Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Silence Speaks for No One


In re Macero, Esq., 2011 VT 67 (mem.)

Simple story: Defendant was licensed as an attorney in Vermont and Massachusetts.  Defendant ran afoul of something in down south, and Massachusetts suspended her license for one year. 

Vermont, by law will also suspend an attorney’s Vermont license if she is suspended in another state, unless the attorney can show the imposition to be unwarranted. 

The Furlough Waltz

By Nicole Killoran

In re LeClair, 2011 VT 63 (mem.)

As with so many mootness cases, the conclusion of today’s case is rather anticlimactic, and the reader is left with a nagging sense that the SCOV dodged an easy bullet.  But even though the SCOV never gets to the meat of defendant’s appeal, there are at least two lessons for us to draw: first, a criminal defendant does not have a legally cognizable interest in receiving credit for time served if he has “sufficient prospects” for participating in drug court on a new charge; and second, habitual burgling leads to a confusing array of overlapping sentences. 

Defendant is apparently incapable of avoiding the temptation burgling offers.  Though, his concomitant tendency to get caught makes him more Apple Dumpling Gang than Deacon Brody

Ain’t Misbehavin’



Allen-Pentkowski v. Dept. of Labor, 2011 VT 71 (mem.).

In what would at first blush appear to be a straightforward case, the SCOV hands down a third-time’s-the-charm reversal and Plaintiff wins.  Plaintiff had issues with her newly imposed work schedule, so Defendant fired Plaintiff.  She applied for unemployment benefits.  The unemployment claims adjuster determined that Plaintiff’s work-schedule issues rose to the level of misconduct.  An Administrative Law Judge reversed the claims adjuster’s determination, and then the Employment Security Board reversed the ALJ.  The SCOV, continuing the pattern, reversed the Board.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Small Victories

By Michael Tarrant

Rheaume v. Pallito, 2011 VT 72

Inmate is currently serving a life sentence as a “habitual offender.”  But this is not your borderline, “three-strikes and you’re out” habitual offender life sentence: Inmate has forty-eight convictions—five of which either involved sex crimes or had a sexual element.  Additionally, and apparently not one to rest on his out-of-prison-trouble-making laurels, Inmate has also racked up sixty-three disciplinary report convictions since being incarcerated.  Two more and I’m told he gets a coupon for a free iced coffee from the prison commissary.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Golden Oldie

Mountain View Community School, Inc. v. City of Rutland, 2011 VT 65

By Andrew Delaney

Mountain View Community School sought a tax exemption as a “college, academy, or other public school” under 32 V.S.A. § 3802(4) from the City of Rutland.  When the City denied the exemption, Mountain View sued for declaratory and injunctive relief, in large part to prevent a threatened tax sale.  The first judge on the case granted Mountain View an injunction staying the sale pending completion of the action, but a different judge later ruled that Mountain View was not entitled to the exemption.  Mountain View appealed, and the SCOV reversed.

Retail Rentals

In re Tyler Self-Storage Unit Permits, 2011 VT 66


What comes to mind when you read the words “retail rental?”  Perhaps you think of a rent-to-own store with a showroom full of HD TVs and living room sets.  Or maybe a shop lined with shelves of empty DVD cases (mainly depicting horrific torture and slavering monsters for your kids’ viewing pleasure) among which you search for a video that will simultaneously appeal to two adults, a grade-schooler and a toddler.  Or maybe that is just me.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer Housekeeping and Judicial History

Greetings Loyal Reader(s),

As you may have noticed, we have slowed postings down at SCOV Law for the past few weeks. Blame falls squarely on the twin gates of summer vacations and busy work schedules.  Do not fear!  We are sitting on a treasure trove of recent opinions and will be posting soon.  

In fact, we will soon have a full year of Vermont Supreme Court summaries available on-line!  A cause for celebration, we hope.  As well, there are plans for the return of several of our more popular lifestyle blogs including the Cultured Barrister and Davey Numberlady.

In the meantime, make plans to attend one of the best CLEs of the year this Friday, July 15th at 2pm at the Rutland Superior Court house (Civil division).  Vermont historian and occasional SCOV Law contributor Paul Gillies will be hosting the Vermont Judicial History Society's annual seminar/historic trial.  This year, the VJHS will be discussing and recreating the closing arguments from the famed Matthew Lyon trial.

No trial in Vermont's history has received as much national attention as this one. Roundly condemned as an obvious violation of the First Amendment, the Lyon trial and imprisonment are today regarded as beyond the limits of constitutional tolerance.


Come join in the fun and observe history in the re-creation.