What’s New COVID-19 Updates, 20 VTBJ, Spring 2020-#20

PositionVol. 46 1 Pg. 20


No. Vol. 46 No. 1 Pg. 20

Vermont Bar Journal

Spring, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic began to impact Vermont during the final phase of this quarter’s issue of the Vermont Bar Journal. While we thought some semblance of normalcy in issuing our regular publication would be welcome, we would be remiss without adding a late-entry section on the virus. Below are some excerpts of orders, guidance and communications relevant to our practices that we’ve shared at the onset of the crisis. Please continue to check our website and the VBA Connect communities for the latest information.

Between the creation of a dedicated COVID-19 resource guide on our website, weekly conference calls with Chief Justice Reiber, Judge Grearson and Pat Gabel, weekly conference calls with VBA Section and Division Chairs and County Bar Presidents, the efforts of our newly-formed CO-VID-19 Committee, and the outstanding contributions shared by members through VBA Connect, we’re doing our best to keep you informed of the ever-changing legal landscape in these unique times. We are also working daily with the Legislature to advance emergency legislation designed to help you serve your clients while practicing social distancing. We remain very grateful for all that you in the Vermont legal community are doing to continue to “serve the public and the profession” in the face of unprecedented challenges. Please don’t hesitate to contact us whenever we can be of help to you, and be well!

From VBA President’s 3/19/20 Message:

Dear Members of the Vermont Bar:

We at the VBA don’t want to inundate you with emails, but we also don’t want you to miss the important resources that are available to you. We recommend that you check the VBA website1 regularly. It’s being updated daily with important information relevant to your practices concerning the COVID-19 crisis. The VBA Connect communities are also continually posting helpful information particular to the sections, with property law and family law being most active at this time; members can join however many sections they wish at no charge. Take advantage also of free upcoming webinars on virtual practice and wellness.

I’m also writing to otherwise share a sample of steps that the VBA is taking to serve the public and the profession. In response to the Supreme Court’s Administrative Order 49 (AO 49) Declaration of Judicial Emergency, the VBA asked the Court for regular conference calls to discuss how AO 49 is impacting our clients, members and other issues related to COVID-19. In conjunction with those calls, we’ve invited our VBA section chairs and the county bar presidents to participate in regular joint conference calls to assist us in a coordinated and efficient line of communication from all of you, through us to the Court. It is my hope that we continue the conference calls until the COVID-19 event ceases to impact our VBA community.

It’s important that we hear from you regarding any issues impacting our members or their practices related to AO 49 and COVID-19 responses generally. During our calls with the VBA section chairs and county bar presidents we will discuss how best to gather that information from you.

We are also in the process of forming an ad hoc VBA COVID-19 Committee that will be tasked with gathering relevant information and resources to best assist Vermont lawyers and the Vermont community as we navigate the challenges facing us. The Committee will also work closely with organizers of a state-wide disaster relief program that’s being set up to connect Vermont lawyers with Vermonters in need of legal assistance for issues related to CO-VID-19.

Also, I am exploring ways in which the VBA might support our more vulnerable members through this COVID-19 pandemic. I will update you as this unfolds.

Our VBA staff is working diligently to meet your needs as we navigate these uncharted COVID-19 waters. We are, for example, exploring ways to assist our members in meeting licensure and CLE requirements given the likelihood that live CLEs may not be available in the upcoming months. We will be offering a variety of online and webinar CLE options as a result.

I’d like to publicly express my gratitude to Teri Corsones and our talented VBA staff for their commitment to the needs of our membership.

Stay well,

Elizabeth Novotny, President

Vermont Bar Association

From the Vermont Supreme Court’s Fourth Amendment (3/25/20) to A.O. 49:

Explanatory Note

The current COVID-19 pandemic forces the Judiciary to balance...

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