Samara Anderson
Samara Anderson

Samara Anderson is a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher becoming a 500 hour Certified Yoga Medicine Instructor, Agency of Human Services legal and policy advisor, and an entrepreneur creating a non-profit community farm in Vermont to use farm animals, nature and mindfulness to heal people.  She discovered yoga in 2003 when she graduated from Vermont Law School and was in a stressful and busy commercial litigation law firm at Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP.  Her legal work has evolved from litigation to public service with the State of Vermont, initially as an Assistant Attorney General and now as an in-house legal and policy advisor.  Her practice has deepened over the past eleven years, culminating in completing her first yoga teacher training in 2013.  Samara has combined her mindfulness practices with the practice of law in her Mindful Practices workshops to reduce stress and increase productivity and happiness.  Attorneys and non-attorneys alike exclaim that they have never felt so relaxed and focused at the same time: two qualities that make for highly effective attorneys.


 
Bridget Asay
Bridget Asay

Bridget Asay is an experienced appellate attorney, who joined Stris & Maher in 2017 after serving as the Solicitor General for the State of Vermont. She handles high-stakes appellate and trial court litigation in all areas of the law. Ms. Asay has argued two cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and has briefed and argued dozens of appeals in state and federal courts.
For over a decade, Ms. Asay supervised and conducted appellate litigation for the Vermont Attorney General’s Office. She handled major appeals and civil litigation in a wide variety of areas, including constitutional law, federal jurisdiction, preemption, consumer protection, environmental law, sovereign immunity, employment law, administrative law, ERISA, attorneys’ fees, free speech, religion, civil rights, and taxation. She was lead counsel for Vermont’s groundbreaking consumer-protection case addressing patent trolling, which was litigated in state and federal trial courts and the Federal Circuit. She represented Vermont in several high-profile preemption cases, including a dispute over the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant and an ERISA challenge to the state’s health care database, which she argued at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015. Earlier, she handled Vermont’s defense of its law restricting pharmaceutical data-mining, a case that also went to the Supreme Court.
During her tenure with Vermont, Ms. Asay also wrote several multistate amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court, on issues ranging from takings law to patent litigation. She is a two-time recipient of the prestigious “Best Brief Award” presented by the National Association of Attorneys General for excellence in Supreme Court brief writing.
From 2010-16, Ms. Asay was Chair of the Vermont Board of Bar Examiners, spearheading Vermont’s transition to the Uniform Bar Examination and overseeing a complete revision of the rules of admission.
She graduated Phi Beta Kappa, with honors, from Harvard University and earned her law degree from Yale Law School. After law school, Ms. Asay clerked for Chief Judge J. Garvan Murtha, U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont, and Justice Denise Johnson, Vermont Supreme Court.

 
Mary Ashcroft
Mary Ashcroft

Mary C. Ashcroft is the Vermont Bar Association’s statewide Legal Access Coordinator, helping to coordinate and facilitate pro bono and low bono projects all over Vermont.   She has been instrumental in facilitating the VBA/VLS Incubator Attorney Project. Mary is a native Vermonter, born in Bellows Falls. She attended the University of Vermont, graduating with a Bachelor of Science, and the Catholic University Columbus School of Law.  From 1985 to 1986, Ashcroft served as a special liaison to the general assembly for Governor Madeleine Kunin.  Mary has maintained her own law practice in Rutland, VT since 1987, and has an active career as an involved community lawyer. She has served as a volunteer attorney and guardian ad litem for children in Rutland Family Court, has been a Justice of the Peace and has served on numerous community boards and commissions, including library, planning, and environmental boards, as well as being a foster parent and adoptive parent.

 

Wanda Audette began employment at Lund in 1995.  She came with an Associate’s Degree in Social Work and 14 years of experience working as the Assistant Director for Residential Treatment Services at Baird Center for Children and Families in Burlington, VT. As Director of Adoption Services at Lund, Wanda manages all aspects of the Adoption program.
Wanda’s work and that of her staff has been celebrated and acknowledged with three Congressional “Angel in Adoption” Awards and two Health and Human Services “Adoption Excellence Awards.”

