Welcome to the VBA Pulse
Scroll down for information on current and upcoming CLEs including the Mid-Winter Thaw and Tech Conference Week, our new affinity partner TRACERS, COVID-19 Committee Survey, and more!
The VBA office will be migrating to a new Association Management Software in the next couple of months. We are excited to bring our members a cloud based, next generation platform as well as a new VBA website. The new platform will not only provide the VBA staff with tools to streamline in-house processes and efficiencies but will also provide our members with an intuitive on-line member portal. A sneak peak of some of the tools the new platform will provide:

  • Online member portal – members can easily manage their profile, join sections, renew membership.
  • -Enhanced online membership directory – an online pictorial member directory with an option to add biographical information.
  • -CLE & Events – Members can easily register, track their CLE credits and print certificates.
  • Lawyer Referral Service – Panel members will have fully automated online case tracking and status reporting as well as calculation of referral fees and online payments.

The launch of the new platform is expected to be in early March. We will keep you informed as we progress. 

2021 VBA Directory

The 2021 VBA Directory will be published and distributed at a later date in 2021 as we recognize many of our members are working remotely. Please keep in mind that the VBA online directory has real-time information available.  

Our goal is to publish the court section portion of the directory on our website once it has been updated. Some of our staff resources will be dedicated to the migration to our new platform in the next couple of months. We appreciate your patience and understanding during the transition and as we all navigate through the pandemic. The VBA staff is dedicated to excellent member service and are always available to assist you.

Mindful Moments for Wellness - webinar series
In the face of a heightened level of chaos & uncertainty around us, we need to focus on increasing our overall well-being & decreasing the harmful effects of stress now more than ever. Join Samara Anderson, Esq., 500 RYT, our local wellness guru & certified MBSR (Mindful Based Stress Reduction) teacher as she guides us through some mindful practices to help us reduce stress, increase clarity & focus, boost our immunity systems and implement simple self-care practices that will have a profound impact on your life & the lives of those around you.  

Give yourselves the gift of wellness during these times of stress - boost your mood and find some peace of mind.  

These 30 and 60 minute sessions will increase clarity for your practices. Mindfulness is an ongoing practice, so feel free to join additional sessions. Register by clicking dates below.

January 5, 2021 - FREE 30 minutes (no MCLE credit)
January 18, 2021 - 1.0 Wellness credit

February 2, 2021 - FREE 30 minutes (no MCLE credit)
February 16, 2021 - 1.0 Wellness credit

March 16, 2021 - 1.0 Wellness credit
March 30, 2021 - FREE 30 minutes (no MCLE credit)

April 13, 2021 - 1.0 Wellness credit
April 27, 2021 - FREE 30 minutes (no MCLE credit)
YLD Mid-Winter Thaw: Jan. 11-15, 2021
Join the Young Lawyers Division for a week of Mid-Winter Thaw programs from January 11-15, 2021. All proceeds will be donated to the Vermont Bar Foundation's Access to Justice Campaign. More information about the campaign can be found HERE.

Programs for the week include Mindfulness, Ethics, Everything But the Briefs, New Attorney Licensing During the Time of COVID-19, National Jury Trials, and Looking Past COVID-19: Impacts on the Workplace. PLUS two virtual luncheons (free) to touch base with colleagues and meet newly admitted attorneys. Select any or all programs for a possible total of 8.5 MCLE credits (includes 1.0 ethics, and 1.5 wellness) - pay only $20 per credit hour for the programs you choose.

Program descriptions, speakers, dates, and times can be found on our website at THIS LINK.

Scholarships are available - click here to see if you qualify

Be Efficient, Be Ready: Tech Week 1/25-1/29!
Get ready for a week of fantastic tech-focused programs for our 2021 Tech Conference Week from January 25-29, 2021.

We're still solidifying dates and times for many more webinars to be presented, but the week is definitely shaping up!

Here are the programs you can register for RIGHT NOW - all are 1 hour long (1.0 MCLE):

We are adding programs by the day which will likely include office accounting and billing, research and online search help, hardware and phone systems, virtual office set up and more!
Dispute Resolution Tips: Chewing on Conflict
The Dispute Resolution Committee is pleased to kick off its lunchtime interview series with Vermont’s Attorney General, T.J. Donovan on Tuesday January 19 at Noon.

