THURSDAY March 22, 2018
5:00pm - 7:00pm
1) Eat, Drink, & Be Ethical: Hot Topics in Legal Ethics (2.0 MCLE ethics credits)
Speaker: Mike Kennedy, Esq.
Earn 2.0 Ethics CLE credit while you feast on hors d’oeuvres and partake in the cash bar, in the same room! Join ethics guru, Mike Kennedy, for hot topics in legal ethics, pub-style trivia and a new game feature: “Wait, Wait, Was that Wrong?” Test your knowledge of legal ethics and sift through some truly implausible scenarios that may just be true!
FRIDAY March 23, 2018
8:15am - 9:45am
2) Vermont Commission on the Well-being of the Legal Profession
(1.5 MCLE credits, includes 1.0 ethics credit)
Speakers: Ian Carleton, Esq., Hon. William D. Cohen, Therese M. Corsones, Esq., Gary Franklin, Esq., Terri Harrington, Cecie Hartigan, Michael Kennedy, Esq., Thomas McHenry, Esq., Chief Justice Reiber, Joshua Simonds, Esq., Laura Wilson, Esq.
The Mid-Year Meeting plenary session will introduce Vermont’s newly-created Commission on the Well-Being of the Legal Profession, which includes representatives from the bar, the bench, legal employers, bar regulators, and the law school. Nationally recognized keynote speaker Cecie Hartigan will also share ideas about effective Lawyers Assistance Programs, and the Commission’s charge to develop a state-wide action plan to provide wellness, mental health and substance abuse resources for Vermont lawyers, judges and law students. The Commission needs the bar’s input; learn about the Commission’s work and how you can best provide that input during the coming year.
3a) Mindful Practices for Lawyers (2.0 MCLE credits)
Speaker: Samara Anderson, Esq.
Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, and the surrounding environment. It is also a set of techniques and methods for systematically developing this awareness. The practice of mindful awareness has a variety of well-documented impacts for legal professionals, including a reduction in toxic stress hormones, an increase in emotion regulation, and an improvement in sustained attention, focus and executive functioning. Thus, the practice of being more mindful improves your overall experience as an attorney, you are happier at your job AND you are more productive and effective. The central objective of the course is for participants to learn the tools necessary to continue their mindfulness practice after the course is completed. Handouts will be provided after the course. This is an experiential course, so you will be both learning the techniques and applying them. There will be some movement as well, so please wear comfortable clothing.
3b) Preventing and Successfully Handling Sexual Harassment Claims in the Age of #MeToo (2.0 MCLE credits)
Speakers: Beth Rattigan, Esq. and Kerin Stackpole, Esq.
Are you suddenly getting calls from clients about sexual harassment training or investigations? Are clients calling in a panic because someone has made a claim of inapropriate behavior? Are your clients having trouble knowing the difference between a personality conflict and an actual legitimate claim? Come join Beth Rattigan and Kerin Stackpole for a lively and informative session on the basics of prevention and resolution of sexual harassment complaints. This will be an interactive session driven by recent case examples.
3c) Multijurisdictional Litigation Between the U.S. & Canada (2.0 MCLE credits)
Speakers: Ruzbeh Hosseini, Esq. and others TBD
3d) *Current Issues Regarding Adult Guardianships (2.0 MCLE credits)
Speakers: Hon. Jeff Kilgore, Mary Ashcroft, Esq., Matthew Garcia, Esq.,and Dianne Pallmerine, Esq.
Vermont law requires that respondents in adult involuntary guardianship proceedings represented by counsel. The Attorney's role is to safeguard the due process rights of the client, ensure that the client's wishes are presented to the court, ensure that there is no less restrictive alternative to guardianship and that the proposed guardian is qualified, ensuring that the need for guardianship is proven by clear and convincing evidence.
The panel will prepare attorneys to represent those low-income Vermonters who are the subject of adult guardianship proceedings. We will discuss the law of involuntary guardianships, the process, the evaluation, and safeguarding our clients' rights.
Attorneys attending the program will qualify to take low-bono cases representing respondents funded through a grant from the Vermont Supreme Court.
1:45pm - 3:15pm - Concurrent Sessions:
4a) Immigration Hot Topics: Border Issues, DACA, and more (1.5 MCLE credits)
Speakers: Sidney Collier, Esq., and Adeline Simenon, Esq.
