Thursday, September 8, 2011

Update on Status and Farewell to Two Pillars of the Judicial Community

Greetings and Salutations Dear Reader(s)!

If you have been following our blog in the past few weeks, you should notice that we have come a long way to catch up with the SCOV's very productive output this summer.  As of today, our humble blog has summarized all of the Vermont Supreme Court's opinions and published entry orders since July 1, 2010. This is quite an achievement and one that I think has been far more intensive than any of us who contribute to the blog realized when we started this project, nearly a year ago.  Thanks go out to all of you reading and for the great feedback and support you have given us over the past year both on-line and in-person.

We would also like to take a moment to congratulate and fete two giants of the Vermont judicial community who have stepped down from office this past week to begin what we hope will be an exciting new phase in their lives.

Associate Justice Denise Johnson is not only the first female member of the Vermont Supreme Court, but she has throughout her lengthy tenure been one of the Court's jurisprudence heavyweights, who brought a philosophy and view of the law that has had a large role in defining the direct of Vermont law for the past three decades.

Anyone who has been on the receiving end of her line of questioning at oral argument knows first hand the type of intellectual acumen Justice Johnson brought to the bench.  Her replacement has large shoes to fill and a high bar to meet to equal these contributions.

Environmental Court Judge Merideth Wright also retired this past week after a long and storied career.  Judge Wright over the past twenty-plus years worked tirelessly to create, fill, and establish the Environmental Court system as a formal, judicial process over what had always been a notoriously difficult and diverse area of law.

Her legacy is an entire division of the judiciary, not to mention a long trail of decisions and rulings, that have, in large part, shaped and defined the process for land use permitting, process, and enforcement that all of us follow in this state.  Judge Wright's savy and fortitude created a court that while subject to criticism has done more to normalize and professionalize the law of land use than nearly any other action outside of Act 250.

Congratulations to both and consider---just consider---contributing to SCOV Law now that you are looking at more free time in your schedule!

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