This periodic series of interviews and panels will focus on how people address dispute resolution, mediations and arbitrations not only as it relates to their work, but also how the speakers resolve disputes with their employees, peers, constituents and stakeholders. Please join the Attorney General as he discusses his efforts and experiences with dispute resolution.

Date: January 19, 2021
Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Credits: 1.0 MCLE

CLICK HERE to register
Family Law Webinar Series #1:
Child Support Scenarios & Calculations*

This is the first in a series of 2021 webinars from the VBA Family Law Section and will focus on how to use the online child support calculator. We will present several scenarios to walk through the process. Speakers include Hon. Brian Valentine, Paul Wolf from OCS, mediator Erik Wheeler, Cristina Mansfield, Thea Lloyd, and others.

Date: January 29, 2021
Time: 9am - 11am
Credits: 2.0 MCLE

*Approved and certified to satisfy requirements of Rule 12(a)(1) and
Rule 15(c ) of the VT Rules of Admission
Basic Skills in VT Practice & Procedure*
This program is a great all-around introduction to Vermont Law.

Whether you're working on credits to meet the 1st-year requirements, interested in adding a new skill to your practice, or brushing up on current skills, this is the program for you!

Date: April 22 & 23, 2021
Credits: 6.0 MCLE (Includes 1.0 Ethics)

*Approved and certified to satisfy requirements of Rule 12(a)(1) and
Rule 15(c ) of the VT Rules of Admission

--Real Estate Law Day rescheduled: Feb. 10-12, 2021
--Mid-Year Meeting: Tentatively scheduled for March 25-April 2, 2021
Thank you to the over 275 people who responded to our COVID-19 Impact Study! Results are still being compiled and will be shared with our membership shortly. We do note that nearly 60% of us indicate that we have been adversely impacted by the pandemic, approximately 55% of us are caring for children or adults in our homes while working and nearly 70% of us are feeling isolated. We can't thank you enough for sharing your insights with us so that we can figure out more ways to support each other during these times. We are all in this together!
New titles added from our October 2020
Annual Meeting webinars!
Electoral College; 26th Amendment; Remote Court Hearings; Criminal Law; Tax & Social Justice; Probate Update; Environmental Law;
and The Client-Centered Law Firm

CLICK HERE to view all titles
Quick one-hour sessions in a variety of legal practice areas, either by phone (teleseminar) or listen through your computer (audio webcast). Simply go to our website and select Teleseminars & Audio Webcasts on the CLE/Events dropdown. You'll be taken here, where you can browse by practice area or preferred format. Create your own account and you're all set. 
Law firm announcements - we can help!
The VBA offers a great service to its members!
We can publish your law firm announcements to our legal community. Announcements may include law firm name changes, new partners, and location changes.

This service offers our members a significant savings by eliminating the need to print & mail announcements. It also helps our members keep informed of changes in our legal community. And it helps keep our planet just a little greener!

To submit an announcement click HERE
VBA Marketplace
Find your next career at the Vermont Bar Association
Check back frequently as new jobs are posted every day.
To post a job opportunity on our website, click here.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATES!

The VBA is working hard to get you the latest information affecting your practices with respect to the Coronavirus. There has been no better time than NOW to join and utilize VBA Connect's online communities! Members are sharing information on the family, probate, property and other listserves daily. If you need assistance with VBA Connect, call or email today!

Please also check out our COVID-19 Resource Page located on our website. We will update those resources regularly to include the latest Governor’s Orders, Court Orders, enacted legislation, Reopening Plans and Toolkits, webinars and communications from our COVID-19 committee. Thank you for enabling us to be a resource for the legal community and to have a seat at the table as Vermont navigates through this crisis.
Tracers, the #1 trusted cloud-based investigative research software and TechnoLawyer “Top Products of 2020,” provides law firms access to an online database of over 43 billion records, from over 6,000 sources of data! With Tracers, attorneys can have the confidence of utilizing the most comprehensive public and proprietary database to complete their legal research. 
-Locate people (witnesses, beneficiaries, parties for legal action)
-Relationship linking
-Research businesses
-Perform due diligence
-Check for conflicts and much more! 
Vermont Bar members receive 10% off all Tracers' search services! Start searching today!

 (877) 723-2689
As a small business Owner, I understand how uneasy many may feel with the uncertainty today’s business world. I want to say first and foremost, be safe and be healthy. We at Technology Consultants, Inc. continue assisting small businesses that are not our clients to implement a safe work environment by setting up Remote Work or Telecommute services. Many options are available to access your office computer or your office network. Please keep in mind security! Do not rush into a setup for accessing your company information and take a chance in opening your Company to Internet Thugs.

