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VLS in the News

April 2008

  • The Vermont Commission on Family Recognition and Protection's report to the Vermont Legislature on the topic of same-sex marriage highlighted testimony by VLS Professors Gregory Johnson, Peter Teachout and Michael Mello, who offered legal analyses during the commission's visit to VLS last October. The report's April 21 release was widely covered in the press, including an AP story that can be read on For more on the professors' testimony and for a link to the report, visit

  • Prof. Alexander Banks, staff attorney with the South Royalton Legal Clinic, spoke with the Burlington Free Press about the Vermont Supreme Court's ruling in the clinic's Raynes v. Rogers case. In its decision, the court said a defendant in an abuse prevention case did not have the right to use force to defend his property against his former partner. The ruling was seen as an important victory for domestic abuse victims. Read the story at

  • VLS alum Alexander Lee, JD/MSEL ’01, continues to draw media attention for his "Project Laundry List," an effort to have people stop using clothes dryers to conserve energy. The April 20 New York Times Magazine's "Green Issue" included an item on his project that can be read And Lee is quoted in this New York Times "Right to Dry" story on how the use of outdoor clotheslines is wrinkling neighbors. Read the article online at

  • Professor Patrick Parenteau spoke with Vermont Public Radio about a recent filing by the U.S. Department of Justice, which seeks to overturn a federal court ruling that upholds Vermont's stringent vehicle emission standards. The April 22 segment can be heard at

  • Professor Cheryl Hanna was interviewed by VPR for an April 24 segment about the constitutionality of the latest campaign finance bill to make its way through the Legislature (and later vetoed by the governor). Read the article at

  • Professor Mello spoke with the Rutland Herald for an April 23 story about the difficulties faced by prosecutors in a drug-related homicide case that was pled down to a misdemeanor drug charge. Read the story at

  • VLS student Daniel Schramm, JD '08, had his letter to the editor published in the New York Times on April 23, responding to an editorial on torture. Read the letter at

  • VLS alum Krista Harness, '03 MSEL, was featured in an April 22 Burlington Free Press story that detailed her efforts as coordinator of the Youth Environmental Coalition. The group is organizing a weekend summit in late May aimed at helping teens who want to shape a greener future. Read the story at

  • Professor Michael Mello, an expert on the death penalty, was interviewed for an April 16 Time magazine piece, "A False Consensus on Lethal Injection." The article examined the U.S. Supreme Court's "scattered" ruling, which upheld the use of lethal injection but required seven separate opinions and 97 pages to do so. Read the story at

  • Professor Cheryl Hanna's April 16 Seven Days' column, "Getting Down to Earth," looked at the evolution of environmentalism and her own changed thinking on the topic. Read the commentary at She also received mention in an April 20 Burlington Free Press review of former Gov. Madeleine Kunin's latest book, Pearls, Politics & Power, in which Hanna is featured. Read the article online at

  • Professor Carl Yirka's commentary, "Parsing the Law Offers Little Insight into Cheating Cases," ran in the April 18 edition of the Valley News. Yirka examined the response to the Hanover High School cheating scandal and challenged a "lawyerly rendition" of the case put forth by another commentator. The piece is not available online, but copies can be obtained by calling Media Relations at x1106.

  • The Environmental Law Prof Blog noted Professor Patrick Parenteau's appearance at an April 18 symposium, "TVA v. Hill: A 30-Year Retrospective on the Legendary Snail Darter Case," held at the University of Tennessee College of Law in Knoxville. Read the story here.

  • An item in the Concord Monitor promoted an April 26 talk in Canterbury, N.H. that will feature VLS alumni Alex Lee, JD/MSEL '01, creator of Project Laundry List. Read about it at

  • Professor Philip Meyer was interviewed for an April 13 Boston Globe article, "Inventing John McCain," which examined the campaign and marketing strategies of the presidential candidate. Meyer offered analysis of McCain's language and tone in the article, which can be read on

  • Professor Patrick Parenteau was quoted in the April 11 issue of Science in an article on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' new regulations for wetlands protection and the mixed reviews they are receiving. The article is available by subscription at: Science is also available in the Cornell Library.

  • The Rutland Herald carried a story on the 12th annual Vermont Youth for Justice Summit held at VLS on April 11. VLS's Abby Armstrong and Peg Trombly wore their other hats for the summit in their roles as planning commission and select board members, respectively. Read the article at

  • Two VLS students got lucky after their "leisurely" canoe trip in the fast moving White River turned out to be anything but leisurely. A rescue crew pulled first-year students Greg Berck and Ferrell "Bucky" Ryan from an island just down river from the Chelsea Street bridge. The Valley News covered the rescue in an April 11 front-page story accompanied by a dramatic photo. Read about the ordeal at The story was later picked up by other media outlets, including the Boston Globe website.

  • The Times Argus carried a story on the housing rental market, which included mention of VLS and its impact on rental availability in South Royalton. Read the article at

  • VLS student Emilee Drobbin, JD ’08, was featured in a recent article in The Hippo, a Manchester, N.H.-based weekly, for her work in developing a program aimed at preventing domestic violence. "Stop! In the Name of Love" was presented to an older group of area Girl Scouts and the article, "Beyond Thin Mints," discussed how Drobbin, herself a Girl Scout, was inspired to work on the project by her "Women and the Law" class at VLS. The article is not available online.

  • VLS will host U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders' "Town Meeting" on April 5 at 7 p.m. in the Chase Center, with Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren discussing the ailing U.S. economy and the struggle of the middle class. Prof. Warren spoke with Vermont Public Radio in advance of her visit; listen to the clip at (click "listen" for audio).

  • VPR's Vermont Edition, a noontime call-in show, featured U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy discussing border security and the checkpoint on Interstate 91 in Hartford. Listeners to the April 4th show may have recognized the second caller to the program, Dean Jeff Shields (calling from Rutland), who lauded Leahy for his approach in dealing with border security and the larger issue of terrorism. Dean Shields also took the opportunity to thank Leahy for his efforts on behalf of the VLS-China partnership. Leahy, in turn, had kind words for VLS, which can be heard at

  • Professor Patrick Parenteau spoke with the Boston Globe about a petition filed by 18 states to pressure the EPA to begin regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The move comes one year after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, which opened the door for federal control of tailpipe emissions. The April 3 story can be found on

  • TheRutland Herald published an April 3 commentary by Professor Parenteau, "Vermont Ponders Tax Break for a Polluter," which explored how a proposed tax exemption would affect the Omya facility near Rutland. Read the commentary at

  • Professor Michael Mello spoke with the Burlington Free Press about two unrelated murder cases, in which the defendants are seeking to fire their attorneys on grounds that they are not being allowed to participate in their own defenses. Critics, including the governor, say this may be an attempt to "game the system" and prompt a mistrial. Read the story at

  • Professor Cheryl Hanna will be the guest on the Mark Johnson Show on April 7, discussing recent decisions by the Vermont Supreme Court. The show airs at 9 a.m. and can be heard on WDEV FM 96.1/AM 550, or at

  • The Tennessean of Nashville published a "Letter to the Editor" this week that cited an op-ed written last year by Professor Oliver Goodenough. In his column, Prof. Goodenough compared the Iraq war to an oft-used economics game known as the "Dollar Auction". Read the letter at Prof. Goodenough's op-ed was originally published in the Rutland Herald last fall.

  • Professor Cheryl Hanna offered VPR listeners this perspective on Vermont's law as it pertains to breastfeeding. The commentary was in response to a case before the Vermont Human Rights Commission. Listen to the clip at