Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Have You Registered for the Smolo Yet?

VBA’s biennial Solo & Small Firm Conference is back and better than ever.  Join us May 23-24th at the beautiful Basin Harbor Resort for our law practice management conference designed especially for YOU!

We’ve got all the bases covered from offering more networking and relaxing opportunities to offering more hands-on seminars.  You asked for it, we’ve got it! 

Thursday we will have back to back Rule 12/15 Vermont Practice & Procedure seminars for all you new admitees, but also for everyone as low bono, family law, guardianships and office tech are discussed. By request, it doesn’t start until 10am. We’ll also have a simultaneous CLE on managing stress that afternoon.  At 3:30pm, there will be an encore performance of the super-popular Basin Harbor Lake Cruise (or a Sip-n-Paint option for you land lovers) followed by our Speed Networking Reception at 5:30pm.  Like speed dating, we will have tables and discussion cards set up for people to rotate among established practitioners to meet, mingle and learn from each other.  A delicious full dinner will follow.

On Friday, after yoga and breakfast, we will head into our law practice management and smolo practice seminars including:  communication strategies, growth strategies, spring cleaning, mindfulness, an interactive law office set-up workshop, tips from those who have “Gone Smolo,” Casemaker training, Microsoft Suite training by professional trainers (parts one and two), client intake strategies, Ethics in the Movies and law practice management trends.  How’s that for a lineup?!

Thanks to our generous sponsors: Casemaker, Clio, Law Pay, Pinnacle, Financial Red Cave Consulting, Smith, ai, TCI, Paydata and VATC, we’ll have plenty of food and tons of hands-on assistance for your practices.  View our flyer HERE or register right HERE.

Hope to see you all there!

Check out this happy group from last Smolo:

Friday, April 12, 2019

Successful Third Annual Vermont High School Moot Court Competition

The Vermont Bar Association was pleased to collaborate with the United States District Court for the District of Vermont, the Office of the Federal Public Defender, the Office of the Attorney General and Vermont Law School to organize the Third Annual Vermont High School Moot Court Competition this year. Nine high schools (Brattleboro Union High School, Burr & Burton Academy, Harwood Union High School, Milton High School, Mt. Mansfield High School, Randolph Technical Career Center, Rutland High School, Southwest Vermont Career Development Center and Twinfield Union School) and Vermont Law School fielded teams of students who spent the Spring preparing for the state-wide competition held last Saturday at the Vermont Law School.

Lawyer volunteers Orland Campbell, George Anthes, Tom Bixby, Michael Benvenuto, Beth Novotny, Erick Titrud, John Lacey, Carolyn Dube, Suzanne Brown, John Lamson, Josh Martin, and Barry Kade, Esqs. worked with the students and teacher coaches at each of the high schools. Teams of judges and practitioners (Judge Geoffrey Crawford and Jordana Levine, Esq.; Justice Harold Eaton and Phil Back, Esq.; Judge Cort Corsones and Josh Diamond, Esq.; Judge Mary Miles Teachout and Michael Kennedy, Esq.; Judge Mary Morrissey and Elizabeth Quinn, Esq.; Justice Karen Carroll and Dave McLean, Esq.; and Judge Robert Mello and Ted Kramer, Esq.) judged the competition, consisting of two rounds of a mock attempted murder trial, pitting prosecution teams against defense teams in seven mock trial courtrooms at Vermont Law School.

Rutland High School was judged the best overall team, and awards were also given to the Best Prosecution Attorney, Best Defense Attorney, Best Prosecution Witness and Best Defense Witness. All involved were very complimentary of the skill and professionalism that the teams exhibited, and the participants were grateful for the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of criminal law and courtroom procedures. 

Other objectives of the competition included furthering students’ understanding of the law and legal system, improving proficiency in speaking and reasoning skills and increasing students’ appreciation for law-related careers. Watch for more details from the VBA in the Fall, when we gear up for the Fourth Annual Vermont High School Moot Court Competition!

Check out these photos from the event!
Best Team Overall
Best Defense Attorney
Best Defense Witness
Best Prosecution Attorney
Best Prosecution Witness

Monday, April 1, 2019

Rain, Sleet AND Snow!

Rain, sleet AND snow did not keep us from having a successful, fun and educational Mid-Year Meeting at Lake Morey! Despite the weather and travel delays, the event did live up to its expectations.  The CLE’s were various and plentiful and the networking never ceased.  Tackling lawyer well-being head on, Mike Kennedy and Chief Justice Reiber gave a sobering yet hopeful presentation on wellness, complete with hearty audience participation.  The reception and pub-style quiz kept the ethics audience engaged and had people talking about it well into the evening at the resort pub. 

If engagement is a sign of success, then our Implicit Bias presentation on Friday morning was equally successful as many members shared and commented throughout the seminar.  Survey results are still pouring in, but the Implicit Bias seminar generated responses like “enlightening,” “tremendous,” “piqued my interest” and “well done and insightful.” The remainder of the day was also chock full of quality and timely CLE offerings.  Said one survey respondent “I found multiple sessions I wanted to attend in each time slot. I hated having to choose, but I love the richness of the offerings.”  Attendees learned about food, craft beer and cannabis; state constitutional law, probate, land use and criminal basics; and managing client expectations, family law and gender to name a few.  Some of the seminars will be available in our digital library shortly, so watch our website for more info.

President Franklin ran a thoughtful business meeting, complete with a speech by Chief Justice Reiber and the pro bono award winners. The VBA Board of Managers welcomed Molly Gray and welcomed back Andrew Manitsky to the Board. Many thanks to our exhibitors and sponsors who made the event extra special and of course to all of our loyal presenters and attendees, without whom we would not have had our 62nd Mid-Year Meeting!  Until next time, please enjoy the following photos from the event.

Ian Carleton receiving the Pro Bono Award