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.


 
Steve Ellis
Steve Ellis

Stephen D. Ellis is a Director of the law firm of Ellis, Boxer & Blake PLLC, where he practices in the areas of professional liability, intellectual property, labor and employment law, and business litigation. He is an experienced trial and appellate advocate and is frequently engaged by the parties or appointed by the court as a neutral for alternative dispute resolution.
 
He is a member of the Early Neutral Evaluation Panel for the United States District Court, District of Vermont. He is also a member of Workplace Investigations Group, a national association of experienced employment attorneys who serve as workplace investigators. Mr. Ellis is a frequent lecturer on topics related to his areas of practice.
 
He earned his B.A. degree from Hampshire College and his J.D. degree from Rutgers University School of Law. Mr. Ellis is admitted to practice law in Vermont and New York.
 
He is the current chair of the Vermont Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section and the past chair of the VBA Bench/Bar Committee, and a member of the Litigation, Intellectual Property and Labor and Employment Law Sections of the American Bar Association.  He is listed in New England Super Lawyers in the area of labor and employment law, and carries Martindale-Hubbell’s highest AV Preeminent peer review rating. 

 

Matt Getty’s practice at McCann, Morgan & Getty, PLLC, is concentrated in the areas of estate planning, probate, trust administration, guardianship, tax, and business organization, including nonprofits. He has handled a broad range of estate planning matters, large and small, including planning around Medicaid qualification.

Matt is experienced with a wide variety of issues relating to business organization and succession planning, as well as both federal and state tax compliance and controversies, including the Vermont land gains tax; meals and rooms tax; the current use valuation program; as well as federal and state income tax liabilities.

A portion of Matt’s practice is also devoted to immigration work, dealing primarily with marriage-based applications for permanent residency, fiancé visas, religious worker petitions, and NAFTA Treaty workers.

Matt was raised in Rutland, Vermont, where he attended Rutland High School. After law school Matt returned to Rutland, where he lives with his wife, Holly, and their daughters, Eliza and Anna. Matt is active with the Rutland South Rotary Club (President, 2015-16), Grace Congregational Church, and Rutland Masonic Lodge #79 (Master, 2016- ). He has also been involved with the Boys & Girls Club of Rutland County, where he served as President of the Board of Directors from 2011-2013. In addition, Matt has served on a VBA study committee for the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADAA), and on an advisory committee for the Vermont Judiciary Information Center.

 
Heather Hammond
Heather Hammond

Heather Rider Hammond joined Gravel & Shea as an associate in 2001 after graduating from Vermont Law School. While she has substantial experience litigating across a broad spectrum of practice areas, she frequently represents the firm’s corporate clients in all aspects of the employment relationship. Her services range from the defense of employment-related claims in legal and administrative proceedings to counseling management on compliance issues and best practices.

Additionally, Heather speaks frequently on a wide variety of employment topics to various employer groups, including on-site management and supervisory training for the firm’s clients.

 
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.

 
Jim Knapp
Jim Knapp

James E. Knapp is the Vermont Underwriting Counsel for First American Title Insurance Company.  Previously he served as the Interim Director of the Property Valuation & Review division of the Vermont Department of Taxes and he was of counsel to the Burlington firm of Mickenberg, Dunn, Lachs & Smith, PLC, advising clients in a broad range of issues related to real estate acquisitions, financing, development and dispositions and matters related to the formation and management of business organizations. 

Mr. Knapp consults with the Vermont Bar Association’s Practice Management Program, advising attorneys and firms about resources to help with the application of technology to the practice of law and the management of law offices.  Mr. Knapp has held the position of state counsel to and underwriter for Chicago Title Insurance Company and Stewart Title Guaranty Company. 

Mr. Knapp began his practice as an associate and then as a shareholder at the Burlington law firm of Gravel and Shea. 

He has lectured for the Vermont Bar Association and other professional education providers on title examination practice and procedure, boundary law, common interest ownership projects, current developments in title examination, title insurance, and land use regulation.  In addition, Mr. Knapp has participated as a co-presenter in more than 25 presentations on professionalism and ethics.  Mr. Knapp has taught the advanced real property law course as part of the adjunct faculty at Champlain College and a course in Law Practice Management at Vermont Law School. Mr. Knapp is a member of the Vermont Bar Association Title Standards Subcommittee and the Professional Responsibility Section. He earned his B.A. degree in history, with highest distinction, from the University of Maine at Orono and his J.D. degree, magna cum laude, from Syracuse University College of Law.

