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VLS in the News

May 2008

  • VLS student Jared Carter (JD '09) is still a year away from receiving a law degree, but he argued his first case in federal court this week. Carter is one of four plaintiffs suing the U.S. government in an effort to ease travel restrictions to Cuba for family visits. Carter's wife, Yurisleidis Leyva Mora, is a native of Cuba who came to the U.S. in 2006. The couple want to travel to Cuba to celebrate their marriage with her family and to visit her aging grandparents. Appearing before U.S. District Court Judge William Sessions, Carter argued that the travel restrictions imposed by the Bush administration in 2004 violate due process and equal protection rights. The case is attracting wide attention, particularly in Miami and Havana. The Boston Globe carried this May 28 story, with video, that can be seen at The Burlington Free Press covered the court hearing a May 29 story available at (and reprinted in the Havana Journal):
    The Rutland Herald and Times Argus carried stories available at and The case was previously featured in a March 5 Seven Days cover story article available at

  • Professor Patrick Parenteau was interviewed by Vermont Public Radio about a decision by the state Environmental Court on the Vermont Yankee water discharge case. The Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic worked with conservation groups to appeal a state permit that allowed Vermont Yankee to discharge more overheated water into the Connecticut River. The VPR segment can be heard at Stories on the decision also appeared in the May 25 Bennington Banner and the Rutland Herald and Times Argus.

  • Professor Parenteau was quoted in the Washington Independent for a May 28 story, "EPA Success Masks Problems," which analyzed the drop in EPA enforcement cases. He also spoke to the Arizona Star for a May 27 story about the polar bear and its designation as an endangered species that can be read online at (registration required).

  • Professor Peter Teachout is quoted in a May 27 piece in Kansas City's infoZine entitled, "Defederalizing the Guard?" It accompanied a longer story about balancing the demands on National Guard troops in wartime. Professor Teachout testified earlier this year during a State House hearing on the issue. Read the article at

  • Professor Cheryl Hanna offered legal analysis for WCAX Channel 3 regarding the admissibility of statements made by murder suspect Christopher Williams following his arrest in an Essex shooting case two years ago. The piece can be seen at She was also interviewed by Channel 5, although the story is not available online.

  • The Randolph Herald carried a story and photo in its May 29 edition about the VLS Class of 2008 gift: the Kent Ledge Improvement Project. The story is not yet posted online, but the story is referenced at For more information on the project, visit

  • The same edition of the Randolph Herald profiles Royalton's new first constable, Dennis Stamulis. As the article makes mention, he is the husband of VLS Human Resources Director Diane Hayes. The story is noted at this site, but is not yet available online:

  • VLS alum Andrew Deegan, JD '04, husband of Williston planner Carrie Deegan, is noted in a Burlington Free Press story for his plans to join a New Hampshire conservation land trust. Read the story at

  • VLS alum Abraham "Abe" Navarro, JD '01, was recently appointed by Indiana's governor to fill a judicial opening on the circuit court in Clark County. Read about it at

  • VLS held its 33rd Commencement on May 17, marked by an address by Madeleine May Kunin, Vermont's former governor who served as US Ambassador to Switzerland during the Clinton Administration. The event drew front page coverage in the Valley News under the headline, "VLS Grads Urged to Tackle the World's Problems." In the same edition, a column by Jim Kenyon, "Legal Education," highlighted to work of VLS students at the South Royalton Legal Clinic. The Herald of Randolph also carried graduation coverage in its May 22 edition. The stories are not available online, but copies can be obtained by calling x1106.

  • Professor Michael Dworkin was featured on the May 21 segment of Vermont Public Radio's "Vermont Edition," discussing the state's future energy needs and the potential for renewable energy sources. Joining Professor Dworkin was Bob Young, president and CEO of CVPS. The piece can be heard online at

  • Professor Patrick Parenteau was a guest on the May 19 segment of "Vermont Edition," discussing the environmental challenges facing Vermont and what those challenges mean for local food markets. Listen to the clip at (The segment prompted this VPR story). Prof. Parenteau's recent appearance on a panel, "The Politics of Climate Change," held at Dartmouth College, was covered in The Dartmouth. He was also interviewed by the Sacramento Bee about the losing streak of the Bush Administration in litigating environmental cases. Read the story online at

  • Professor Cheryl Hanna provided more legal analysis during the second week of the murder trial of Brian Rooney. She was interviewed by VPR for this trial wrap-up, available online at She spoke with the Burlington Free Press for these stories: Witness recalls cell phone conversation with murder suspect; No evidence of Gardner-Quinn found in Rooney's Jeep, police testify. She also provided analysis for the Rutland Herald, Channels 3 and 5, and the Mark Johnson Show on WDEV. The trial ended on May 22 with a guilty verdict. VLS alum Matthew Levine, JD '85, an assistant attorney general in Vermont, served on the prosecution team, while VLS alum David Sleigh, JD '82, was Rooney's defense lawyer.

