Vermont Bar Journal, Vol. 40, No. 2 Vermont Bar Journal, Spring 2017, Volume 43, No. 1 - Page 14

by Paul S. Gillies, Esq. RUMINATIONS Time In Law By Number What a difference a day makes. Maria Grever 1 Lately, deadlines scare me into doing ev- erything early. When the day something is due springs up unexpectedly, I either beg for more time or produce the answer, re- sponse, or reply under pressure, motivated by guilt and fear, but I’d rather not have that happen again. Reaching the age when those emotions are not as easily managed as when I was younger, I have decided to face the numbers directly, hoping to con- trol them, rather than be controlled by them. There are, after all, consequences to lateness. Some deadlines are so serious that failing to meet them results in disaster, the loss of the right to appeal or challenge a decision by a public official. Others are soft, where a statute gives a deadline for something but does not include a provision as to the consequences, such as a default. In those cases, the deadline merely gives rise to a right to petition a court to order that a hearing be held. 2 In the name of our own peace of mind, then, let’s start counting, beginning with the shortest deadline and aging to the lon- gest. This is not a comprehensive taxono- my of deadlines. Ten Seconds Your opponent has objected, and the court turns to you for a response. “Coun- selor, what do you have to say?” Rufus Choate once said that a lawyer’s only vacation is the period between having asked a question and the answer. 3 Two Hours This one is historical, but it sets the clock. The appeal period from a decision of a Justice of the Peace, before the Ver- mont Constitution removed that office’s ju- dicial powers, was two hours. First adopted in 1787, this remained the rule until 1974. 4 Just enough time to take a walk around the town to kick a few stones and decide whether to let something rest or run the dispute up the appeal ladder. Twelve Hours Candidates and parties may request an opportunity to review the checklist on elec- tion day up to two times during the vot- 14 ing, when it’s convenient for the election officials, if the request is made at least 12 hours before the opening of the polls. 5 Mobile home park owners may enter a mobile home in the park with the owner’s consent, “which shall not be unreasonably withheld,” between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m, on no less than 12 hours’ no- tice. 6 Town fire wardens must issue written permits to kindle a fire in the open air with- in 12 hours of granting the permission. 7 When deer damage crops or plantation trees, they may be killed, provided the per- son can prove in writing that damage had occurred. The person, having wounded or killed a deer, must file a written report with a game warden within 12 hours, giving the details of the incident. 8 Twelve hours is also the deadline for re- porting the discharge of untreated sewage and wastewater by operations of wastewa- ter treatment facilities to the secretary of natural resources. 9 Twenty-Four Hours Twenty-four hours is the minimum time for warning a special meeting of a pub- lic body, by posting notice in three pub- lic places, as well as direct notice to each member of the body either orally or in writ- ing. 10 A driver of a commercial vehicle found with any measurable or detectable amount of alcohol in his or her system is immedi- ately placed “out-of-service” f ܈ \˜[ٙ\YH\ XYY\Y\]X[ BYY\H]\H][H[Y\X[ZXK LB[\[\وX\[][Z\[\H[[XYHX^H[\[BX\]]\]HXHHۙ\Yۛۋ][ \ˈ LYX][ۈHۈ[Y\\][ \\œ\]Z\Y\HYXY[X\]H[B[[YHH[\[\وXX[]H܈KBZ[[HX\[\Z[]][[[H[H[ L’[\]][\X\]H \YH[\[۝Y[X\]B][\HXZ]Y[\ۙY[ۋ\]HY\YHوH[YY[X\˜[\[HH\\KY[YX][ۂ[X\܈\ٚ[HY[YY\وXBY[X\HX]HY[X\\Y[HTSӕTTS8(S M˜[Y HX][ۈYZ[[[›[ۙ^H܈\ۘ[[[X[[ܛX][ۋ[H\\[[ܛX][ۈ]X\B[ۜX[\HY\\HXXق]YZ[Y]YYH[\Y[X\وH\XK M\ۜ]\[܈۝X][H[B\[^Yۙ][ۈوZ\][ۈ\H][XHوHX\[YXH܈\۝[BYHH[Z\[ۜ]\[ \KBܙHHX\[ˈ MBY[[ܙ\Y[XZ[]HKB\ݙY\Y[H\\وYHۋB[[Y[\Y\H[Y]]ܚ^YX[\][Y[H]\[ \[YX][ۈHXKBܸ&\ٙXK MX[\HݚY\[\XX\›]\\ܝ[\\و\ۜ^X][˜[H[\\X\K[\K܈X]Y[KBYYHH\\Y[وX[\Z[B]\YHHX\ۈوX\\X[ۂH[Z\[ۙ\وX[][ \و\ݙ\HوHۙ][ۜˈ MB[YHXY[H\\YY\ݙ\HوB\ܝXK[][XXHXۙ\܈\BX\K N][X[ۜوH[܈\\ؘXXH[\ NYX\›وYH[HY][ \قH\[HوH[YY[][ۋ NB\ۜ]^]HX[\]\KBܝY܈\H[Z\[ۙ\وXXY]H][ \Y\\Bݙ\K \ۜXZ[^[]\\܈[BۙHX\YYXHX]]Hو L ܈[ܙB][ H^\وH[X\K[\[ [BK܈[[X[ۈ]\[HHX\YYXB\ܝ]HXܙ]\Hو]H][ \وH^[]\K B][ \وHۘ\[ۈو[Bٙ\[ۘ[[X]H[\]\[HHܚ][\ܝ[X][HKB[وXXX][[H؛[\[B[\Y\[H[[وHX]]H\X܈وHٙXHوٙ\B[ۘ[Y[][ۋ X[\HݚY\[\KBY\[\]\\ܝ[X\ۘXB\X[ۜو[X\H܈YXB[Z\[ۙ\و[[[[Z[Y\][ \وH[YHH[ܛX][ۂ\XZ]Y܈؜\Y “][ܘ[Y[ٙX\[[\H\ۈ\[\X]]YX^HZH[B˝\ܙ