Daniel M. Cappiello

Of Counsel

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Dan began his legal career well before becoming an attorney, when he was accepted as a VISTA volunteer after graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 1967. He was fortunate to have been assigned to The VISTA Bail Bond Project for indigent criminal defendants sponsored by the Dade County Public Defenders in Miami, Florida. Duties included appearing in court on a daily basis getting felony criminal defendants released on personal recognizance under his supervision, after which he would put on his social worker hat to place his "clients" back in school or find them employment, and/or to find other ways to keep them out of trouble, making sure they made all their scheduled court appearances. During evenings he would work as a licensed criminal investigator for various public defenders to assist in trial preparation. VISTA became the primary inspiration for Dan to pursue a career in the legal profession. His lay career continued while serving in the US Army as a battalion legal technician while stationed in South Korea from the fall of 1968 through January 1970. In the fall of 1970 he matriculated at New England School of Law, and after graduating in 1973 he became a member of both the New Hampshire and Massachusetts Bar Associations.

His career as an attorney began as an associate with Atty. Alfred Catalfo, Jr, in Dover. NH the week after he passed the bar examination in the fall of 1973. His field of concentration was criminal defense and domestic relations, as well as a general practice in civil litigation, including personal injury, probate, wills, real estate, municipal law, landlord/tenant and workers compensation.

In 1977 Dan teamed up with Atty. Thomas Dunnington, forming a professional association doing business as Keefe, Dunnington and Cappiello, PA. In 1979 Dan went off on his own as a solo practitioner and enjoyed a successful practice for the next two years. In 1981 Bill Shaheen was about to end his term as United States Attorney for the District of New Hampshire, and it was time for him to return to his hometown of Dover, New Hampshire. At that time Steve Gordon would also be leaving the United States Attorney's Office. 1981 was the year Dan became one of the founding partners in the law firm of Shaheen, Cappiello, Stein & Gordon, PA.

The firm now well known as Shaheen & Gordon, PA., has grown to be one of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the state. During his twenty plus years with the firm, Dan served as the City Attorney for the City of Somersworth, a position he enjoyed for 11 years while he continued to maintain, a fairly general practice, with concentrations on criminal defense, plaintiff personal injury litigation, motor vehicle administrative law, workers compensation law, real estate transactions, municipal law, general civil litigation, probate and bankruptcy law.

Dan then took the opportunity to pursue a judgeship, and in 2002 he first became a part time Special Justice of the Rochester District Court and in 2005 he resigned from the firm to become the full-time presiding justice of the Rochester District Court where he remained until his retirement from the bench in December 2013. During his tenure in the circuit court system, he would consider his proudest achievement to be the formation of the Strafford County Mental Health Court (MHC). Dan is now very excited to return to the private practice of law with his family of friends and colleagues at Shaheen & Gordon, PA.


  • University of New Hampshire, B.A. (including one year abroad at University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany)
  • New England Law Boston, J.D.

Bar Admission

  • New Hampshire Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States District Court for State of New Hampshire


  • Board of Directors, The Clinic, Dover, NH (now Goodwin Community Health, Somersworth NH)
  • Board of Directors, Strafford Guidance Center (Precursor to Community Partners), Dover, NH
  • Board of Directors, Community Partners BH & DSSC, Dover and Rochester, NH
  • Board of Directors and Secretary, Cochecho Country Club, Dover, NH

Memberships and Associations

  • Participant and Stakeholder, Strafford County Mental Health Council
  • Participant and stakeholder, New Hampshire Supreme Court Mental Health Task Force

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