4b) Will the #MeToo Movement Change Sexual Harassment Law? (1.5 MCLE credits)
Speakers: Richard Cassidy, Esq. and Benjamin Traverse, Esq.
Our panel will talk about the legal standards regarding sexual harassment and explore some current developments and case law. We will also discuss the #metoo phenomenon and the state of the #metoo legislation in Vermont. And finally we will touch on love contracts and other related topics
4c) Exhibit A is Admitted - Best Practices for All Things Exhibits (1.5 MCLE credits)
Speakers: Hon. Cortland Corsones, Hon. David Fenster, Hon. Nancy Waples, Bonnie J. Badgewick, Esq., Eric J. Morgan, Esq., and Mark F. Werle, Esq.
Vermont Superior Court Trial Judges will review best practices for introducing, laying the foundation for and objecting to various exhibits in a "mock trial" setting featuring three trial practitioners.
4d) ESI for Plaintiffs, Solo Practitioners, and Small Firms (1.5 MCLE credits)
Speaker: Dana Conneally, Esq.
This session is specially focused on electronic discovery in small cases to assist lawyers in small firms, and who are solo, in representing individuals and small entities. Tweets, Facebook posts, message board postings, texts...it is all discoverable and lawyers need to know how to preserve it, produce it and ask for it from the other side. The goal of this CLE is to remove the mystery and educate practitioners on how to use technology to your client’s advantage. The focus will be on a realistic, efficient and affordable approach to litigation in a world where everything is electronic.
3:45pm - 5:15pm - Concurrent Sessions:
5a) *Post-Adoption Contact Agreements (PACAs) (1.5 MCLE credits)
Speakers: Hon. Beth Mann, Sam Abel-Palmer, Esq., Mary Ashcroft, Esq., Wanda Audette, and Pamela Marsh, Esq.
PACAs were authorized by the Vermont Legislature in 2015 as a formal way for adopting parents to give relinquishing parents some post adoption contact with their children. Many PACAs are negotiated during the tense days leading up to termination of parental rights hearings, when pressure on adopting parents is enormous. Yet adopting parents don't have party status in TPR cases, aren't represented, and are asked to agree to contact agreements which will affect their families for many years to come.
This panel will prepare attorneys to represent adopting parents in PACA negotiations and will review the framework, context and limitations of PACAs, including discussing sample contact agreements to fit a variety of parenting situations.
Attorneys attending the program will qualify to take low bono cases representing low income adopting parents funded through a grant from the Vermont Supreme Court.
5b) Keeping it All Together: Navigating Mental Health Challenges in the Legal Profession (1.5 MCLE credits, includes 1.0 ethics credit)
Speakers: Michael Kennedy, Esq, AJ Ruben, Esq., Wilda White, Esq., and others TBD
This facilitated panel of expert discussion leaders will focus on the challenges of accessing mental health treatment in the state of Vermont, the ongoing problems that stigma creates, and the particular barriers that attorneys may (or may not) face when interacting with mental health providers. The panel will also address legal ethics, the compromised practitioner, strategies for approaching a colleague whose depression (or other mental health issue) appears to be affecting his/her work, and determining what is reportable to the Professional Responsibility Board.
5c) Tax Reform Primer (1.5 MCLE credits)
Speakers: William J. Fisk, Esq., Lori Lustberg, Esq,, and Joseph Ronan, Esq.
These highly regarded Vermont tax professionals will highlight key changes to the tax code, resulting from the most sweeping overhaul of the US tax system in more than 30 years. Attorneys Fisk, Lustberg and Ronan will give an overview of the basic changes and cover essential aspects such as: rate changes, changes to the 1040, impact on divorce, pass through issues for small businesses, estate changes, compensation and pension planning, international and state ramifications and more.
5d) Free Speech in the Workplace: Express Yourself! Or Not? (1.5 MCLE credits)
Speakers: Bridget Asay, Esq., Eileen Blackwood, Esq., Hope Pordy, Esq.
Join our esteemed panel for an engaging discussion on workplace free speech. The panel will take high profile situations and debate who is protected when it comes to bullying, social media activity, hostile work environments, and off-duty misconduct in unionized and non-unionized employment scenarios. Free speech forums and forms from flags to fanfaronade to finger gestures to females and film moguls—it’s all here!
Note: Seminars with an asterisk (*) are Approved & Certified to Satisfy Rule 12(a)(1) and Rule 15(c ) of the Vermont Rules of Admission