 
Bonnie Badgewick
Bonnie Badgewick

Bonnie J. Badgewick is a partner with Hayes, Windish & Badgewick. I consider myself quite fortunate to practice law in this great state. I grew up in the small town of Poultney, Vermont along with two older brothers. We were an active and outdoor loving family. My father practiced for many years as a lawyer at a prominent Rutland law firm. My mother was a registered nurse at several local hospitals. I knew from an early age that I wanted to practice law, though my father would have much preferred that I went fishing, like my brothers did.
Though I left the state to go to college and law school, Vermont is my home, and I returned to practice law here. On a suggestion by one of my father’s partners, I landed at Eaton & Hayes, and have been here since 2001. My history has offered me a variety of mentors from the Vermont bench and bar over the years, and I am grateful for those lessons and experiences. My practice focuses primarily on civil insurance defense. I proudly practice in all state courts, federal court, and in front of administrative agencies, such as the Vermont Department of Labor. I also enjoy acting as a mediator and assisting parties in finding suitable and reasonable resolutions through our alternative dispute resolution process. My goal for all clients, and those who utilize any of my legal services, is to provide a professional and civil experience, without detracting from the high standards of law upon which our firm was founded.
When I started practicing law, I needed an additional physical outlet to stay healthy and mentally sharp. Our firm sponsored our involvement annually in a local 7-mile race. Having a competitive spirit from high school and college sports which never went away, I ran that first race and was hooked. I have run more than twenty marathons, numerous half marathons, and other smaller races. I am always on the hunt for a new training challenge. I also teach indoor cycling at a local Athletic Club in the winter months. My husband, Jacob McGrath, also a Poultney graduate, is a competitive spirit too, and has joined me on many of these challenges. We reside in Woodstock and are the proud parents of two small children, Sophia and Colin, who keep us busy and entertained always.

 
Eileen Blackwood
Eileen Blackwood

Eileen Blackwood, is the City Attorney in Burlington, Vermont. She was previously a partner in the Hinesburg firm Kohn Rath Blackwood & Danon, LLP. Ms. Blackwood received her A.B. degree from Dartmouth College with a special major in Women and Education. She received her J.D. degree with honors from Cornell Law School where she was the Managing Editor of the Cornell Law Review. She served as Law Clerk to the Hon. Franklin S. Billings, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont, and is a past president of the Vermont Bar Association. Prior to becoming City Attorney, Ms. Blackwood had been in private practice since 1986 and focused her practice in the fields of education law, employment law, nonprofits, and estate planning. She also has served as a mediator and early neutral evaluator for a wide variety of disputes and as a hearing officer for VOSHA. 

 
Ian Carleton
Ian Carleton

Ian Carleton joined Sheehey Furlong & Behm PC in February 2003 and is a principal of the firm. He regularly represents corporate and individual clients in complex civil and criminal matters in state and federal court, with a particular focus on medical and legal malpractice matters as well as intellectual property disputes including patent, trademark and copyright infringement, breach of contract, and consumer fraud.

 
Rich Cassidy
Rich Cassidy

Richard T. Cassidy is a Vermont personal injury and employment lawyer. He also works regularly as a mediator and arbitrator.

A founder of Rich Cassidy Law, he has more than 36 years' experience with the practice of law in Vermont. Over the years, his practice has changed substantially. As a result, Rich has represented all sides in many kinds of disputes: plaintiffs and defendants, employers and employees, injured parties and insurance companies.

He has significant experience with litigation and alternative dispute resolution involving higher education, public education, public safety, health care, municipalities and manufacturing. His clients have included college students, faculty, and administrators as well as individuals, businesses, governmental agencies, and not-for-profit entities. He represents both labor unions and individuals in collective bargaining relationships. Many of his individual clients in employment law cases begin work with him under Limited Scope Representation Agreements. He has also advocated for individuals, businesses and governments in a broad range of civil litigation, including in construction cases, cases under the Uniform Commercial Code, and contract and business tort claims.

When he's not practicing law or in a committee meeting, Rich enjoys reading, walking his dog, Baxter, skiing, swimming, and rowing his Adirondack Guide Boat on Lake Champlain.

