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Vermont Law Mourns Passing of Bernard Lisman, Trustee Emeritus

April 23, 2014


CONTACT: Maryellen Apelquist, Media Relations & Editorial Content, Vermont Law School, office: 802-831-1228, cell: 802-299-5593

SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt., April 23, 2014—Vermont Law School is mourning the passing of Bernard Lisman, who served as a Vermont Law trustee from 1974-1993 and trustee emeritus since 1993. Lisman was one of the law school’s earliest supporters in the Vermont legal community.

“I had the good fortune to work alongside Bernie as a student trustee in the eighties,” said Edward C. Mattes ’83, chairman of the Vermont Law School Board of Trustees. “He was a kind and thoughtful man from whom I learned a great deal. He cared deeply about justice, the law and this law school.”

While still in his 20s, Lisman was appointed a municipal court judge, in which capacity he served for two years as one of the youngest judges in the nation. In 1952, he and his brother Louis formed Lisman and Lisman, the predecessor of today’s firm of Lisman Leckerling, P.C. in Burlington.

Lisman’s many civic and professional contributions include service on the Burlington City Council and as first president of the Vermont Trial Lawyers Association. He was a member of the American Judicature Society and served on the board of directors of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He is listed in “Who’s Who in American Law” and in the first edition of “The Best Lawyers in America.”

Lisman received his PhD from the University of Vermont in 1939 and his LLB from Harvard Law School in 1942, where he was the winning speaker in the finals of the AMES Moot Court Competition. He served on General Eisenhower’s staff in World War II and was decorated with the Bronze Star.

A funeral service for Bernard Lisman was held Tuesday, April 22, at the Ohavi Zedek Synagogue in Burlington. An online guest book is available at


Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, has the top-ranked environmental law program and one of the top-ranked clinical training programs in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. VLS offers a Juris Doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; two Master’s Degrees (Master of Environmental Law and Policy, and Master of Energy Regulation and Law), and three post-JD degrees—LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers), LLM in Energy Law, and LLM in Environmental Law. The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center, the South Royalton Legal Clinic, and the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

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