After 47 years as a practicing attorney and District Judge, Jay Boynton has decided to retire and is in the process of closing his office in Andover. Boynton, with his wife Robin have been residents of Andover for almost many years and say that they love it here and have no plans to go anywhere else.
In a recent phone interview, Boynton told me that as a youth he was interested in environmental and agricultural issues and thought he would pursue a law career in that area. Having been raised in Laconia, NH, he did not have to go very far to find programs in his area of interest and did his undergraduate studies at UNH, including Army ROTC.
Boynton had joined the U.S. Army at a time when there was a need for attorneys, with the heating up of the Vietnam War. He was allowed to attend the University of Oregon at Eugene to pursue his law degree. The University of Oregon had a law program with a focus on the environment and agricultural issues.
Upon graduation from law school, the army had plenty of lawyers and he was able to transfer to the U.S. Coast Guard to complete his obligation. In the Coast Guard, Boynton did criminal defense work involving courts martial and the like. He also taught International Law for a while at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT.
Following his military service, Boynton returned to his native New Hampshire and began practicing law in the Southern part of the state. Later he joined the practice of Arthur Nighswander in Laconia. He was appointed as a NH District Court Justice and served in the Franklin District Court for 37 years, while still maintaining his private practice in Franklin and later in Andover. When asked if it was difficult to be a judge, Boynton replied that he enjoyed doing that work and was glad to be in a smaller community where he could get to know the families and the people in the community. He felt that he was able to make a contribution for good in the community.
From starting out with desires to be an environmental lawyer, Boynton has had a very diverse legal career, from teaching international law to being a court justice to representing many school districts with contract negotiations, employment issues, business dealings and student conduct issues to having a general legal practise in a small New Hampshire town.
Those who have visited the Andover office know that Boynton's wife Robin has been an important part of the practice. Since her retirement from Dartmouth College in 2004, she has been doing paralegal work. She worked at a law firm in Vermont for a short time before working exclusively with her husband.
The Boyntons are looking forward to spending more time with family and enjoying their Andover community. Together they have five children and 8 grandchildren.
Although Boynton has officially retired, he and Robin are still finishing up loose ends and preparations for closing up the office which they have occupied for many years on Main Street next door to the Andover Post Office. Inquiries about files or records retained at their office may be made until February 28.