Debra Weiss Ford is Office Managing Shareholder and Litigation Manager of the Portsmouth, NH office. Ms. Ford has over 30 years of experience representing employers in litigation matters before the state and federal courts and administrative agencies. Ms. Ford also represents employers before the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New Hampshire Department of Labor, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and the Massachusetts Department of Employment Training.
Ms. Ford also lectures frequently at seminars in New Hampshire and Massachusetts on issues related to employment law, including discrimination, wrongful discharge, reductions in force, termination issues, personnel issues, and contractual issues. She regularly advises clients on employment-related matters.
Ms. Ford received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Drew University in 1979 and her J.D. from Temple University of School of Law in 1982. She is an approved federal and state mediator. She is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, Massachusetts Bar Association, Maine Bar Association, American Bar Association, New Hampshire Trial Lawyers Association, American Arbitration Association, the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the National Association of College and University Attorneys. She is admitted to practice in the State of New Hampshire, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, State of Maine, United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire, United States District Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, United States Claims Court, and the Supreme Court of the United States. Ms. Ford was a member of the New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners from 1993 to 2005. She was appointed by the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire to serve on the Merit Selection Panel to consider the reappointment of the incumbent magistrate. In 2003, she was appointed to serve on the Federal Court Advisory Committee.
Ms. Ford is listed by Chambers as one of America s Leading Lawyers for Business. She is the author of the New Hampshire chapter of Workplace Privacy, a legal reference book for managers and human resource professionals, published by the Thompson Publishing Group, a division of West Publications. Ms. Ford was elected as a fellow to The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in June 2006. She is named as New Hampshire s Best Labor and Employment Lawyer by Business NH Magazine. She is listed in The Best Lawyers in America by Woodward White, Inc., and has been recognized by New England Super Lawyers as one of the top 50 women lawyers in New England and one of the top 100 lawyers in New England. She is listed in Top NH Lawyers in Labor and Employment in New Hampshire Magazine and has consistently been named the Best Lawyers Manchester Employment Law - Management Lawyer of the Year. She is also rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell. Ms. Ford was named one of the “Leaders in their Field” in the 2012 Chambers USA Legal Guide. Ms. Ford serves as a board member for the Portsmouth Music Hall, Family Service, Inc., and Seacoast Human Resources Association, and she is an emeritus board member of the New Hampshire SPCA.
Ms. Ford was rated as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer” by Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell
Honors, Awards and Pro Bono Activity
•Named Best Labor and Employment attorney in New Hampshire, Business New Hampshire Magazine
•Listed in Best Lawyers in America (Labor & Employment Law)
•Listed in Top New Hampshire Lawyers in Labor and Employment, New Hampshire Magazine
•Elected as a fellow to the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
•Listed in New England Super Lawyers (Top 100 attorneys in New England)
•Listed in New England Super Lawyers (Top 50 Women in New England, Employment & Labor)
•Listed in Chambers USA as one of the top Lawyers in Labor and Employment
•Martindale-Hubbell, AV Rating
•Voluntary Action, Inc. (Board of Directors, 1984)
•Ballet New England (Board of Directors, 1987-1988)
•Pro Portsmouth, Inc. (Board of Directors, 1988-Present)
•First Night/Portsmouth (Vice President, 1991-1992)
•NHSPCA (Board of Directors, 2004-Present)
•1st Tee (Board of Directors, 2005-2006; Honorary Board Member, 2005-2008)
•Rockingham County Action (Board of Directors, 2009-Present)
•Selected for inclusion in 2010 New England Super Lawyers