  • Professor Bruce Duthu was recently a featured guest on the Pacifica Radio program, "Indigenous Politics: From Native New England and Beyond." The program aired April 29 on WESU, based in Middletown, Conn. A member of the Houma Tribe of Louisiana, Duthu discussed his new book, American Indians and the Law (Viking Press 2008). The show will be archived at

  • VLS alum Gail Nichols, JD '80, was named to be a judge on Colorado's 9th Judicial Circuit. Nichols formerly served as chief deputy district attorney in Aspen. Read about Nichols' appointment at

  • VLS alum Karen Kerin,, JD/MSEL '97, announced her plans to challenge Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell in the upcoming election. Read about Kerin's announcement at

  • Professor Patrick Parenteau was interviewed for a May 15 Boston Globe story about the Bush Administration's decision to list the polar bear as an endangered species, and the differing opinions about what effect the designation will have on oil and gas drilling and efforts to curb carbon emissions. Read the article at

  • Professor Parenteau was also quoted in a story that appeared in the Oregon-based Register-Guard about a different endangered species, the Oregon chub, and efforts to ensure that a critical habitat is designated to protect it. The story can be read at

  • Professor Cheryl Hanna spent several days in a Rutland courtroom this week sitting in on the high-profile murder trial of Brian Rooney, who stands accused in the 2006 rape and slaying of University of Vermont student Michelle Gardner-Quinn. Professor Hanna offered her analysis of the case during a May 12 segment of Vermont Public Radio's Vermont Edition. Listen to the clip at She was also interviewed by the Rutland Herald for an article about jury selection in the trial. Read the story at The Burlington Free Press quoted Professor Hanna in multiple stories this week, including a preview of the trial that can be found at Channel 3 also carried her analysis of the case in multiple stories: Testimony Begins in Brian Rooney Murder Trial; Rooney Murder Trial Preview and Rooney's Defense Strategy. Channel 5 also interviewed her, but the video is not available.

  • VLS alum David Sleigh, JD '82, a noted criminal defense lawyer who is representing Brian Rooney in the above-mentioned case, was profiled in a lengthy cover story that appeared in the May 14 edition of Seven Days. The article also quotes Professor Hanna and US District Court Judge William Sessions III, who recalls having Sleigh as a student at VLS. Read the story at Sleigh also reflects on his first visit to the VLS campus.

  • VLS student Cara Cookson, JD '10, taped a commentary for VPR's "My Vermont" series in which she tells of her personal decision to return to Vermont seven years after having left her home state for other locales. Her commentary, which aired on May 12, can be heard online at

  • VPR also carried this interview with VLS alum and author Richard Feldman, JD '82, who once lobbied for the NRA but now has a different view of the organization. His recently published book is entitled, Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist. The May 15 VPR interview can be heard at

  • Matt Houde, associate director of career services and first-term state representative in New Hampshire, announced his plans to run for a vacant N.H. Senate seat. The May 6 Valley News carried this story.

  • Professor Joan Vogel was interviewed by the Valley News about a potential unionizing effort by nurses at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. The April 30 edition carried this story.

  • Professor Michael Dworkin recently shared stage with Gary Hart and others to discuss energy issues at a San Diego event sponsored by the American Solar Energy Society. Coverage of the event can be read at He was also interviewed in this Q and A featured in the online magazine Plenty.

  • VLS student Kim Chehardy (JD '09) had a letter published in the Rutland Herald urging passage for legislation she helped author that would protect the confidentiality of library records in wake of the Patriot Act. The legislation passed both chambers before the Vermont Legislature adjourned on May 3 and is awaiting the governor's signature. The letter is available online at A news story on the bill also appeared in the Rutland Herald but is not available on line.

  • Professor Steven Wise will argue a case before the Vermont Supreme Court that was previewed in the May 15 edition of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The case involves the question of whether a pet owner has the right to compensation for the emotional pain and loss when the animal dies as a result of negligence. Read the story at

  • Professor Peter Teachout spoke to Vermont Public Radio during an April 30 segment about a 1984 raid on a religious group in Island Pond, in which children were seized and later returned to their homes. The segment compared that event to a recent case in Texas, in which more than 400 children were taken from a polygamist community. Listen to the story online at

  • The Burlington Free Press carried this piece on plans for Madeleine May Kunin to deliver the VLS commencement address on May 17.