Technology Consultants, Inc. is here to help the Vermont Bar members to find the best way to setup and assisted in a remote worker program, also known as Telecommute system. Many users can purchase simple direct and secure programs such as LogMeIn Pro, TeamViewer or GoToMyPC. If you have an IT managed service company helping you, please talk to them about first securing and protecting your remote computer and then how to best connect to your office.

Many Law firms are moving to Microsoft Office 365 for email and file management, please remember even that needs to be setup correctly and setup security. You can setup Dual Authentication so even if someone can talk you into giving up the password, they would not be able to login without that 2nd step.

Look out for Phishing attacks. We have been told by the DOD, and the State of Vermont that email scams are on the rise. Please examine the email address that sent you that email. If it looks off, it may be a phishing email looking for information from you. That is why making sure you have a powerful Virus/Malware protection. If you need help with this during this crisis, please let the Vermont Bar Know and we will assist you.

With the correct tools you can do a lot of work remotely. We have helped with Medical Telemedicine, Business to Business, Person to Person conference system, such as Teams, Zoom and Skype. If you need more information, please ask us. Use our on-line chat feature under https://www.tcivt.net/support-center/ web page.
As news of the novel coronavirus continues to evolve, we want to keep you informed and provide you with timely updates, resources and educational information. We created an online resource for you and your participants. Visit our ‘COVID-19 and the Market Impact’ page on the Program website at abaretirement.com. Please feel free to share this link with your employees.
Beginning the week of March 23, if your plan offers loans and/or hardship withdrawals, the Program will temporarily deliver these checks directly to participants instead of sending them to firms.* Loan checks will be sent regular mail and hardship withdrawal checks will be sent by overnight delivery. For the loans, we will send you the repayment information via email so that you can begin payroll deductions.
If you have any questions, please call our toll-free Plan Administrator Line at 800.752.6313 or email us at contactus@abaretirement.com.
We hope you, your staff and your families remain healthy and safe and we are standing by to assist you if necessary.

Stay Well,
ABA Retirement Funds Program
While the situation with COVID-19 evolves and you work through your own business continuity plans, we understand if you’re a bit unsettled by the uncertainty of current circumstances, as well as the possibility of missing out on cash flow. Our member benefit partners at LawPay understand the critical role that electronic payments will play as this situation evolves, and that’s why they’re offering a $100 credit on processing fees if you want to get started with a new LawPay account. Their team is fully operational and here to support you however they can. Learn more>>
VBA Offers an Independent Telemedicine Solution to its Membership

With the ongoing coronavirus, the VBA’s telemedicine program offers the most comprehensive solution in the marketplace. The complete group virtual-care program includes-

·        General Medicine $0 copay
·        Behavioral Health $0 copay
·        Dermatology $0 copay
·        Expert Second Opinion Services $0 copay

Your firm will pay a low monthly fee for you and your family. There is a minimum of two enrolled for group plans and you will never be billed for services that you receive.

Individual programs are also available with a modified benefit offering.

For more information call our broker, Tim Clain at Pinnacle Financial Corporation, our broker for over 25 years. You can reach Tim at 802-773-2617 ext. 202 or by email at tclain@financialguide.com 
Easy Soft real estate closing software will revolutionize the way you handle closings. With Easy Soft you can automate redundant tasks, close 70% faster, reduce risk and work anytime, anywhere. Easy Soft real estate software has been the trusted source for real estate attorneys nationwide for over 30 years.
All you need is a device (laptop, tablet, PC or smartphone) and an internet connection to access and work on any of your real estate closing matters. 

Members save 25% off your first year*

Easy Soft real estate closing software includes:
  • The most commonly used closing documents
  • 1099-S Reporting and Filing
  • Centralized data entry
  • Automatic calculation of tax prorations, government recording charges, projected payments and cash to close
  • Ledger Balancing
  • Title Searching
  • Integration with popular software programs, including Dropbox, RynohLive, CosmoLex and InfoTrack
For more information please visit https://www.easysoft-usa.com/ and check out the 14-day free trial option. Or call 1-800-905-7638 and use Code VTBAR at initial purchase to receive your 25% off first year discount*.

*Available to new subscribers only.
YOUR online community!

Don't forget about this valuable member benefit. Join any of our online communities and stay CONNECTED.

To access VBA Connect, click HERE