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In re C.L.S. Happy New Year! The Vermont Supreme Court decided it would start 2020 with a bang, with an opinion about jurisdiction in CHINS cases. This case might make the most sense with an explanation about how these cases work. Juvenile court is, by statute, entirely confidential. If you don’t have a chance or a reason to go there, you wouldn’t really get to learn how it works. Here we go. A family comes…
Add caption State v. Webster, 2017 VT 98 By Elizabeth Kruska You’ll likely remember this case from when it happened several years ago. (Very) Briefly, Mr. Webster and his wife had some problems in their marriage, including Mr. Webster having a long-term extramarital relationship with another woman. Mr. Webster and his wife argued a lot, including the day of this incident. They drove in separate cars and ended up in a public parking lot, where…
In re Von Turkovich Mr. Von Turkovich had an issue before the Labor Relations Board. He filed a grievance, and the other party filed a motion to dismiss. The motion to dismiss was granted, and Mr. Von Turkovich wanted to appeal the dismissal. But he filed too late and wanted more time to file. The Labor Relations Board denied the request as untimely. He appealed, and SCOV affirmed. That’s the tl;dr version. The slightly longer…
A cool photo that has nothing to do withwithdrawing a guilty plea. State v. Stewart Criminal cases can be resolved in a number of ways. A defendant could choose to have a trial in his or her case and let a jury (or in some cases, a judge) decide whether the defendant is guilty. Far more likely is that the case resolves with the defendant pleading guilty to a charge. This happens for a lot…
A bit of a reversal. Try It Again This one needs another look. Miles Dow was convicted of various charges after a trial and was sentenced. While under sentence he filed a petition for post-conviction relief, alleging various grounds. Then his petition took some interesting turns, and long story short, SCOV reversed an appeal, making it more possible that his case will get another look. It is very common for people under sentence to file…
Remember “telephone”?  State v. Larkin, 2018 VT 16 By Elizabeth Kruska I like evidence. I like the Rules of Evidence. I even like the hearsay rules, which puts me in a distinct category of “big nerds who like the hearsay rules.” We have fun parties. In a trial, generally the jury doesn’t get to hear about a defendant or witness’s prior criminal record. I say “generally” because one of the best things about the Rules…
Here’s a short entry order from last summer, and a short entry order from this fall. It’s a reciprocal discipline two-fer.  We’ve seen a few cases about reciprocal discipline in the last couple years. It goes like this. Attorneys are licensed by the state to practice law. This is true in every state in the country. Attorneys have conduct rules to follow, and a big reason for many of the rules is to ensure the…
Bag it. Tag it. Can a police officer peek into your garage window looking for evidence of a crime? It depends.  At 4am on Thanksgiving morning in 2017, a sleeping Hinesburg resident was rudely awakened by a gunshot near his house. He looked outside and saw a dark truck with running lights on top. The Game Warden responded to the scene but couldn’t find anything in the dark. He returned at 7am to investigate and…
This is also known as a window. Sullivan v. Menard Not everyone spends a lot of time in criminal court. Even fewer people spend a lot of time handling post-conviction issues that arise. You’d think with the rise of true-crime series, like Making a Murderer or podcasts like Serial and Undisclosed(and all the eleventy jillion others out there; I kid, many of them are interesting) that everyone and their sister is somehow suddenly involved…
In re: A.M. is a good example of, “sometimes it makes sense to do something in order to get it done, but it isn’t necessarily okay to do that.”  The basic facts are this. Mom and Dad are the parents of A.M. They all used to live in Colorado. Then Mom and Dad filed for divorce and after the divorce, Mom moved to Vermont with A.M. Mom’s family is from Vermont, so this move makes…