Vermont Bar Journal, Vol. 40, No. 2 - Page 5

by Therese M . Corsones , Esq .

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ’ S NEWS

The “ President ’ s Column ” normally appears in this space , but , don ’ t worry , it will appear again soon ! I ’ m only pinch-hitting for this edition due to unusual timing in the VBA Board officer hierarchy . Because former Board President Jennifer Emens-Butler ( very thankfully !) has stepped in as the new VBA Director of Education and Communication following Kevin Ryan ’ s departure to assume ED responsibilities in the Monroe County Bar Association , Mike Kennedy has assumed the role of Interim Board President until he passes the gavel to himself as Incoming President at the Annual Meeting on October 14 th . I ’ m sure that writing the President ’ s Column is what Mike looks forward to most !
I wanted to take this chance to first of all thank everyone for such a warm welcome . I had the pleasure of working with our world class VBA staff while serving on the VBA Board several years ago , but have even more appreciation for them now that I see what they accomplish so expertly day to day . I was invited to attend the Connecticut Bar Association Annual Meeting recently , and visited with the CBA staff there . That meeting had 1,000 lawyers in attendance , with a wide variety of CLE ’ s , exhibitors and presentations similar to what we enjoy at our annual meetings . I commented on how smoothly everything was running and asked how many staff the CBA has . “ Only 18 !” was the response , which I thought reflected very well regarding the VBA staff of “ only 6 !”, accomplishing similar tasks to the same high levels here in Vermont .
My starting in mid-May near the CLE crunch time for those lawyers up for license renewal , gave me the chance to see firsthand how the VBA staff is able to do what they do so well when it comes to our all-important CLE presentations . The staff works with the incredible number of attorneys who give so generously of their time and talents presenting CLE seminars . Whether it was VBA Environmental Law Section Chair , Gerry Tarrant , organizing a day-long Environmental Law program , or Family Law Section Chair , Penny Benelli , and Dispute Resolution Chair , Emily Gould , coordinating a day-long Family Law Day , or Dan Richardson ( who isn ’ t even a section chair !) organizing a day-long Agricultural Law Day program , or Bar Counsel , Mike Kennedy , organizing the most entertaining ethics presentations anywhere on the planet , we are very lucky to have so many fellow lawyers who consistently share their expertise . The VBA could never offer what it does at the low cost it does without your generosity of time and effort .
I also wanted to thank the county bar associations that I ’ ve had the chance to meet with so far , for all that they do to bring together their members and to help them in their practices . I very much enjoyed getting to attend Chittenden County , Washington County , and Franklin-Grand Isle Counties Bar gatherings so far , and look forward to upcoming Rutland and Bennington County Bar gatherings . I shouldn ’ t admit this , but I ’ m in my 30 th year as Secretary / Treasurer of the Rutland County Bar Association ( that ’ s what I get for missing a meeting in 1986 !). I know how beneficial county bar relationships can be , and promise on behalf of the VBA to do what we can to be a resource to county bars . Along those lines , following are a few initiatives that we ’ re working on that will involve county bar associations in particular , and Vermont lawyers in general :
Legislators ’ Days in Each County
In recognition of the fact that many legislators may not have had the opportunity to observe actual court hearings , or to be aware of the aftermath of decisions that they make that affects our court processes , we plan to organize Legislators ’ Days in each county this November , shortly after the General Election . Several counties have held Legislators ’ Days in the past , with excellent results . Area legislators are invited to attend regularly scheduled court hearings on a specific date . They ’ re provided court calendars and have the chance to attend whatever type hearing they wish at whatever number of courthouses is in the particular county . They ’ re then typically invited to a light luncheon with the judicial officers ; if a county bar is involved with the planning process , a representative of the bar may also be in attendance . The luncheon gives area legislators , judges , attorneys and court staff the chance to interact and learn from one another . Legislators are likewise invited to ask questions of judicial officers and lawyers in attendance at the end of the day ’ s hearings , regarding any questions they might have regarding the hearings .
Legislators ’ Day is an opportunity for legislators to see what happens in a courthouse , to see how hard judges , attorneys and court staff are working under often very challenging circumstances , and to see the impact that ever-increasing numbers of pro se litigants have on court processes . It ’ s also an opportunity for the bar and courts
Apparently , only Mike Kennedy was willing to be recognized at the VLS graduation where Bob Paolini was granted an honorary degree !
to work together to assist legislators , so that they have helpful information ( and contacts ) when they ’ re evaluating legislation affecting the courts and your clients . It ’ s also useful if there ’ s a primary focus at a Legislators ’ Day . For example , several years ago the focus was on proposed legislation affecting the foreclosure crisis ; more recently , the focus was on the burgeoning juvenile docket and its effect on judicial resources and other dockets . Stay tuned for information about Legislators ’ Days in your county .
Constitution Day in Each County
Also regarding law-related education , the VBA would like to be a resource to our members and county bar associations regarding Constitution Day , traditionally celebrated on September 17 each year . We encourage lawyers and judges to approach area high schools and area service clubs , to present basic information about the Constitution and its relevance in today ’ s society . We are happy to provide however many “ Pocket Constitutions ” you might need for this outreach effort , as well as templates for requests to make 30 – 60 minute presentations , as well as the presentations themselves . Presentations qualify for CLE credits . It ’ s been suggested by legislators that they also participate , allowing attendees to ask questions of representatives of two of the three co-equal branches of our government . Please contact me at tcorsones @ vtbar . org if you ’ re interested in making a Constitution Day presentation in your county . www . vtbar . org THE VERMONT BAR JOURNAL • SUMMER 2016 5
