Latest from SCOV Law

A different “two-step” analysis Quinones v. Bouffard, 2017 VT 103 By Andrew Delaney I’m once again in my “home office,” which means I’m lying in bed with my laptop and telling my wife: “I’m working.” It beats doing the dishes. If there’s an upside to this virus crisis it’s that we here at SCOV Law are making progress on the backlog. This one is a 2017 case about modification of parental rights and responsibilities. The…
This is a legal malpractice case. Just the phrase “legal malpractice” makes me a little sweaty and nervous. Such is a lawyer’s lot in life. Ms. Sachs had a brief relationship with a man in the summer of 2010. She got pregnant. When she told the father about the pregnancy, he “expressed his wish not to be involved with plaintiff and the child.” I quoted that directly from the opinion because that’s got to be…
A mixed “football” metaphor  State v. Burnett, 2020 VT 28 By Elizabeth Kruska The phrase “moving the goalposts” is a metaphor, and it feels apt here. It refers to situations where a process has started, but then the goal gets shifted, and the participant feels a sense of unfairness as a result of the change in goal. Suppose you went to work on Monday and there was a goal to manufacture 100 widgets…
I doubt DOC’s choice of bus was a circa-1970s VW peace bus,but a girl can dream, can’t she?  State v. Galloway, 2020 VT 29 By Jacob Oblak The Department of Corrections (DOC) screwed up. No other way to start this story. Mr. Galloway was serving a 10-year sentence from 2009 for sex crimes totaling four counts, and he maxed out on two counts (done with jail time), leaving only his remaining probation for the last…
Well, maybe.  HSBC Bank v. McAllister, 2018 VT 9 By Elizabeth Kruska This’ll be quick. A property in Windham County went into foreclosure, and after the six-month redemption period an auction was held. The only people who showed up for the auction were the auctioneer and the appellant. The auctioneer was hired by the bank, but the bank didn’t send a personal representative. The bank sent a bid to the auctioneer to be entered at…
What do you know about the Compelled Support Clause of the Vermont Constitution? As someone who’s taught the Vermont Constitution to college students, I probably shouldn’t admit that I know almost nothing about it, but there it is. We’re going to learn together today. This decision came out about two-and-a-half years ago. It involves a historic church, the Town’s payments for repairs, and taxpayers challenging those proposed expenditures. Let’s take a look at what happened.…
You are probably a worker too Clayton v. J.C. Penney Corp., 2017 VT 87 By Andrew Delaney Here’s a blast from the past. Sometimes it takes us a while to get to cases. That doesn’t mean a case isn’t important; it just means we’ve got a backlog. This is a workers’ compensation case. For a historical discussion of workers’ compensation from our very own Daniel Richardson, click here. There’s a lot of legal background…
That Time This Blog Went Entirely Off The Rails: A Quarantine-Influenced Dance Party The virtual version In re Investigation into Programmatic Adjustments to the Standard-Offer Program, 2018 VT 52 By Elizabeth Kruska Warning: This post started one particular way and then sort of turned into . . . a lot of links to loosely related songs. Regular readers have likely noticed I know a song for just about every occasion. I’m writing this during the…
Service will only get more complicated from here State v. O’Keefe, 2019 VT 14 By Amy Davis Sometimes, when relationships go awry, one party will seek a “relief from abuse” order, more commonly known in lawerly circles as an RFA. The legalities behind receiving an RFA are neither here nor there, but the point is that sometimes a person can have one against them and not know because they were never “served” with a copy.…