100th Anniversary of the Vermont Supreme Court Building – a Celebration of the Vermont Bench and Bar

Publication year2018
Pages5
CitationVol. 44 No. 2 Pg. 5
100th Anniversary of the Vermont Supreme Court Building – A Celebration of the Vermont Bench and Bar
Vol. 44 No. 2 Pg. 5
Vermont Bar Journal
Summer, 2018

On May 18, 2018, the Vermont Bench and Bar collaborated to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Vermont Supreme Court Building in Vermont. When discussing the initial plans for the event many months ago, Chief Justice Paul Reiber made it clear that he viewed the occasion as an opportunity to recognize and celebrate both the courts and the bar, and the role they play together in our justice system. He and a small planning committee that involved the Vermont Bar Association, the Vermont Supreme Court, the State Curator’s Office, the Court Administrator’s Office and the Washington County Sheriff’s Department laid the groundwork for an event that sought to not only celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Vermont Supreme Court Building, but to celebrate all of the courts and the bar throughout Vermont, and the work done by each to ensure that equal justice is afforded all Vermonters.

Montpelier attorney and historian Paul Gillies was enlisted to pen an essay focusing on the theme of the event: “The Role of the Bench and the Bar in Preserving the Rule of Law.” Attorney Gillies generously not only researched and wrote a fascinating essay about the history of the Vermont Supreme Court Building (See Ruminations, p. ), but he researched and compiled the materials for a re-enactment of one of the first cases heard by the Vermont Supreme Court in the then-new building that opened in early May, 1918. Attorneys Michael Tar-rant and Stephen Coteus expertly presented a re-enactment of the oral argument before the full court of Justices, held at the conclusion of the event.

In accordance with the desire to recognize each of the counties, the ceremony highlighted displays depicting the state courthouses in the fourteen counties, and the presiding judges and county bar presidents for each of the counties were invited to represent their respective counties at the event. Commemorative marble plaques cut from marble used in the original courthouse construction were presented to the county delegations, after short historical accounts for each county (also researched and written by Attorney Gillies) were read by the county representatives. Examples of some of the historical facts, in the order in which Vermont’s fourteen counties were established, include:

Bennington County – In 1778 the first Vermont...

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