Courts & Corrections

Member of Vermont Public Service Board sanctioned for private legal practice

The Vermont Supreme Court chambers

John Burke was publicly reprimanded in September by a panel that reviews complaints about attorneys’ professional conduct.

Child protection panel details findings

Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, Sen. Claire Ayer, D-Addison, and Rep. Ann Pugh, D-South Burlington, part of the Legislative Committee on Child Protection, listen to witnesses during a public hearing in Winooski in June. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger

A legislative committee formed to investigate state policies in the wake of the deaths of two children with ties to the Department of Children and Families lays foundation for reform bill.

State won’t appeal Corrections lawsuit

Springfield prison

DOC officials do not plan to appeal the case because it only applies to Carpenter and a Supreme Court ruling might include a broader mandate, such as an order to return all out-of-state inmates.

BCBS VT among insurers named in class action antitrust case

Blue Cross and Blue Shield Insurance of Vermont in Berlin, Vt.

“We believe the claims are without merit and we have joined with the other defendants to vigorously defend against them,” officials from BCBS Vermont said in a statement to VTDigger.

Panels air marijuana legalization issues

A marijuana plant at a Colorado grow operation. Photo by Brent Levin/Creative Commons

The 2015 legislature is likely to revisit marijuana legalization. Lawmakers from all parties spoke about related issues at an event Wednesday night in Burlington.

Outside report criticizes DCF handling of child deaths

Patricia Holden and her niece, Dezirae Sheldon. Holden's brother is Dezirae's biological father. Courtesy photo

An advisory panel suggests changes in policy at the Department for Children and Families in the wake of two child deaths. Report cites a desire to reunify families at possibly placing children at risk.

Townshend woman pleads not guilty in double shooting

Robin O'Neill appears in Windham Superior Court on Thursday afternoon after being cited with two counts of second degree murder in the deaths of Steven Lott, 60, and Jamis Lott, 28. Photo by Kayla Rice/Brattleboro Reformer

Robin O’Neill of Townshend pleads not guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the shooting deaths of Steven Lott and his son, Jamis Lott.

SCOV Law Blog: Domicile detention denied

Creative Commons photo by walknboston via Flickr

A man charged with first-degree murder filed a motion for home confinement, proposing that he live at home and work on his 140-acre family farm. The trial court wasn’t sure that was such a hot idea.

Marijuana legalization foes organize for Vermont debate

A marijuana plant at a Colorado grow operation. Photo by Brent Levin/Creative Commons

A Vermont group opposed to legalizing marijuana has joined forces with a national organization, in preparation for an expected debate in the pending legislative session.

Woman to be charged in Townshend double homicide

Editor’s note: This article is by the Brattleboro Reformer, in which it was first published Nov. 20, 2014. TOWNSHEND — A 62-year-old town lister was due in court Thursday to face charges related to the slaying of two men in Townshend. Robin O’Neill was to be arraigned in Windham Superior Court in connection with shooting […]

Police investigating double homicide in Townshend

Editor’s note: This article is by the Brattleboro Reformer, in which it first appeared Nov. 19, 2014. TOWNSHEND — Police officials on Wednesday morning were investigating a double homicide that occurred late Tuesday night in Townshend. According to a news release from the Vermont State Police, at just before 9 p.m. on Tuesday, troopers responded […]

Bushnell: Former judge explores Newbury’s mystery of Orville Gibson

As a young lawyer, retired Vermont Superior Court Judge Stephen Martin helped successfully defend a man accused of killing Newbury farmer Orville Gibson. Martin has just published a book in which he details how he really thinks Gibson died. Photo by Mark Bushnell

Former Vermont Superior Court Judge Stephen Martin is out to remove a historical dark mark on the reputation of Newbury.

Shipping only male inmates out-of-state unconstitutional, judge rules

John Perry, who retired last year as director of planning for the Vermont Department of Corrections, said sending hard-core drug addicts directly to treatment instead of prison could save the state’s taxpayers roughly $4 million a year. StockXchng illustration.

A Vermont judge says the state’s practice of exporting male but not female inmates to out-of-state prisons denies them equal family visitation opportunity.

SCOV Law Blog: A question of character

Creative Commons photo by walknboston via Flickr

The rule says that if a Vermont attorney is disciplined in another jurisdiction, that attorney will receive the same discipline here.

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