 
Sidney Collier
Sidney Collier

Sidney Collier is the founder and owner of the Law Office of Sidney Collier, PLC, where she practices exclusively in the area of U.S. immigration and nationality law.  Ms. Collier has represented employers and individuals in numerous facets of immigration law.  She has successfully assisted clients with H, L, and O temporary matters, permanent residence matters including Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Researcher, Multinational Executive/Manager, and PERM labor certification cases, and has also worked with employers on I-9 and H-1B compliance issues.  She has represented small start-ups to large, multinational corporations, and worked with clients in the hospitality, international business, scientific research, engineering, technology, accounting and marketing sectors, and college and university settings, among others. Prior to starting her own firm, Ms. Collier worked in larger immigration firms in both Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She attended the American University’s Washington College of Law (cum laude) and The George Washington University, both in Washington, D.C.  Ms. Collier is admitted to practice law in Vermont, is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, where she serves on a liaison committee for the New England Chapter, is the current Chair of the newly-formed Immigration Law Section of the Vermont Bar Association, and is the Secretary of the Washington County Bar Association. 

 
Dana Conneally
Dana Conneally

Dana Conneally, Esq. is Chief Strategy Officer at Evidox. Prior to joining Evidox, Mr. Conneally was National Manager of Litigation Technology, Goodwin Procter LLP. He began managing complex litigation discovery projects in 2000. Mr. Conneally’s experience includes digital forensic investigations, electronic data preservation and collection, and drafting discovery motions. He is also an Encase Certified Examiner. At Evidox, Mr. Conneally is responsible for identifying developing technologies that can be utilized to mitigate risk, increase productivity, and reduce costs related to the discovery process. He received his J.D. from Suffolk University School of Law, his B.A. from Gordon College, and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar.

 

Hon. Cortland Corsones is a superior court judge (civil and family divisions) in Rutland County, Vermont. He has held his seat since 2007.
Prior to his judicial appointment, Judge Corsones worked in private practice with the firm Corsones & Corsones in Rutland. (1982-2007).
Corsones earned a B.A. in history from Dartmouth College in 1978, and his JD from Cornell University Law School in 1981.

 
Teri Corsones
Teri Corsones

Therese (Teri) Corsones is the Executive Director of the Vermont Bar Association. Prior to joining the VBA in 2016, Teri worked in the Vermont Judiciary as a Superior Court Clerk for the Rutland, Addison and Bennington Units, serving on the Judiciary Advisory Council, Technology Oversight Committee, Civil Division Oversight Committee and Electronic Filing Rules Committee. Prior to that, Teri was in private practice at Corsones & Corsones in Rutland and has been Secretary/Treasurer of the Rutland County Bar Association since 1986. Teri served as president of the Vermont Bar Association Board of Managers, of the Vermont Bar Foundation Board, and as chair of the Vermont Human Rights Commission. She’s currently chair of the Mendon Planning Commission and the Roman Catholic Diocese Review Board. Teri graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1979 and Cornell Law School in 1982, where she was managing editor of the Cornell International Law Journal.


 
Dave Fenster
Dave Fenster

Hon. David Fenster, prior to being sworn in as a Superior Court Judge in 2016, Dave was the State's Attorney for Addison County in Middlebury, Vermont from 2009 - 2016. Before becoming the Addison County State’s Attorney, Mr. Fenster was in private practice from 2005 to 2009 and had served as a Deputy State’s Attorney in Bennington County from 1993 to 2005. He is a graduate of the University of Vermont and the Cardozo School of Law.

 
Bill Fisk
Bill Fisk

William J. Fisk is a member of the Vermont Bar and is admitted to the United States District Court for Vermont. He is licensed as a certified public accountant in Vermont. Before forming his own firm, William J. Fisk, PLC, he was associated with Witten, Woolmington & Campbell, where he practiced in estate planning through use of sophisticated estate planning techniques, taxation, formation and governance of business and non-profit organizations. Bill was a co-founder and president of Fisk, Reed & Love, P.C., an accounting firm he founded in 1990 after 10 years as a partner with KPMG and predecessor accounting firms in Springfield, Massachusetts, Bennington, Vermont and Albany, New York. Bill earned a Juris Doctor degree, magna cum laude, from Albany Law School with honors in estate planning and taxation concentrations in 2005. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Western New England University and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from American International College. 

