Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Judge Cort Corsones and Teri Corsones Meet in Shenzhen, China with Judge Crawford’s Past and Future Interns

Superior Court Judge Cort Corsones and VBA Executive Director Teri Corsones recently gave a lecture at the University of Peking School of Transnational Law (STL) in Shenzhen, China. Entitled “The Role of the Bench and the Bar in Preserving the Rule of Law”, the lecture was followed by a Q and A with students at the only law school in the world that offers a combined American-style Juris Doctor degree and a China Law Juris Master’s degree.

The lecture opportunity came about when Judge Geoffrey Crawford introduced Teri to two students from STL who interned with Judge Crawford in the Fall of 2017. Teri invited the two students, Zheng Xinjia and Zhang Xi, to various VBA activities such as the VBA Annual Meeting and Justice Fest events. (They also enjoyed recreational activities, learning to play miniature golf for the first time!)  While touring with the students, Teri mentioned that she and her husband were planning to visit law school friends who were living and working in Hong Kong. It turned out that STL is just an hour south of Hong Kong, and the invitation to lecture was extended.

The lecture focused on basics of the rule of law in the United States, including core concepts in the U.S. Constitution. It also addressed how the bench and the bar work together to encourage access to justice, particularly for low-income litigants. The students in attendance had many questions about the topics covered, including Constitutional protections, differences between federal and state court jurisdiction, technology in the courts, and the concept of pro bono legal services. 

Interesting information about law studies in China was also shared: law school studies in China are a relatively recent phenomenon, triggered by China’s transition to more of a market economy, and encouraged by many in Chinese government leadership positions who have law backgrounds. The program at STL is a four-year program, with classes taught in four quarters, with a week of exams after each quarter and six weeks off during the summer. 40% of the students study abroad during their four years, usually for a semester. The pass rate for the Chinese bar exam is only 10%.  

Two new law students who will be interning with Judge Crawford in the Fall of 2018, Chenying Liu and Lu Aobo attended the lecture. They look forward to seeing Judge Corsones in action in Vermont courts, and participating in VBA activities when they arrive in the Green Mountain State in September. 

Friday, June 1, 2018

Celebrate Our Authors!

In our regular Vermont Bar Journal column, Pursuits of Happiness, we have been highlighting the talents and passions of our members, outside of the practice of law.  We’ve been fortunate to find varied bents among our Vermont attorneys, like singers, runners, photographers, mushroom foragers, martial artists, law firm sports teams and ping-pong champions. To date, we have not interviewed any subjects about writing pursuits, perhaps because good writing is so integral to law practice itself.  But what about lawyers who take writing to the next level? Again, Vermont delivers. Two long-time VBA Member attorneys have been published and are hosting book launches in the next two weeks!

Coincidentally, the first author has already been the subject of our Pursuits of Happiness column for his ping-pong pursuits. Montpelier lawyer, Bernie Lambek, has published a novel entitled Uncivil Liberties, reviewed in our last Bar Journal.  Read the book review and the publisher’s summary about a complex mystery, infused with equally complex legal and moral principles that divide a community, on the website: www.bernielambek.com.  Bernie will be at Bear Pond Books on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 7pm for his book launch, complete with refreshments and an introduction by author Howard Norman.

Recently retired Burlington attorney, James Dunn, also has a book launch event, scheduled for Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 7pm at Phoenix Books in Burlington.  James Dunn’s book, Breach of Trust: The Ethics Scandal that Challenged the Integrity of the Vermont Judiciary, covering what was known in the 80’s as the “Wheel Saga” or “Wheel-gate,” lays out this dark chapter in Vermont’s judicial history in great detail.  With a forward by Jeffery Amestoy and large cast of real-life well-known figures, the book is a must read for Vermont attorneys and those interested in the operation of the justice system.

Why not join your colleagues and celebrate our authors on June 5th and 12th!

As always, please contact Jennifer at jeb@vtbar.org if you would like to nominate yourself or a fellow VBA member to be interviewed for our Pursuits of Happiness column.  No talent, hobby or passion is either boastful or insignificant.  We just want to celebrate and share what makes you happy!