Latest from SCOV Law

Some cases are just sad.  Estate of Berry v. Fishman, 2019 VT 63 By Andrew Delaney This decision deals with Vermont’s recreational use statutes and the limits on liability. If you’re not familiar, the statutes essentially exempt landowners from liability when someone uses their land for recreational purposes and no consideration is paid for the use. This is a tragic case. Three-year-old Parker Berry drowned while attending Elephant in the Field daycare in Waterbury, Vermont.…
You know what this place needs?A parking lot.  In re Purvis Nonconforming Use, 2019 VT 60 By Andrew Delaney Back in 2014, the City of Burlington found out that Mr. Purvis had paved paradise and put up a parking lot. To be fair, I don’t know anything about whether Mr. Purvis’s property is or is not paradise and whether the expansion of his parking area was with pavement or something else, but I wasn’t…
This setup is not final In re C.P., 2019 VT 62 (mem.) By Andrew Delaney Sometimes, an appeal isn’t complete enough for SCOV to do anything but dismiss the appeal. In most cases, a basic requirement for SCOV to review an order is that the order be final. Occasionally, there’s an interlocutory appeal but in the normal course of things in the appellate world, an order has to be final before it can be appealed…
Oblak v. University of Vermont Police Services, 2019 VT 56 Just a document.Nothing special about it . . . or is there? By Elizabeth Kruska This case is sort of a go-with to In re: Affidavit of Probable Cause, which was published earlier this year. The basic facts are this: a person called W.R. was investigated for an offense by the UVM Police Department, and was ultimately cited to go to court to face a…
This is an awesome picture of Arizona. In re: Palmisano We’ve jumped in the wayback machine again to find an un-summarized opinion. Remember the fall of 2017? The air was crisp. The apples were plentiful. Ever had a Zestarapple? They are ridiculously delicious. Anyway, also in the fall of 2017, the Vermont Supreme Court exercised original jurisdiction as it is occasionally apt to do, and published an opinion with respect to an attorney discipline…
This tiger says, “negligence is made up ofduty, breach, causation, and harm.” Stephan Palmer v. Mark Furlan and State of Vermont The facts of this case are fairly straightforward. The legal analysis of this case includes an excellent one-paragraph refresher of a law school torts class and a concurrence that reminds us we never really know what judges are going to do until they do it. Mr. Palmer was in jail serving a sentence. He…
In re Petition of New Haven GLC Solar This is a pretty long opinion, because it details a lot of things that happened. I am generally going to skip those things, because this is a “summary” and not a “longary” which is a word I made up but you know what I mean. New Haven GLC Solar (GLC) wanted to build a net-metered solar array in the town of New Haven. A net-metered system is…
Where’s the key?  In re Affidavit of Probable Cause, 2019 VT 43 By Elizabeth Kruska Interestingly, court records—by and large—are public documents. Suppose you read about a legal case on the interwebs and you think, “Huh. I think I’d like to know more about that case.” You can. You just go to the courthouse, ask to see the file, and in most cases, you get to look at it. You can even make copies. I…
Are they really lies?If there’s a privilege, it won’tsupport a defamation claim  Couture v. Trainer, 2017 VT 73 By Andrew Delaney Dad sued mom and aunt because he claimed that they coached daughter in saying “Daddy hit me.” He also alleged that they submitted defamatory audio and video recordings of daughter’s statements to his parole officer, and that mom made false statements to his parole officer and in mom’s petition for relief from abuse. Dad…