Attorney Richard Uchida, partner at Hinckley Allen, has been named as the recipient of the nineteenth annual New Hampshire Construction Industry Ethics Award. The award honors the "individual, business or organization that, through its words and deeds, best demonstrates a commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards in construction." Uchida was presented with the award at the Concord Chamber of Commerce's State of the City Breakfast Forum on April 9 at the Holiday Inn.
A graduate of Colby College and Franklin Pierce Law Center (now University of New Hampshire School of Law), Uchida was admitted to the bar in 1984. During his 30-year career he has concentrated in real estate matters, including commercial and residential real estate development, real estate and business acquisitions and sales, general business representation, advice and counseling, zoning and planning, including governmental permitting and approvals, and general commercial litigation.
"Richard is considered by many, if not most, of our colleagues, and by me, as the model for ethics among lawyers," said Don Hebert, a lawyer and former partner of Uchida's. "There is no attorney in New Hampshire who has a higher set of personal standards."
"He is a man of his word and his handshake is better than any written agreement," said John Sokul, Jr., a partner at Hinckley Allen. "He never reneges on a promise or a commitment. In drafting documents he never takes unfair advantage of others involved in the transaction. Clients and other professionals come back to Richard again and again not because he is always the best lawyer but because he can be trustedâ€”without question."
But it's not only fellow attorneys who sing Uchida's praises.
According to Concord mayor Jim Bouley, who has worked with him on dozens of projects, "Mr. Uchida is a consummate professional who understands that one's conduct leaves a lasting legacy...He is a master of finding practical solutions to problems through dialogue and compromise rather than litigation."
"Richard is the type of man who lives by an approach that is based on open, honest, unemotional and thoughtful dialogue," said architect Jonathan Halle of Warrenstreet Architects, "an approach that has earned him respect amongst his peers as well as his clients. In a world that seems in constant motion and unrest, Attorney Uchida delivers a sense of believable fairness."
Max Puyanic, CEO of ConvenientMD, became a client after having seen Uchida represent the developer of a property where Puyanic sought to be a tenant. "My observation from sitting across the table from Richard was that he was guided by an exceptionally strong code of ethics, and that others with whom he interacted were encouraged to act similarly."
Uchida's list of professional and community activities and honors is considerable, and includes Adjunct Professor at UNH School of Law, New Hampshire Judicial Council member, co-chair New Hampshire Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission, former president of the New Hampshire Bar Association, member of the New Hampshire Bar Association Ethics Committee, vice chair of the Colby College board of trustees, former trustee of the UNH School of Law, director of the Capitol Center for the Arts and numerous honors from legal profession. He is also a much sought after lecturer.
In addition to a plaque, the award carries with it a $1,000 donation to the recipient's charity of choice. Uchida has requested that the donation go to the Capitol Center for the Arts.
The New Hampshire Construction Industry Ethics Award was established and is underwritten by David Wood, a nationally recognized writer, publisher and marketing consultant specializing in the construction industry, who recently retired. His newsletter, Words from Woody, won 25 awards, including being a three-time recipient of the Construction Writers Association's prestigious T. Randolph Russell Award. In 2005, Wood was presented with the Silver Hard Hat, that organization's highest honor.
Previous recipients of the award have been William Clark of Clark Masonry Construction, Milford, N.H.; William Walker of The MacMillin Company, Keene, N.H.; Samuel Audley, of R.S. Audley, Inc., Bow, N.H.; Levi Ladd of L.K. Ladd, Inc., Concord, N.H.; Jack McDevitt Jr. of McDevitt Trucks, Inc., Manchester, N.H.; Tom Avallone of Cobb Hill Construction, Concord, N.H.; Jim Morrill,of Morrill Construction, North Haverhill, N.H.; Mark and Rick Charbonneau of Continental Paving, Londonderry, N.H.; Leighton White of Leighton A. White Inc., Milford, N.H.; Rich Lambert of PROCON, Hooksett, N.H.; Tom Palazzi of The Palazzi Corp., Hooksett, N.H.; Ron Severino of Severino Trucking, Candia, N.H.; Paul Morin of Tarkka Homes, Weare, N.H.; Bruss Construction, Bradford, N.H.; John Zahr of Harvey Construction Corp., Bedford, N.H.; Mark Bates of Weaver Brothers Construction, Bow, N.H.; Tom Morin of Morin's Landscaping, Hollis, N.H.; and Dan Hazelton of Anderson Equipment Company, Manchester, N.H.