What’s New?, 18 VTBJ, Fall 2018-#26

PositionVol. 44 3 Pg. 26


No. Vol. 44 No. 3 Pg. 26

Vermont Bar Journal

Fall, 2018

2017-2018 Sections and Divisions Annual Report


Chairs: Benjamin Battles and Bridget Asay, Esqs.

The Appellate Section is planning a CLE program for early next year on State Constitutional Law. In the meantime, a quick update on the appellate rules: the “day is a day” rule changes took effect on January 1, 2018, and changed many familiar deadlines. Practitioners should also know that the Court changed the automatic appeal rule for defendants sentenced to life imprisonment and adopted a prison mailbox rule. See VRAP 3(b)(2), 10(b)(3), and 4(f). Was the key piece of evidence in your trial a blown-up photo, oversize map, or 300-page appraisal? Under the now-permanent Rule 11(b)(3), the superior court clerk will not automatically send unusually bulky documents or physical evidence to the Supreme Court. Make sure to ask if it’s important to your appeal -- and you may need to help transport it.


Chair: Heather Cooper, Esq.

The Bankruptcy Law Section fulfills its mission of promoting professional education and service to the bar and community through various initiatives. The Annual VBA Bankruptcy Holiday CLE and Luncheon was held on December 1, 2017 and was well attended, as usual. The Bankruptcy Section considered bankruptcy specific issues relating to revised local rules and the transition to the National Chapter 13 Plan which is being used in Vermont. In addition, those in attendance discussed succession planning issues that relate to practitioners’ ethical responsibilities in a more general context. The section heard from members who are both in the process of transitioning and some who have transitioned out of practice entirely. We greatly appreciated those who emerged from retirement to participate.

Various members of the Bankruptcy Section contributed to a variety of continuing legal education events locally and nationally including the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Northeast Conference which was held in Stowe in July. Vermont’s standing Trustees continue to be active in national organizations and one of our members, Chapter 7 standing Trustee and former Bankruptcy Section Chair, Raymond Obuchowski, was recently named as President of the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees.

In addition, in concert with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Vermont, the Bankruptcy Section holds nearly monthly Bench-Bar Brown Bag Lunch Meetings over the noon hour in either Rutland or Burlington with access by phone to ensure statewide availability for all practitioners.

The Bankruptcy Section welcomes new incoming co-chairs for the 2018-2019 season: Nancy Geise and Don Hayes. We are currently developing the topics for the upcoming Bankruptcy Holiday CLE and Luncheon which will take place on December 7, 2018 at the Trader Duke’s Hotel in S. Burlington, Vermont.


Chair: Tom Moody, Esq.

Members of the Business Association Section were active in drafting and providing testimony on a few pieces of business legislation, the most notable of which was S.269, an act relating to blockchain based limited liability companies and personal identity trusts. The group engaged at length with the Office of the Vermont Secretary of State, the Department of Financial Regulation, the House Committee on Economic Development and the Senate Finance Committee. Our Section was involved from start to finish, working to shape the legislation to be helpful to the business community and the State of Vermont. That same group was involved in changes to the public document and notary public statutes. Also, the Business Association Section presented at the 2017 VBA Annual Meeting on “Advanced Issues in Private Sale Transactions.” The group made only light use of VBA Connect, and one of our goals for the coming year is to get more members of the group engaged in using VBA Connect.


Chair: Nanci Smith, Esq.

The Collaborative Law Section would love to invite members from the larger membership who are interested in Collaborative Practice to reach out and create your own local practice group or join an existing practice group. This past year the Central Vermont Practice Group merged with the Chittenden County Practice Group and is now called CPVT (Collaborative Practice Vermont). The group held a strategic planning meeting in May, are working on rolling out a new public education campaign about Divorce Options which has been successfully used in California. We continue to meet monthly with our interdisciplinary partners in mental health and financial planning. Three attorney members and a mental health professional from the group engaged in additional mediation training this year through a 3-day training at Champlain College. Two attorney members attended the IACP (International Academy of Collaborative Professionals) Forum in Philadelphia where we continued to network and expand our skills. We started to incorporate zoom as our meeting platform as our membership expands, and attorney members who are interested in joining the CPVT practice group are encouraged to contact Nanci at nanci@nancismithlaw.com. As always, members are encouraged to engage in discussion about collaborative law on VBA Connect and share their collective wisdom.


Chair: Jean Murray

Though the Consumer Law Section has taken no position, members of the consumer law section were involved during the legislative session reviewing and commenting on proposals regarding debt collection process in Vermont. With stakeholder agreement, a bill passed the House, but was not addressed in the Senate. It included steps for obtaining or defending an order for Trustee Process against bank accounts that would add timeliness and certainty.


Chair: Dan Maguire, Esq.

This coming year the Criminal Law Section plans to actively engage its diverse membership by soliciting its members as to what changes, additions or deletions...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT