on alternative case resolution.
Committees and Memberships
- Board member of the Collaborative Law Alliance of New Hampshire
- Former Member of the Governance Committee for the Strafford County Family Justice Center.
- Admitted to the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire State Bar and the Virginia State Bar.
- Graduated Cum Laude from T.C. Williams School of Law, University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia in 1998; Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania in 1995; Attended University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland in 1994.
- Proud mom to two crazy young boys and a dog.
- Finally ran a 10k for my 40th birthday.
- Acadia National Park is one of my favorite places.
- Still hoping to learn to sail but settling for kayaking right now.
- My family loves hiking and right now I can still (almost) keep up with the kids.
- Recently bought the first and oldest farm in Portsmouth and am learning the joys of farm life.