Staff

 
Devon Chaffee : Executive Director

Devon Chaffee

Executive Director

Having worked in non-profit advocacy for over a decade, Devon comes to the ACLU of New Hampshire with a solid track record of effectively advocating on behalf of marginalized constituencies through innovative, strategic, and persistent lobbying and public education.

While with the ACLU Washington Office, Devon worked to stop bias policing, prisoner abuse, privacy violations and free speech infringement. Prior to joining the ACLU, Devon served as Advocacy Counsel at Human Rights First, fighting against U.S. counterterrorism and national security policies that violate human rights.

Devon received her J.D. magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center where she was a Public Interest Law Scholar; she received her B.A. from Hampshire College.

Gilles Bissonnette : Legal Director

Gilles Bissonnette

Legal Director

Gilles comes to the ACLU with extensive civil litigation experience, which has included aggressive advocacy in both the freedom of speech and privacy arenas.  While at the ACLU, Gilles has achieved significant victories in the areas of voting rights, free speech, access to justice for indigent defendants, and criminal justice reform, including in the following cases:

  • Guare, et al. v. New Hampshire, No. 2012-cv-458 (N.H. Super. Ct, Strafford Cty., July 24, 2014)  (striking down voter registration form language that would impose a chilling effect on the right to vote of those domiciled in New Hampshire).
  • Pendleton v. Town of Hudson, No. 14-cv-00365-PB (D.N.H., filed Aug. 20, 2014) (secured $37,500 settlement and permanent consent order in lawsuit where Town detained, harassed, threatened, dispersed, and cited peaceful panhandlers in violation of the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments).
  • Pendleton v. City of Nashua (secured $15,000 settlement in a case where homeless client was arrested and spent 33 days in jail simply for walking along a public foot path in the park adjacent to the Nashua public library in violation of his First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment rights).
  • Kearns v. Town of Littleton (secured $17,500 settlement and further police training in case where client was arrested simply for allegedly swearing at a parking enforcement official in violation of the First Amendment).
  • New Hampshire v. Brouillette, 166 N.H. 487 (2014) (holding that indigent defendants who have secured private counsel — including on a pro bono basis — have the right to obtain state funds for experts and other ancillary defense services necessary for an adequate defense).
  • Petition of State of New Hampshire166 N.H. 659 (2014) (applying retroactively U.S. Supreme Court decision holding that mandatory life without parole sentences for juveniles violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment).
  • Libertarian Party of New Hampshire v. New Hampshire, No. 14-cv-00322-PB, 2014 DNH 266, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178195 (D.N.H. Dec. 30, 2014) (Libertarian Party stated a claim that law hindering its access to the ballot was unconstitutional under the First and Fourteenth Amendments).
  • Doe v. New Hampshire, No. 2013-496, 2015 N.H. LEXIS 14 (N.H. Sup. Ct. Feb. 12, 2015) (New Hampshire's retroactive, lifetime registration requirements for certain offenders are “punitive in effect” and therefore unconstitutional as applied to ACLU client under New Hampshire Constitution's bar on retrospective laws).

Gilles has also taught CLEs on the First Amendment.  Prior to joining the ACLU, Gilles was a civil litigator in Boston, including at the law firms of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP and Todd & Weld LLP.

Gilles clerked for Judge Thomas M. Golden of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  Gilles received his J.D. from UCLA School of Law where he was the Chief Comments Editor of the UCLA Law Review.  He received his B.A. and M.A. in history from Washington University in St. Louis.  He is admitted to practice law in the state and federal courts in New Hampshire.  His publications and appearances include:

Paul Racioppi : Development Director

Paul Racioppi

Development Director

With a professional career that spans more than two decades, Paul brings a range of experience and expertise in many facets of nonprofit fundraising.  Prior to joining the ACLU, Paul was a planned giving officer at the University of New Hampshire and, before that, the development director at a major New York City community organization in Greenwich Village.  Paul brings enthusiasm and eagerness to his work at the ACLU.  His collaborative style and broad experience are valuable assets that will be critical to implementing the ACLU of New Hampshire’s fundraising objectives.

Sheila Pappas : Office Manager

Sheila Pappas

Office Manager

Sheila Pappas has been with the ACLU of New Hampshire since 1997.  During that time Sheila has worked to maintain an efficient well run office, including scheduling meetings, managing intakes and inquiries, data input, producing reports, and assisting with Development activities. Prior to joining the ACLU of New Hampshire, Sheila worked with the Disability Rights Center as an intake coordinator.

 Posted by on December 23, 2014 at 10:51 am