William L. Chapman

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william chapman

Phone: 603.223.9107
Email: wchapman@orr-reno.com
Fax: 603.223.9007



Bill’s focus is representing the media, journalists and authors; appellate practice; trusts, estates and estate administration; and businesses seeking tax exemptions and/or abatements.  Bill has represented a number of national, regional and local media organizations and journalists in access cases under the First Amendment, the Freedom of Information Act and New Hampshire’s Right-to-Know Law; and in defending against defamation and privacy claims.

Notable cases

  • Served as counsel for the press
    • Thomson v. Cash, 117 N.H. 653 (1977)
    • State v. Siel, 122 N.H. 254 (1982)
    • Petition of Chapman, 128 N.H. 24 (1986)
    • The Associated Press v. State, 152 N.H. 120 (2005)
    • State v. Decato, 156 N.H. 570 (2007)
  • Due Process Cases
    • Doe v. State, 167 N.H. 382 (2015)
  • Tax Exemption Cases
    • Town of Peterborough v. MacDowell Colony, Inc., 157 N.H. 1 (2008)
    • ElderTrust of Florida, Inc. v. Town of Epsom, 154 N.H. 693 (2007)
    • St. Paul’s School v. City of Concord, 117 N.H. 243 (1977)


Bill enjoys skiing, biking and sailing

Personal Qualities

Chambers USA, the leading global attorney ranking service, describes Bill as possessing “a depth of experience in media litigation, taxation matters, and First Amendment litigation.”

Professional and Community Involvement

Professional Involvement

  • New Hampshire Supreme Court’s Committee on the Judiciary and the Media
  • Media Law Resource Center Newsgathering Committee
  • Faculty member at libel privacy seminars sponsored by the American Newspaper Publisher Association, Practicing Law Institute, the New England Press Association, and the New Hampshire Bar Association
  • Board of Directors, Campaign for Legal Services
  • Board of Directors, New Hampshire Legal Assistance and Legal Advice & Referral Center

Community Involvement

  • Emeritus Trustee, New Hampshire Public Radio
  • Board of Trustees, Concord Hospital
  • Board of Trustees, Carolyn Jenkins Charitable Trust

Honors & Distinctions

  • 2016 Honoree, NH Bar Foundation,
  • ACLU-NH, 2015 Bill of Rights Award
  • Cited in The Best Lawyers in America for First Amendment Law and Appellate Law, since 1991
  • Chambers USA, America’s Leading Business Lawyers 2005, for first amendment law and for general commercial litigation 2006
  • Voted as a Rising Star for intellectual property law by New Hampshire attorneys (online poll conducted by NH Magazine, October 2004)
  • Recognized as a New England Super Lawyer, Appellate Attorney since 2007
  • E. Donald Dufresne Award for Outstanding Professionalism, New Hampshire Bar Association 1999
  • Leadership Award, United Way of Merrimack County, 1997
  • President’s Award, New Hampshire Bar Association 1992


Speaking Engagements

Presenter, New England Graduate Accounting Studies Conference, 2016. “Estate Tax Apportionment

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