Latest from SCOV Law

Try to find a better image for this set of facts. Wait, don’t. Trust me. Lanfear v. Ruggerio and Fennimore, 2020 VT 84 By: Jacob Oblak   It’s 2020, and polyamory has arrived at the Supreme Court of Vermont (to be painstakingly clear, the issue has arrived at the SCOV). The combination of recently-updated parentage laws and modern polyamorous relationships creates rather interesting, novel problems for trial courts. This is a case in point. Side note:…
No originality with this photo By Andy Delaney  Seven opinions yesterday. Seems like the new clerks are hitting their stride. Our first case involves a relief-from-abuse order. Sister and brother are estranged, though mom got them to call a “truce” before mom’s death. Days before mom died, she deeded the house to sister. Brother did not like this. He filed an action challenging the deed in the probate division. He also drove by the…
Same calendar, different day Well, it appears I haven’t done an update since August 14. This post should catch us up.    Two new decisions on October 9. First, we delve into corporate capital gains taxes. In 2013, Vermont National Telephone Company (VNT) sold some FCC licenses that covered broadcasts in New York. The company checked with its accountant and VNT’s accountant opined—with a standard disclaimer of course—that the nonbusiness-income sale wasn’t subject to Vermont…
Moot. Not Moo. Maier v. Maier, 2020 VT 63 By Elizabeth Kruska  This would be a very interesting legal question. Unfortunately, it became moot due to the death of a party, so we may never know the answer. The parties were married, and Wife filed for divorce. At the time, Husband was not competent and was under a guardianship. The question then was whether she could dismiss the divorce, and also if the husband’s…
Iguana tell you a story . . . State v. Patten, 2018 VT 98 By Elizabeth Kruska  Here are the facts as I understand them. Defendant and his girlfriend moved to Vermont with Complainant and her boyfriend in 2013. So – two couples. I’m not sure how they’re connected. Maybe they’re friends, maybe someone’s related to another person, I’m not sure. Eventually they end up renting a house that has separate apartments but has…
Yes, I made this just for this case Moyers v. Poon, 2018 VT 27 By Andrew Delaney SCOV begins this opinion by noting that the case has “a tangled procedural history.” Briefly, the whole thing boils down to use of a driveway near some commercial buildings in Bristol. Mr. Moyers filed suit against the Poons alleging he owned the driveway and that the Poons’ use of it for deliveries and storage of waste containers and…
What does this have to do with the summary?Good question.  In re Birt, 2020 VT 55 By Elizabeth Kruska In Vermont there are a couple different ways one can get to be a lawyer. Most commonly, people graduate college, then go to law school, then do the bar exam and character and fitness screening. Some folks, though, forego the law-school route, and become eligible to take the bar by doing a four-year-law-office-study program. It’s sort…
We’ll let you figure this one out State v. Harwood, 2020 VT 65 By Elizabeth Kruska This is “The One Where The Supreme Court Defines Emojis In a Footnote And Also Why Context Matters.” Two things about this. First, I really liked the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons, and how they always had alternate titles. Second, regular readers know I love a good footnote in a judicial opinion. This one is easily in my top five…
Different Bar In re Anderson, 2020 VT 75  By Andrew Delaney Admission to the bar is a process. Part of the process is a character and fitness determination. Often, it’s a simple matter of running a background check and checking the applicant’s file for any concerns. When there are concerns, an applicant may have a hearing. The hearing panel will make a character and fitness determination. Ultimately, SCOV is responsible for overseeing bar admissions.…
Apps exist that can unmask your calls. Just FYI. Hinkson v. Stevens, 2020 VT 69 By Jacob Oblak   Legal theory and jargon aside, it’s worth remembering that legal issues don’t just grow on trees or appear in your garden or get thought up by random law professors just for fun. Real cases start with a story. Real people have memories and stories that inevitably differ from other people’s memories and stories. That’s why courts…