by Therese M. Corsones, Esq. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NEWS The “President’s Column” normally appears in this space, but, don’t worry, it will appear again soon! I’m only pinch-hitting for this edition due to unusual timing in the VBA Board officer hierarchy. Because former Board President Jennifer Emens-Butler (very thankfully!) has stepped in as the new VBA Director of Education and Communication following Kevin Ryan’s departure to assume ED responsibilities in the Monroe County Bar Association, Mike Kennedy has assumed the role of Interim Board President until he passes the gavel to himself as Incoming President at the Annual Meeting on October 14th. I’m sure that writing the President’s Column is what Mike looks forward to most! I wanted to take this chance to first of all thank everyone for such a warm welcome. I had the pleasure of working with our world class VBA staff while serving on the VBA Board several years ago, but have even more appreciation for them now that I see what they accomplish so expertly day to day. I was invited to attend the Connecticut Bar Association Annual Meeting recently, and visited with the CBA staff there. That meeting had 1,000 lawyers in attendance, with a wide variety of CLE’s, exhibitors and presentations similar to what we enjoy at our annual meetings. I commented on how smoothly everything was running and asked how many staff the CBA has. “Only 18!” was the response, which I thought reflected very well regarding the VBA staff of “only 6!”, accomplishing similar tasks to the same high levels here in Vermont. My starting in mid-May near the CLE crunch time for those lawyers up for license renewal, gave me the chance to see firsthand how the VBA staff is able to do what they do so well when it comes to our all-important CLE presentations. The staff works with the incredible number of attorneys who give so generously of their time and talents presenting CLE seminars. Whether it was VBA Environmental Law Section Chair, Gerry Tarrant, organizing a day-long Environmental Law program, or Family Law Section Chair, Penny Benelli, and Dispute Resolution Chair, Emily Gould, coordinating a day-long Family Law Day, or Dan Richardson (who isn’t even a section chair!) organizing a day-long Agricultural Law Day program, or Bar Counsel, Mike Kennedy, organizing the most entertaining ethics presentations anywhere on the planet, we are very lucky to have so many fellow lawyers who consistently share their expertise. The VBA could never offer what it does at www.vtbar.org the low cost it does without your generosity of time and effort. I also wanted to thank the county bar associations that I’ve had the chance to meet with so far, for all that they do to bring together their members and to help them in their practices. I very much enjoyed getting to attend Chittenden County, Washington County, and Franklin-Grand Isle Counties Bar gatherings so far, and look forward to upcoming Rutland and Bennington County Bar gatherings. I shouldn’t admit this, but I’m in my 30th year as Secretary/Treasurer of the Rutland County Bar Association (that’s what I get for missing a meeting in 1986!). I know how beneficial county bar relationships can be, and promise on behalf of the VBA to do what we can to be a resource to county bars. Along those lines, following are a few initiatives that we’re working on that will involve county bar associations in particular, and Vermont lawyers in general: Legislators’ Days in Each County In recognition of the fact that many legislators may not have had the opportunity to observe actual court hearings, or to be aware of the aftermath of decisions that they make that affects our court processes, we plan to organize Legislators’ Days in each county this November, shortly after the General Election. Several counties have held Legislators’ Days in the past, with excellent results. Area legislators are invited to attend regularly scheduled court hearings on a specific date. They’re provided court calendars and have the chance to attend whatever type hearing they wish at whatever number of courthouses is in the particular county. They’re then typically invited to a light luncheon with the judicial officers; if a county bar is involved with the planning process, a representative of the bar may also be in attendance. The luncheon gives area legislators, judges, attorneys and court staff the chance to interact and learn from one another. Legislators are likewise invited to ask questions of judicial officers and lawyers in attendance at the end of the day’s hearings, regarding any questions they might have regarding the hearings. Legislators’ Day is an opportunity for legislators to see what happens in a courthouse, to see how hard judges, attorneys and court staff are working under often very challenging circumstances, and to see the impact that ever-increasing numbers of pro se litigants have on court processes. It’s also an opportunity for the bar and courts THE VERMONT BAR JOURNAL • SUMMER 2016 Apparently, only Mike Kennedy was willing to be recognized at the VLS graduation where Bob Paolini was granted an honorary degree! to work together to assist legislators, so that they have helpful information (and contacts) when they’re evaluating legislation affecting the courts and your clients. It’s also useful if there’s a primary focus at a Legislators’ Day. For example, several years ago the focus was on propose Y\][ۈYX[HܙX\Hܚ\\[ܙBX[KH\\ۈH\[ۚ[š][[H][]YXۈYXX[\\\[\]ˈ^H[Y܂[ܛX][ۈX]Y\]ܜ&H^\[[\[Kۜ]][ۈ^H[XX[B[Y\[]\[]YYX][ۋHH[ZHHH\\H›\Y[X\[[H\\X][ۜœY\[ۜ]][ۈ^KY][ۘ[H[X]Yۈ\[X\ MXXYX\H[\YH]Y\[Y\\X\XHY[\XH\XBX\[\X[ܛX][ۈX]Hۜ]][ۈ[][][H[^x&\Y]KH\H\HݚYB]\X[H8']ۜ]][ۜ'H[BZYYY܈\]XXYܝ \[\[\]\܈\]Y\XZH 8$ Z[]H\[][ۜ\[\H\[][ۜ[\[\ˈ\[][ۜ]X[YH܈HܙY]ˈ]8&\Y[Y\YBY\]ܜ]^H[\X\]K[[][Y\\]Y\[ۜو\\[]]\ووHYHY\]X[[\و\ݙ\Y[ X\H۝XYB]ܜۙ\\ܙY[x&\H[\\Y[XZ[Hۜ]][ۈ^H\[][ۂ[[\[KB