 
Gary Franklin
Gary Franklin

Gary Franklin is Board Certified as a Civil Trial Lawyer by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, an American Bar Association accredited association. He serves on the Board of Managers for the Vermont Bar Association, an elected position.
Gary has practiced in all aspects of business litigation since 1990. His litigation experience is diverse, having handled all manners of disputes across a broad range of industries. Examples of his practice include handling contract disputes, intellectual property and licensing disputes, wrongful termination and employment claims, commercial landlord/tenant actions, banking litigation, consumer fraud issues and bankruptcy litigation. He also has substantial administrative law and regulatory experience. Gary has litigated in numerous jurisdictions nation-wide and has argued appeals on both the State and Federal level. Prior to joining the firm in 1999, Gary practiced in San Francisco, California and New York, New York. He is a licensed attorney in New York and California in addition to Vermont. Gary is listed in Super Lawyers/New England in the practice area of Business Litigation. He is recognized as one of the top commercial litigators in Vermont by The Chambers USA Guide.

 
Cecie Hartigan
Cecie Hartigan

Prior to her retirement, Cecie Hartigan was the Director of the New Hampshire Lawyers Assistance Program. She was previously in private practice Phillips Law Office in Concord, NH.

Cecie was involved with Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL), founded about 20 years ago by Judge John Maher. LCL had for years worked with the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Lawyers Assistance Committee (LAC), chaired by John Tobin, to try to help attorneys in need. Other states had created funded programs, and there was talk of starting something more comprehensive for New Hampshire, if funding could be found, as there was a growing need that the two volunteer groups were not able to fill.

Cecie was asked to write a job description for the director of such an organization. As she wrote up the guidelines, based on the ABA Model Rule, the job appealed to Cecie and she decided to apply for the job.

 
Ruzbeh Hosseini
Ruzbeh Hosseini

Ruzbeh Hosseini, Cambridge LLC, is an associate who practices in the business litigation and cross-border litigation groups. Ruzbeh is regularly involved in the development of litigation strategy and he has appeared in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and Ontario Court of Appeal on behalf of clients. Prior to joining Cambridge LLP, Ruzbeh practiced law as a litigator at two mid-sized boutique firms in Toronto.
Ruzbeh obtained his Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law and his LL.B. from the University of Ottawa. Ruzbeh also holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto. While in law school, Ruzbeh interned at the Library of Parliament, Parliamentary Information and Research Service, Law & Government Division.
Ruzbeh often contributes articles to various publications in Canada.
Follow Ruzbeh on Twitter

 
Mike Kennedy
Mike Kennedy

Michael Kennedy graduated from South Burlington High School, the University of Vermont, and the George Washington University Law School.  Michael clerked in the Office of the Chittenden County State’s Attorney and then worked for five years as an Assistant Attorney General before accepting the position of Deputy Disciplinary Counsel in 1998.  He was promoted to Disciplinary Counsel in 2000.  In 2012, Michael was named Bar Counsel, changing his focus from investigating & prosecuting disciplinary cases to providing guidance for lawyers with ethics questions.
Michael is currently the President of the Vermont Bar Association’s Board of Managers and is a former member of the Board of Bar Examiners.  Michael is an avid marathoner and has been the head coach of the varsity boys’ basketball team at South Burlington High School since 1999.

 
Lori Lustberg
Lori Lustberg

Lori Lustberg is an attorney, Certified Financial Planner™ and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®. Secretary of the national Association of Divorce Financial Planners, she is a frequent lecturer on divorce taxation and financial issues and has been quoted on divorce-related matters in The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, CNBC and DailyWorth. Lori is collaborating editor of the forthcoming e-book, Divorce and Separation: A Practical Guide to Making Smart Decisions (Vermont Edition). A prolific freelance writer, Lori is finance columnist for Vermont Woman and maintains a blog on The Huffington Post.  She works at Gallagher Flynn Financial Advisors in South Burlington.

