About Us - A Proud History
Our firm was started as a solo practice in Laconia, New Hampshire, by Oscar Young in 1901. Although the names and faces have changed over the last century, we remain committed to our tradition of helping people resolve problems and contributing to the legal profession and to the communities we serve. Shortly after Attorney Young opened his office, he expanded by hiring Thomas P. Cheney as his associate with an office in the "Baldi Building" at 644 Main Street, Laconia, as “Young & Cheney”. Oscar Young served as New Hampshire Attorney General from 1918-1923, and was later appointed to the New Hampshire Superior Court. He became the Court’s Chief Justice in 1941.
In 1927, Attorney Cheney moved the office to the former Laconia Savings Bank Building located in downtown Laconia. William S. Lord (1906-1996) joined the firm as an associate in the 1930s. In 1935, Attorney Cheney was appointed Attorney General for the State of New Hampshire. In 1936, Arthur H. Nighswander and William S. Lord became partners of Cheney, Nighswander & Lord, and then Nighswander & Lord in 1946, after the death of Thomas Cheney. Hugh H. Bownes began his legal career as an associate of Nighswander & Lord and became a named partner of Nighswander, Lord & Bownes in 1952. He was appointed to the New Hampshire Superior Court in 1966, and then only two years later, was nominated by President Lyndon Johnson to the United States District Court for the State of New Hampshire. In October 1977, he was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. General Conrad E. Snow became “Of Counsel” to the firm in 1958 upon his retirement from the United States State Department.
In 1961, Wiillard G. Martin, Jr. was hired as an associate, and he became a partner in 1964. David S. Osman, Margaret A. Demos, Benette Pizzimenti, and Steven B. Goss are directors and shareholders of Martin, Lord & Osman, P.A.
The changes in our name reflects our firm’s evolution. In 1971, there was a historic change and modernization. The firm moved to its current home in the renovated historic Busiel Mill, now known as One Mill Plaza. The building is listed in the United States Register of Historic Buildings.
Our attorneys benefit from focusing their practices in specific areas of the law, and we have practice management groups in litigation, real estate, business, estate planning and probate matters. The attorneys are supported by legal assistants and paralegals who work together on behalf of our clients. We have a network of office locations in Laconia, Lebanon, Lancaster and Wolfeboro which enhances our high quality personal service.
Martin, Lord & Osman handles all types of commercial and residential real estate matters. We represent sellers and purchasers in negotiations and in the preparation of contracts and conveyancing documents. Our real estate attorneys are licensed agents for major title insurance companies. We are experienced in the formation of condominiums and other forms of land development. We have represented associations of condominium and home owners and advise clients on boundary and right of way disputes, real estate leasing and mortgage foreclosure. Our book, "New Hampshire Land Use Law" has been well received by local officials and other attorneys.
Our attorneys represent and give advice to corporations, general and limited partnerships, limited liability companies and sole proprietorships. We are experienced in general business litigation, debtor/creditor relations and assist our clients in preparing corporate and individual taxes.
In the health care field, we advise local hospitals on many aspects of hospital administration, including medical staff privileges, bylaws, personnel issues, third party reimbursement, certificate of need applications, bonding, and contracts.
We provide advice and expertise in every facet of estate planning, probate and tax law, including basic and complex estate planning and administration.
Our litigation group handles a wide variety of cases, including personal injury matters, complex business disputes, divorce and parenting issues, professional negligence, construction disputes and many other types of civil issues. We continue to expand our commitment and support for alternative dispute resolution, including neutral evaluation, arbitration, and mediation. Our attorneys participate as mediators on the rosters of the Superior Court and the Family Division.
Our clients often enjoy long-standing relationships with the firm. We look forward to serving many future generations with the same personal attention our clients have enjoyed for more than 100 years.