2018 VBA Board of Managers Elections
 
The Nominating Committee met on December 15, 2017 and approved the following candidates:

President: Gary Franklin
President-Elect: Elizabeth Novotny
Treasurer: Matthew F. Valerio
Secretary: Edward J. Tyler, III
Association ABA Delegate: Robert M. Paolini

Contested seats: 

 
Hon. Ben Joseph (Grand Isle)  v.  James Rodgers (Windham)
Katelyn Atwood (Rutland)  v.  Vanessa Kittell (Franklin)
Robert Fletcher (Chittenden) v.  Jeffrey Messina (Chittenden)















 
Katelynn Atwood
Katelynn Atwood

Katelynn Atwood:  I serve as a juvenile defense, criminal defense, and veterans law attorney at Furlan & Associates in Rutland. I graduated from Vermont Law School in 2011, and I have been practicing in Vermont since 2014. I am interested in serving on the Board to further the Board’s important work as advocates for Vermont’s attorneys.  I believe that having a young voice on the Board is vital to keep the Board relevant to young and new lawyers. I hope to engage the Board in an active conversation about how to attract young lawyers to our State.
 
Bob Fletcher
Bob Fletcher

Robert Fletcher: It has been an honor to serve as a member of the Board of Bar Managers for the past two years. I want to continue strengthening the Association, addressing the challenges that face us as a profession, and improving access to justice, so I ask for your support.
We have been successful in increasing the membership of the Association, by reaching out to non-member government lawyers and working to add them as members. We have begun an initiative to promote membership among law school students, both at VLS and elsewhere.  Increased membership and participation strengthen our organization and enhance our ability to serve our communities.
The Board has and will continue to support the Vermont Commission on the Well- Being of the Legal Profession, formed under a Charge and Designation signed by the Supreme Court in January.  As a profession we face significant challenges to our mental and physical well-being, and are statistically more afflicted than other professions with depression and substance abuse.  These realities significantly impair our competency and challenge our capacity to serve. I am committed to assisting the Commission in its work.
I also want to expand the opportunities for law school students and new lawyers to be mentored and to get practical, hands-on training and experience.  This will better equip them to deal with the practical problems and challenges they will face as they embark on their careers.  Adequate funding of the judiciary and support of its efforts to improve its web-based content and e-filing capacity are all essential to making justice more accessible and improve our ability to serve. If elected, I will support all of these efforts.
Thank you,
Bob Fletcher



 
Ben Joseph
Ben Joseph

Ben Joseph: I am interested in the Board because several bills have been introduced in the House which would assign cases which should be handled by Superior Court judges to assistant judges. I want to do all that I can to protect our legal system. Assistant judges do not have the legal training and experience necessary to provide access to justice.
Best Regards, Ben
 
Vanessa Kittell
Vanessa Kittell

Vanessa Kittell: Vermont’s legal community will navigate our future as we have our past: practically, creatively, and independently. In getting there, opportunity exists to better assist our talented and committed bar find more effective ways to improve every Vermonter’s access to justice. This undertaking requires the contribution of each practitioner in our State. I would like to serve on the Board of Bar Managers to ensure that every attorney across our State has a voice in improving our practice. From consideration of the operations of our Courts to how we can better tailor services available to Vermont attorneys, I know that we can find both practical and innovative ways to take us forward. I appreciate the chance to serve.
Thanks,
Vanessa
 
Jeffrey Messina
Jeffrey Messina

Jeffrey M. Messina: I am interested in serving on the VBA Board of Managers.  The first, and probably most significant reason, is to develop relationships with attorneys throughout the State that I would not otherwise likely have the opportunity to meet, as the bulk of my practice is in Chittenden, Franklin, and to a lesser extent, Addison Counties.  I also see the value of being part of a group that shapes the future.  In addition, my time on the CCBA Board has shown me the need for new participants to continue existing programs, while also providing a fresh perspective on the changing needs of an organization; importantly, balancing a substantive historical foundation with an eye toward the future.
 
James Rodgers
James Rodgers

James Rodgers: I have served in the past as a member of the VBF Board from 2003-2008 and then over the next 7 years as a volunteer member of the committee evaluating loans to prospective candidates. This gave me the chance to meet and join with a number of VBA members from whom I learned a great deal about the role of the VBF and the VBA in promoting justice and equal access to legal services. Most of the members of the VBF Board and VBA Board of Managers do not come from Windham County. From my perspective, it is important that the views and experiences of VBA members from the southern counties be directly represented and understood. This encourages fuller participation and greater comity within the Vermont bar. It also encourages a feeling of collaboration between attorneys who often work far apart and who therefore only meet within an adversarial context.
 My best,
Jim