Vermont Bar Journal, Vol. 40, No. 2 Vermont Bar Journal, Fall 2017, Vol. 48, No. 3 - Page 21

WHAT’S NEW? 2016-2017 Sections and Divisions Annual Report APPELLATE LAW SECTION By: David Boyd, Esq. Last year, the Appellate Section held a pan- el presentation at the VBA annual meeting.  The panelists were Justice Eaton, Justice Sk- oglund, and Judge Crawford, and the pan- el was moderated by David Boyd.  All of the panelists were jurists with experience decid- ing cases at both the trial and appellate levels and the presentation explored the differenc- es between effective trial and appellate advo- cacy.  The presentation was recorded and is available for future CLE use through the VBA digital library. The Section welcomes incom- ing co-chairs for the next year: Bridget Asay and Benjamin Battles. BANKRUPTCY LAW SECTION By: Heather Cooper, Esq. The Bankruptcy Law Section fulfills its mis- sion of promoting professional education and service to the bar and community through various initiatives. The Annual Bankruptcy Holiday CLE and Luncheon, sponsored by the Vermont Bar Association, was held on Decem- ber 2, 2016 and was well attended, as usual. The Bankruptcy Section considered bankrupt- cy-specific issues relating to client intake and issue spotting, a review of 2016 bankruptcy decisions, and procedural developments with the consolidation of the Bankruptcy Court with the United States District Court for the District of Vermont. In addition, those in at- tendance discussed disclosure issues that re- late to practitioners’ ethical responsibilities in a more general context. Various members of the Bankruptcy Sec- tion contributed to CLE events including, but not limited to, the Vermont Bar Association’s Annual Meeting with an Introduction to Bank- ruptcy. Our members have served on various task forces reviewing topics including an up- date and implementation of new local rules and a National Plan to become effective De- cember 1, 2017. In addition, in concert with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Vermont, the Bankruptcy Section holds nearly monthly Bench-Bar Brown Bag Lunch Meet- ings over the noon hour in either Rutland or Burlington with access by phone to ensure statewide availability for all practitioners. We are currently developing the topics for the upcoming Bankruptcy Holiday CLE and Luncheon which will take place on December 1, 2017 at the Franklin Convention Center in Rutland, Vermont. members of the Business Association Sec- tion drafted, submitted and testified on a re- write of the Vermont Corporations Act provi- sions of mergers, conversions and domestica- tions.  That bill replaces Subchapter 11 of Title 11A.  It was passed and became effective on July 1, 2017.  The Business Association Sec- tion is currently working with the Secretary of State’s Office on additional revisions to the Vermont Corporations Act.  Another group of members of the Business Association Sec- tion have been working on sweeping amend- ments to the Vermont Non-Profit Corpora- tions Act.  That legislation may be introduced in the coming legislative session. COLLABORATIVE LAW SECTION By: Nanci Smith, Esq. The Collaborative law committee continues to keep each other informed about upcom- ing trainings out of state.  We participated in the Mid-Year meeting in Manchester this year with a brief intro to collaborative practice. We hosted a summer social at Reservoir Pub in Waterbury and we are excited to host the President Elect of the IACP on September 27, 2017 to talk with us about ways to improve education, outreach and ways to get new cas- es. Details of the event will be posted to the group. The IACP Forum is hosting its annu- al Networking and Education Forum in Philly.  https://www.collaborativepractice.com/pro- fessional/trainings-events/networking-and- educational-forum.aspx.  This is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture of Collab- orative Practice with all of the national lead- ers. Our practice groups continue to meet monthly to discuss ways to educate the pub- lic about Collaborative Practice.  We continue to network with various medical profession- al and mental health professionals through- out Central Vermont and Chittenden County and we are helping clients through one of the most traumatic experiences of their lives, ab- sent a death in the family.  If you are interest- ed in learning more about our interdisciplin- ary divorce practice, or other ways to use col- laborative negotiation skills in your practice, please feel free to contact me at Nanci@nan- cismithlaw.com or come to our practice group meetings, which happen once a month in Bur- lington or Montpelier/Waterbury. CONSUMER LAW SECTION By: Jean Murray Though the section has taken no formal po- sition, members of the consumer law section were involved during the legislative session reviewing and commenting on proposals re- garding debt collection process in Vermont.  Addison County already has, and soon Rut- land and Washington counties will have, pro- bono opportunities in the form of a collection “clinic” day held at court. The court sched- ules a status conference day, where pro-bono counsel are matched with defendants to iden- tify defenses, exemptions from collection, set- tlement possibilities and next steps.  Pre-req- uisite, free CLEs will be offered as the clinics get launched. BUSINESS ASSOCIATION LAW SECTION By: Tom Moody, Esq. During the 2016/17 Legislative Session, www.vtbar.org THE VERMONT BAR JOURNAL • FALL 2017 21