Friday, March 30, 2018

Why Not Pat Ourselves on the Back?

Seven Days recently ran a story entitled “Conservative Senator Peg Flory to Hang Up Her Spurs.” 

In the article, Flory was portrayed as outspoken, prepared, skilled, tough, fearless, logical and detail-oriented.  As VBA Past-President, Dan Richardson, pointed out on his Facebook page, one of the most compelling quotes in the article was in reference to how Senator Joe Benning described his dealings with Peg on highly charged debates, stating that “his relationship with Flory remained respectful throughout, which he credits to the fact that they’re both lawyers.”

We should all pause to let that sink in.  In spite of the insults and jokes people make at the expense of our profession, it’s high time we all recognize that we are trained to engage in meaningful civil discourse.  With all the finger-pointing, internet trolls and low-brow fighting that takes place on television and the web, it is easy to get sucked into the realm of destructive discourse.  

We are trained professionals who are skilled at respectful debate and we spend our days helping others, upholding the rule of law, and working within an adversarial system that respects the right to disagree and to give each side an opportunity to put its best case forward.  So be proud. Reach around, and pat yourselves, and your colleagues on the back.  Let’s recognize the skills and promise that we bring to the table of civil discourse.  Together we can raise the public perception of the profession, all while we tirelessly assist our clients.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Scenes from our Mid-Year Meeting

A good time was had by all (we hope!) at our 61st Mid-Year Meeting!  Survey responses so far have been generally positive, especially with respect to the programming. We were so fortunate to have great attendance for our focused well-being tracks and our sexual harassment tracks, but also for our other substantive programs.  We heard so many positive comments about the substance and delivery of our CLE presentations during the event, the staff couldn't help but feel proud.  Our presenters are truly a gift to the Vermont bar, and our membership camaraderie is like none other!

We would like to congratulate Kurt Janson for winning the scavenger hunt spring garden basket and full registration to our VBA Tech Show on May 16, 2018.  Congratulations to our pro bono award winners Gene Rakow, Scott Smith and Frank Twarog and also to our Board of Managers election winners, James Rodgers, Katelyn Atwood and Bob Fletcher. Also, a special thank you to our Sponsors and Exhibitors who doled out some fabulous prizes to Jean Giddings, Beth Novotny, Kimberly Sturtevant, Catherine Clark, Jennille Smith, Penny Benelli, Wynona Ward, and Alycia Sanders. We hope you took some time to find out what great products and services they have to offer.

 As a parting note, we hope our loyal attendees recall how few hotel spaces exist in Vermont that are large enough to hold our membership, and that have sufficient break-out session rooms.  If you'd like a refresher, our website contains an article entitled "How We Choose our Large Meeting Locations" under the CLE/Events tab. The newly crowned DoubleTree (fka Sheraton) undoubtedly fell short in many areas, particularly with respect to the food, and we hope merely by virtue of their recent transition.  Rest-assured we are taking your comments to heart (and to the DoubleTree) and are working hard to make our next event a success!

Please enjoy the pictures from the meeting, below, or check out all the pictures on our Facebook page.