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VLS in the News

October 2009

October 2009

  • Professor Betsy Baker spoke with Vermont Public Radio about her most recent trip to the Arctic aboard an icebreaker on an expedition to map areas of the extended Continental Shelf. (12 Oct. 2009)
  • Adjunct Professor Larry Meier explains some of the basics of trademark law in a Rutland Herald story regarding the Monster Energy Drink parent company's trademark lawsuit against Vermont's Rock Art Brewery over its "Vermonster" beer.
  • Professor John Echeverria recently filed an amicus brief in Stop the Beach Renourishment v. Florida on behalf of the American Planning Association and the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association. He took the positions that, "Opponents are trying to frame it as the environment versus property, but this is really property owners versus property owners." Originally published on, the full article appeared in The New York Times (06 Oct., 2009)
  • President and Dean Jeff Shields and Adjunct Professor Jingjing Liu, associate director for the U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law, recently discussed the additional $3 million in federal funds allocated to the China project. The funds come from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The additional money will put the Law School at the crest of academic efforts focused on helping China further develop its environmental legal framework. More information at Vermont Today. Also available in print through the Rutland Herald. (06 Oct., 2009)
  • Professor Paul Ferber recently weighed in on the issue of marketing in the legal profession. Professor Ferber discussed the fact that historically the legal profession has not been receptive to overt marketing focused on self-promotion. However, recent changes in the profession have embraced modern marketing methods. The full article analyzes the use of modern technology as a means to increase clientele. However, Professor Ferber notes that in Vermont, word of mouth is still more effective than any other means. The full article is available in the Champlain Business Journal. (05 Oct., 2009)
  • Professor Carl Yirka, director of Vermont Law School's Julien and Virginia Cornell Law Library recently discussed the schools cutting-edge environmental law collection. Professor Yirka noted that though the same books may be available at other institutions, they are not available in a centralized location. This is a unique feature of VLS's collection. The full story was published in the Rutland Business Journal. (05 Oct., 2009)
  • Professor Cheryl Hanna recently weighed in on the potential effect Justice Sonia Sotomayer may have on the dynamic of the Supreme Court. Professor Hanna noted that the 5-4 political battle lines have not shifted with this appointment. Looking forward, she said that the dynamic of the Supreme Court would be most influenced by consistent appointments from a specific political party by the White House. Professor Hanna goes on to note the major cases that will be before the court during justice Sotomayer's first full term. The full article is available at (05 Oct., 2009)
  • Dr. Mark Cooper, the Institute for Energy and the Environment's senior fellow for economic analysis, continues to receive press concerning his study about the cost per kilowatt-hour of nuclear power versus efficiency and renewable energy. A recent Cap Times story (also available through the Citizen Times) invoked Dr. Cooper's study as support for Moody's Investor Service reluctance to fund new nuclear reactor projects. Moody is a Wall Street's fiscal watchdog of U.S. utility performance. (02 Oct., 2009)
  • Professor Michael McCann was recently quoted in several publications a recent bankruptcy court ruling. The issue was a recent bid by Jim Balsillie's (co-CEO, Research in Motion; owner, PSE Sports and Entertainment) to move the Coyotes, a bankrupt Canadian Hockey team. Professor McCann noted that the bankruptcy court ruling effectively prevented "maverick prospective owners can't alter the rules at their own choice". The full story can be found in multiple locations (Montreal Gazette, Leader-Post, Vancouver Sun). (01 Oct., 2009)
  • Professor David Mears '91, director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, recently represented Residents Concerned About Omya in a lawsuit focused on holding Omya accountable for toxic waste generated from their marble mining operation. The judge ruled that the plaintiffs had not proven the toxic effects of the waste with enough certainty to warrant further proceedings. Professor Mears noted that high priced experts were allowed to testify for Omya and the plaintiffs were not allowed to present expert evidence in rebuttal. An appeal is possible. The full story is available through the Rutland Herald. (01 Oct., 2009)
  • Pamela Vesilind '08, assistant director of the Academic Success Program, recently put animal rights law in the news, and was interviewed for this piece regarding "Pete the Moose" in the Herald of Randolph. (Oct. 1, 2009) Her op-ed piece also appeared in the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus on Sept. 24.

Alumni in the News

  • Timothy E. Copeland Jr. '98 is currently a director at Downs Rachlin Martin, the largest law firm in Vermont. Recently, Tim was listed in Chambers USA 2009: Guide to America's Leading Lawyers for Business. This outstanding accomplishment received coverage in the Valley Business Journal (05 Oct., 2009).

Students in the News

  • VLS student and Schweitzer Fellow Lise Daniels '10-who has just been honored by the Public Service Law Network (PSLawNet) for launching a legal assistance clinic that offers rural, low-income individuals legal information and advice-is noted on the Schweitzer Fellowship's blog and website.