 
Andrew Manitsky
Andrew Manitsky

Andrew Manitsky represents his clients in state and federal courts in Vermont and New York in a wide variety of complex civil matters, including breach of contract, fraud, business torts, non-competition agreements, employment, professional malpractice, personal injury, and intellectual property.

Mr. Manitsky is also the Chair of the Vermont Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Section, and litigates and provides counseling on trademark, unfair competition, copyright, trade secrets, and domain name disputes. He has given seminars on trademark infringement, copyright law, legal ethics, and mediation techniques. Mr. Manitsky is a member of the Early Neutral Evaluation (mediation) panel, and the Civil Jury Instructions Committee, for the United States District Court for the District of Vermont.

Mr. Manitsky is listed in Best Lawyers in America (since 2009); New England Super Lawyers (since 2010); Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (since 2005); and Benchmark’s Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys (since 2013.)

 

Paula McCann was raised in Bennington, Vermont. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1982 and received her law degree from Vermont Law School in 1995. Prior to attending law school, Paula spent more than five years as legislative staff working in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, mainly focusing on health, human services and labor law.

Paula spent four years in private practice in Denver, Colorado, with the national law firm of Kutak Rock as Of Counsel in the Health Law Practice before returning home to Vermont in 2002. Upon returning to Vermont, Paula was the Project Director of the Medicare Advocacy Project at Vermont Legal Aid for 4 years.

Most recently, Paula was Of Counsel with the law firm of Facey Goss & McPhee for 12 years, building an elder law practice as an addition to firm’s already established estate planning and probate litigation practice.

Paula also maintains an estate and trust administration practice in Colorado where she is also licensed.

In addition to her law practice, Paula writes the blog On the Way to Dying, which offers practical advice on aging, dying and after death issues. Paula frequently teaches Continuing Legal Education seminars for lawyers and gives public talks on elder law issues such as how to prevent thefts from elders and estates and how to recover stolen assets. She is the co-author of Living Well On Other People’s Money, published in the Vermont Bar Association Journal in Spring 2012.

 
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.

 
Brian Monaghan
Brian Monaghan

Brian Monaghan is a co-founder of the firm Monaghan Safar Ducham and has spent more than a decade focusing his practice on representing the interests of Vermont municipalities.  In that time, he has served Vermont’s largest and smallest municipalities, and many in between.  He has a wide range of experience in litigating contested matters before boards, commissions, and courts, and advising municipalities, corporations, and individuals in land use matters, constitutional claims, and employment disputes.  He continues to focus his practice primarily on Vermont cities, towns, villages, and other municipal entities. 

Brian approaches each matter he works on with a comprehensive understanding of the landscape, combining his understanding of government and business with a healthy dose of pragmatism.  In his time working for local governments, he has come to understand that the typical Vermont municipality has a broad spectrum of issues to contend with, from procuring the rights for a new bike path, to dealing with a difficult employment matter, to defending the actions of the municipality in a court of law.  He understands the dynamics of local governing bodies and the realities of local government, and uses this understanding to help his municipal clients achieve their goals. 

In addition to his work for local governments, Brian devotes much of his practice to helping small and medium-sized businesses navigate the complex issues of the workplace.  He counsels management in preventing legal claims before they become issues, by drafting effective workplace policies and providing a guiding hand to employers as they work through hiring, leave issues, and the challenges of separation from employment.  

Local bar associations and trade organizations frequently call upon Brian to present on issues of current interest to their members, including discussions on effective tax appeals, current issues in environmental law, liability issues for purchasers of contaminated properties, and the state of the law on real property covenants and restrictions. 

Brian honed his skills as a law clerk at the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, in Montpelier.  Upon graduation from law school, he became a staff attorney at the League, and worked there until entering private practice in 2006.  Following his time at the League, he worked as a litigation attorney at another prominent Burlington municipal law firm.  In 2008, Brian and a former law partner formed Walsh & Monaghan, LLP.  Upon Mr. Walsh’s appointment in 2011 to the Environmental Division of the Vermont Judiciary, the firm became Monaghan Safar Dwight PLLC, and is now known as Monaghan Safar Ducham PLLC. 

Brian is a devoted husband and father of two.  He lives in Williston, and enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, and spending time with his family. 
 
Tad Powers
Tad Powers

Donald (Tad) Powers is a lawyer, mediator, arbitrator and conflict coach with over thirty years' experience in litigation, negotiation, mediation and conflict coaching. 

Mediator:  Tad has successfully mediated hundreds of environmental, employment, commercial, personal injury, construction, professional liability, organizational and family disputes, and is happy to provide references from satisfied clients. 