 

Hon. Elizabeth Mann, of Hartford, has over 25 years of experience in Vermont criminal, civil and family law. Prior to her judicial appointment, Judge Mann was a partner at the Rutland law firm of Tepper, Dardeck, Levins and Mann. Judge Mann also served as a federal public defender from 1999 to 2010 and has experience in probate law, administrative law and workers compensation matters.

 
Pam Marsh
Pam Marsh

Pamela A. Marsh graduated from Harvard Law School in 1979, and was admitted to the bar in February 1980, after serving a clerkship with the Vermont Superior Court. She worked for Vermont Legal Aid, Inc. for three years, and has been in private practice since 1983.  She has been a partner in the small law firms (2 – 3 lawyers) since that time.  The firm is currently known as Marsh & Wagner, P.C., and is located at 62 Court Street in Middlebury.  Ms. Marsh has contracted with the Office of the Defender General in juvenile cases since 1985, representing both parents and children in child welfare and delinquency proceedings.  Ms. Marsh is a Child Welfare Law Specialist, have been recognized as such after a rigorous process of study, evaluation, peer reviews and examination by the National Association of Counsel for Children.  A full biography can be found at the firm website:  www.marshandwagner.com

 
Tom McHenry
Tom McHenry

On July 1, 2017, Thomas McHenry, a nationally recognized environmental law attorney, began his term as the ninth president and dean of Vermont Law School. Formerly a partner with Gibson Dunn in Los Angeles, Calif., Dean McHenry brings 30 years of environmental and administrative law practice to VLS, the nation’s top-ranked environmental law school.
Dean McHenry is a longtime member of the VLS community and taught for several years in the school’s Summer Session. He has taught environmental business transactions and comparative U.S./France land use law, which included taking a group of VLS students to Paris and Provence to meet land use lawyers and planners. He plans to continue the tradition of learning outside the classroom, whether taking VLS students to visit abandoned mining sites now regulated under the Superfund and being used to install solar panels or visiting local farms to learn more about the challenges facing food growers and producers.
Prior to his leadership role at VLS, Dean McHenry co-chaired the Leadership Council at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and served as vice-chair of the Roberts Environmental Center at Claremont McKenna College, where he taught environmental law and policy to undergraduates for 25 years. His other nonprofit and community service includes the Council on Watershed Health in Los Angeles, the National Forest Foundation, the Natural Heritage Institute, Wildlife Trust, the Wolf Fund Advisory Board, the Center for Large Landscape Conservation, the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, the California State Parks Foundation,
California Waste Association, and the Santa Lucia and Tejon Conservancies.
Dean McHenry has provided legal counsel internationally on environmental and natural resources legislation and regulations in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean for the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
He earned his JD at New York University School of Law, a master’s in forest science at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and a bachelor’s degree in history at Yale College.

 
Eric Morgan
Eric Morgan

Eric J. Morgan - Ryan Smith & Carbine. The majority of Mr. Morgan’s practice consists of representing individuals and corporations in the defense of lawsuits. He specifically represents parties in a civil tort actions and litigation arising out of commercial disputes. While in law school, he worked with the Honorable Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy in the Federal District Court for the District of Vermont.


 

Dianne R. Pallmerine, Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA-accredited National Elder Law Foundation is a sole practitioner with an office in Shelburne, Vermont.  Her practice is focused on elder and disability issues, including long-term care and estate planning, guardianships and special needs trusts.  She was a founding member of the Vermont Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and served as its first president.  Ms. Pallmerine has been a presenter on elder law topics including guardianship, incapacity, Medicaid planning and eligibility, estate planning, and veterans benefits.  She graduated from Pace University School of Law, cum laude, with a Certificate in Health Law. 

 
Hope Pordy
Hope Pordy

Hope Pordy joined Spivak Lipton LLP in 2002.  She received her law degree from Fordham University School of Law and her undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Ms. Pordy represents individual employees and unions in all areas of labor and employment law, including federal and state wage and hour violations, employment discrimination, disciplinary cases, and collective bargaining.  She also represents a wide range of employees (including executive-level) in various industries to negotiate employment agreements and separation/severance agreements. Prior to joining the firm, she was a partner with the labor-employment law firm of Lewis, Greenwald, Clifton & Nikolaidis PC.  Ms. Pordy was previously employed as Assistant Counsel for the National Treasury Employees Union, and as a staff attorney for the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group. 

