Bar News News Archive


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    MLK, Jr. Poster-Essay Contest Ceremony Success!

    The VBA, along with its Diversity Section and Young Lawyers Division, hosted the fourth annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School Poster-Essay Contest.  Each year, a committee comprised of representatives from the VBA, the VBA Diversity Section and the VBA Young Lawyers Division, chooses a quote by the late Dr. King to inspire the students to participate in the contest. This year’s quote: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends” served as inspiration to over 70 students who submitted a record number of entries! The virtual ceremony was held on Tuesday. Check our our BLAWG for the full story and, of course, pictures!

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    VBA Nominating Committee Report

    The VBA Nominating Committee met on December 11, 2020 and recommended that Andrew Manitsky become President-Elect of the VBA Board of Managers. The Nominating Committee also recommended that Rich Cassidy, Jordana Levine and Jessica Bullock be nominated for the three at-large member seats up for election at the Mid-Year Meeting scheduled for Friday, March 26, 2021.The Nominating Committee also recommended that the Treasurer and Secretary seats remain unchanged with Matt Valerio serving as Treasurer and Ted Tyler as Secretary. Statements of interest, brief biographies and   head shots for each of the non-officer nominees are HERE. The Nominating Committee Report is HERE.

     

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    Nominations Now Open for 2021 VBA Pro Bono Service Award

    We've all done extraordinary things for and in our profession this past year. But some lawyers have gone above and beyond, providing copious amounts of pro bono legal work to Vermonters. We'd like to hear about it. Consider nominating a colleague this year for the VBA's 2021 Pro Bono Service Award.The award is given each year to one or more attorneys who have devoted themselves in an outstanding and meritorious way to providing pro bono legal services to the poor and disadvantaged. Click the heading for more info!

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    VBA COVID-19 Survey Results

    Thank you to everyone who responded to the VBA COVID-19 Committee Survey distributed to the Vermont legal community in November 2020. The COVID-19 Impact Survey was designed to gather COVID-related data in three main areas: economics, employment and well-being. Just over 275 responses were received, including many thoughtful written comments. Click HERE for some response highlights. The COVID-19 Committee will continue to work to provide guidance and resources regarding COVID-19 issues impacting the bar, including the wellness concerns revealed by the survey results. Click HERE for our COVID-19 Resource Page developed at the start of the pandemic, which includes a wide variety of wellness resources. The COVID-19 Committee will also provide updates as additional resources are collected in response to the survey.

     

     

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    President Kruska Issues Statement on DC Events

    Vermont Bar Association President Elizabeth Kruska issued the following statement in response to the sobering events that unfolded in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021: “The Vermont Bar Association condemns, in the strongest terms, the assault of January 6, 2021 on the United States Capitol during the Electoral College vote certification. We stand in support of the rule of law, the Constitution, and the peaceful transition of power. We call upon our leaders to stand for our democratic principles, and to condemn this insurrection. The legal profession is sworn to uphold the rule of law, and the rule of law will not yield to those who resort to violence to attempt to upend the electoral process set forth in the Constitution.”

     

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    E-Filing Fees Suspension Extended to March 31

    We’re very pleased to report that, thanks to a much-appreciated collaborative effort with the Judiciary, the federal funds grant that has been paying for e-filing fees (previously scheduled to end on December 30, 2020) has been extended to March 31, 2021, due to the continued impact of the pandemic on access to justice.  In the meantime, the Judiciary remains in negotiations with Tyler to see if they can agree on a replacement of the current per-envelope e-filing use fee with a one-time per-case fee paid by the initial filer, as requested by the VBA.   Ideally, those negotiations will conclude before March 31.  Many thanks to all those who responded to the e-filing surveys and to the members of the Alternative E-Filing Fee Group and of the Court Users Group who participated in the Act 120 meetings with the Judiciary to provide invaluable feedback in the process. Many thanks also to Court Administrator Pat Gabel, who worked tirelessly during the past week to support the extension. We will continue to keep you posted on any future e-filing fee news.

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    Judicial Nominating Board Election Results Announced

    Click HERE for a letter from Chief Justice Paul Reiber announcing the results of the recent Judicial Nominating Board election. Thank you to all of the candidates for your willingness to serve and congratulations to Eleanor (Ella) L.P. Spotswood, Esq. representing the State At-Large area, Alison Milbury Stone, Esq. representing the Northern area and David F. Silver, Esq. representing the Southern area.

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    Starting Your Own Law Practice?

    Apply to join the VBA/VLS Lawyer Incubator Project! We are looking for 2-4 new and new-to-Vermont lawyers who want to start and grow their own solo law practices in the Vermont. The Vermont Bar Association and Vermont Law School teamed up 7 years ago to start a local, low budget incubator project for new lawyers. So far, we have helped 14 attorneys develop their law practices and hone their legal and business skills to help Vermonters.  It’s time to welcome another group of 2-4 attorneys into the Project. The Project is overseen by VBA staff lawyers Mary Ashcroft, Jennifer Emens-Butler and Teri Corsones, and by VLS professor Jeannette Eicks. Click the heading for all the details!

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    Pro and Low Bono 2021

    The VBA, with the help of our energized Young Lawyers Division, has partnered with Legal Services Vermont to recruit pro bono and low bono attorneys in these times of pandemic. LSV’s Vermont Volunteer Lawyer Project is a decades-long program matching low-income Vermonters with pro bono attorneys willing to represent them in a wide variety of legal challenges. The VBA’s Low Bono Program uses grant funding to pay stipends to private attorneys to represent low-income Vermonters and crime victims who face legal difficulties as a result of their victimization. Either program helps you gain experience, build your practice, receive CLE training, and help vulnerable Vermonters. Click the heading for sign up info!

     

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    COVID-19 Resource Page for Attorneys!

    Please check out our new COVID-19 Resource Page for the latest resources regarding the Governor’s orders, Judiciary orders, emergency legislation, wellness, technology and employer resources and more, all in one place!  A VBA COVID-19 Committee has been created to ascertain what COVID-19 issues are impacting the legal community. The Committee will be providing guidance regarding those issues, including resources such as best practice guides and trainings, providing wellness resources for attorneys, and recommending how the VBA or its members can answer the Governor’s call to serve. Click HERE for more information about the Committee. If you have questions or suggestions for the Committee, please email info@vtbar.org with “COVID-19 Committee” in the subject line.