Coach:  Tad has extensive training in both mediation and professional coaching.  He coaches individuals and teams to more effectively respond to particular conflicts and to develop practical skills that make future conflicts less stressful, less costly, and more productive.

Arbitrator:  Tad has decided employment, construction, real estate and other disputes, and has served as a Hearing Officer with the Vermont Department of Education.
Trainer:   Tad has presented and taught at dozens of seminars, workshops and conferences and serves as Adjunct Professor of Law, teaching Mediation, Negotiation, and Mediation Advocacy at Vermont Law School. See below for more details on Tad's teaching and training experience.

Collaborating with Michael Marks to form MarksPowers LLP was a natural extension of their commitment to continuing learning and growth as DR practitioners. Having Michael and Adam Powers as partners gives all three the opportunity to share insights, experiences and ideas about what works and what doesn't in a wide range of complex disputes.

 
JoEllen Tarallo
JoEllen Tarallo

JoEllen Tarallo, Ed.D., MCHES, HC is Executive Director of the Center for Health and Learning, a comprehensive health promotion organization, and the Director of the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center (www.vtspc.org), a public-private partnership. The VT Suicide Prevention Center was established as a means of sustaining suicide prevention efforts in Vermont and to serve as a resource for data, information, resources and collaboration.

Under her leadership CHL developed the Umatter for Schools training, designated as a Best Practice program, and the Umatter for Communities training for community professionals, Umatter for Youth and Young Adults- Mental Health Wellness and Community Action, and Umatter public information. Umatter for Schools is a national best practice program. The VT-SPC is also lead agency for Department of Mental Health on the Zero Suicide initiative, and works closely with multiple partners to improve the pathway of care for suicide prevention.

JoEllen has received distinguished professional awards from the American School Health Association and VT Association for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance and was recently recognized as a VT Prevention Champion. Dr. Tarallo is a state and nationally licensed health educator, trainer, school administrator, program developer and project manager, who has worked at the crossroads of education and public health, including service at the local, state and national levels. 

 
Heather Wright
Heather Wright

Prior to practicing law, Heather Wright worked for over a decade as an HR professional, including roles as an HR Director and as an HR consultant for small businesses, start-up organizations, and food co-ops of all sizes.  In these roles, Heather handled a range of HR functions, such as drafting job descriptions, writing policies and employment manuals, administering discipline and employee dismissals, managing and executing hiring strategy, developing compensation models, composing benefit packages, and training for all organizational levels.

As an attorney, Heather now leverages her HR background to provide a unique and thorough perspective on legal issues in the area of labor and employment law.  This includes providing guidance and counseling to HR and management personnel on day-to-day challenges and defending employers against lawsuits and charges from administrative agencies (such as the EEOC, Vermont Attorney General’s Office, or the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination).  Additionally, Heather provides legal training and guidance for employers in labor relations matters, including representing employers in proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board and during union campaigns.

When not in the office, Heather teaches strategic human resource management in the MBA in Sustainability graduate program at Marlboro College and lectures on various HR and legal topics at conferences across the country.

Originally from California, Heather now lives in Burlington with her dog, Molly.  When left to her own devices, Heather enjoys knitting, clog dancing, and getting above treeline on hikes through the Vermont mountains.
 
Angela Zaikowski
Angela Zaikowski

Angela Zaikowski joined Stuart Bennett's law practice in September 2003. In 2006, she became a partner of the firm. She is admitted to practice in Vermont courts and Federal Court.

Angela received her B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Portland in Portland, Oregon in 2000. After college she moved to the Northeast to attend Vermont Law School, where she received her J.D. degree in 2003. She also received her M.S. in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School in 2003.

Angela is a member of the Chittenden County Bar and Vermont Bar Associations. She also is a frequent presenter of Landlord/Tenant law and best management practices seminars for both attorneys as continuing legal education and private landlords/property managers.

Along with legal work, Angela is the Director of and oversees the day-to-day operations of the Vermont Apartment Owners Association, LLC a statewide trade association for Vermont landlords. She serves on legislative study committees and participates in the Legislative process through drafting potential legislation and testifying in legislative committees on issues impacting commercial and residential landlords.

While in college Angela worked for the Center for Endangered Cats (now known as the Great Cats World Park). She currently lives in the woods of Monkton with her husband and son. In her spare time, she enjoys renovating her house and making maple syrup. She also enjoys hiking, snow shoeing, gardening, and knitting.