 
Beth Rattigan
Beth Rattigan

Elizabeth K. Rattigan is a Director at the Lebanon, NH office of Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC. Beth focuses her practice in the areas of employment and labor law in Vermont and New Hampshire. Her concentrated experience enables Beth to guide clients around obstacles before they manifest and to resolve conflict when it finally arises. Beth regularly defends employers in federal and state court matters such as wrongful discharge and discrimination claims. She provides advice and training to management regarding employment law compliance and human resource issues including hiring, discipline, termination, reductions in force, wage and hour practices, investigations, sexual harassment, employee relations, employee training, personnel policies and employment agreements. Beth also serves as Chair of the Labor and Employment group.

 

Hon. Paul Reiber graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia (BA, 1970) and Suffolk Law School in Boston (JD, 1974). Justice Reiber served in the private practice of law in Rutland and as a partner in the law firm Kenlan, Schweibert & Facey from 1986 until his appointment as an associate justice by Governor James Douglas in October 2003. He was sworn in as chief justice of the Vermont Supreme Court by Governor Douglas on December 17, 2004.

 
Joe Ronan
Joe Ronan

Joseph E. Ronan, Jr. is the principal of Ronan Law Group, PLLC in Norwich, Vermont, where he focuses on tax, compensation, employment, investment and related issues for individuals and businesses.  Prior to starting his firm in 2016, he was a partner with Morgan Lewis, a supervisory tax attorney with Bell Atlantic (now Verizon) and a tax associate with Blank Rome.  He is a graduate of Haverford College (B.A with honors in philosophy), Rutgers-Camden (M.A. in English, thesis with distinction) and New York University School of Law (J.D., law journal research editor, and LL.M. in Taxation).  He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America and Superlawyers.  He has served as a faculty member at Villanova University School of Law for over 15 years, teaching in the J.D. and Graduate Taxation programs.   He has served as chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Tax Section, chair of a committee in the ABA Tax Section, board chair of Friends Select School in Philadelphia, fundraising committee chair at Haverford College and board member of several non-profits.   He co-chaired a committee on Social Security reform for the American Benefits Council.  He is admitted to practice in Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.

 
Kerin Stackpole
Kerin Stackpole

Kerin Stackpole leads the Employment + Labor Law Group at Paul Frank + Collins. She provides practical and proactive advice to senior leaders and management teams regarding a wide range of labor and employment issues, including workforce planning, hiring and on-boarding, performance management, legal and recordkeeping compliance, leave management, employee engagement, policy development and implementation, union avoidance, and discipline and discharge. Kerin firmly believes that the best defense against legal claims begins well before those claims are made – with positive and continuous employee engagement, good education for supervisors and managers, fair and consistent practices, and solid documentation.
Kerin is also an experienced litigator and a skilled teacher. She has taught at several law schools and colleges on the East Coast, and she regularly designs and presents training programs for businesses and municipalities seeking to strengthen the skills of their management team. Kerin has been a featured speaker at conferences for numerous state and local human resource associations, municipal and payroll associations, Lorman Educational Services, and the Champlain College Management Excellence Series.

 
Ben Traverse
Ben Traverse

Benjamin Traverse is an Associate with Downs Rachlin Martin in Burlington. In his labor and employment practice, Ben Traverse continually familiarizes himself with the ins and outs of his clients' diverse workplaces. Working diligently toward finding proactive solutions for both large and small employers in a variety of occupational fields, Ben remains approachable and always ready to serve as a dedicated advocate, particularly when clients are faced with uniquely difficult circumstances.
Before moving to Vermont with his young family, Ben spent three years as an assistant corporation counsel in the Labor and Employment Law Division of the New York City Law Department. There, Ben represented various municipal agencies, including the New York City Police, Fire and Education departments, as lead attorney before federal, state and administrative tribunals. His practice largely focused on successfully defending against claims of discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination.
In the year before joining Downs Rachlin Martin, Ben served as a judicial law clerk for the Vermont Superior Court. In that position, he worked on a number of employment-related matters pursued under Vermont’s civil rights statutes.

 
Nancy Waples
Nancy Waples

Hon. Nancy J. Waples has been a Vermont Superior Court Judge since 2014.  Prior to her judicial appointment she was in private practice as a criminal defense attorney in both the state and federal courts in Vermont.  She has also served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Vermont in the criminal division and as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in New York City in both the Appeals and Trial Divisions. 
As a practicing attorney she was the Criminal Justice Act Representative for the District of Vermont where she oversaw the panel of private practicing attorneys who provided legal service to the indigent in criminal federal cases.  She was a member of the US District Court Advisory Committee, US District Court Criminal Law Subcommittee, U.S. District Court Drug Court Committee, the Vermont Model Criminal Jury Instructions Committee and the Vermont Environmental Board.  She is a past President of the Vermont Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.  She has been President of the Board of Directors of Spectrum Youth and Family Services and the Vermont Youth Orchestra. 
As the first minority to be appointed the Vermont judiciary, she founded and chairs the Vermont Bar Association Diversity Section and is President of the Vermont Association of Trial Judges.  She is a member of the Vermont Judiciary’s Criminal Oversight Committee and serves on the Racial Disparities in Criminal and Juvenile Justice Panel.  She has been a faculty member at Yeshiva University’s Benjamin Cardozo School of Law Intensive Trial Advocacy Program in New York City.
 Judge Waples graduated from the College of William and Mary and earned her law degree from St. John’s University School of Law.  The daughter of Chinese immigrants, she grew up working in her family’s restaurant and proudly became a US citizen in 1977.  Prior to her legal career she was a staff member of the Committee on US-China Relations at United Nations Plaza in New York City.



 
Mark Werle
Mark Werle

Mark F. Werle - Ryan Smith & Carbine. Mr. Werle’s practice consists of representing insured individuals, businesses, resorts and transportation companies in the defense of lawsuits, in both Vermont and New York. He leads the firm’s New York practice group. Mr. Werle represents insurers and insureds in insurance coverage disputes. He is also active in environmental, commercial and real estate litigation, including foreclosures in New York State. His commercial litigation practice includes intellectual property litigation, the representation of institutional lenders and other businesses in the workout of troubled debt and asset recovery, and the representation of parties in intra-and inter-corporate litigation. He has successfully tried numerous cases to verdict over the past 20 years. Mr. Werle also has experience in advising utilities on issues pertaining to rates, litigation and public relations. Mr. Werle is listed in “Who’s Who in American Law.”


 
Laura Wilson
Laura Wilson

Laura Wilson, Young & Wilson, PC. After earning her undergraduate degree from Yale University, she went on to complete Vermont’s unique 4-yr Law Office Clerkship. She began her clerkship with the Essex County State’s Attorney’s office and then worked as a law clerk for Sleigh & Williams, and Jarvis, McArthur & Williams, two of Vermont’s most renowned and respected criminal defense and civil litigation law firms.
Ms. Wilson is a trial attorney and litigator who focuses on criminal defense, general civil litigation, tenant-landlord law, family/juvenile law, employment discrimination and labor law, and represents several municipalities in the Northeast Kingdom in matters ranging from tax appeals to tax sales, to road dedication and acceptance. She is passionately committed to the idea that every person charged with a crime—no matter how serious—deserves an aggressive defense and believes equally passionately in the American civil justice system, (“torts”) particularly for ordinary citizens from all walks of life. During her clerkship and after admission to the Vermont bar, Ms. Wilson has become skilled in legal research and writing and developed a no-nonsense but compassionate approach to evaluating cases. Finally, she has experience in researching, drafting and arguing appeals to the Vermont Supreme Court and/or the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.
Ms. Wilson has lived and worked in the Northeast Kingdom since 2004. She is the President of the Caledonia County Bar Association, the former Town Clerk-Treasurer of her home town (hence her interest in municipal law!) and serves as an alternate Act 250 Commissioner for District 7 of the Natural Resources Board. Ms. Wilson is admitted to practice in the state courts of Vermont as well as federal court for the District of Vermont. She speaks Spanish fluently.