Welcome to the VBA Pulse
Scroll down for info about: wellness programs; Elder Law Day; Bankruptcy Holiday CLE; firm announcements; MLK Poster Contest;
new Digital Library titles; and MORE!
VBA LRS Program:
2020 Snapshot
By all accounts, 2020 has been unusual. That said, there are some things that never change: people still need lawyers, and they call us to find them! If you are not already a part of our lawyer referral service program, we hope you'll consider joining our panel of attorneys.

In the first 10 months of 2020 our average monthly calls have been around 475, and to date we've received just under 5,000 calls from individuals needing legal help for various issues. This same 10-month time period shows our panel members received over $1,028,000 in fees from VBA referrals!

Give it a test run - join by November 30th and we'll waive the annual fee through March 2021.

Details on how it works are on our website - or just click here. You can also call our office and chat with Michelle, our LRS Coordinator, for details and areas of need: 802-223-2020.
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.

November 5, 2020 - FREE 30 minutes (no MCLE credit)
November 19, 2020 - 1.0 Wellness credit
December 3, 2020 - FREE 30 minutes (no MCLE credit)
December 17, 2020 - 1.0 Wellness credit
Elder Law Day
This 2-day webinar will cover pre-crisis planning (traditional estate planning with elder law focus); special needs trusts; basic Medicaid eligibility (crisis planning & long-term Medicaid overview); advanced Medicaid planning; and post-eligibility issues.

November 9 & 10, 2020
5.0 MCLE General credits
CLICK HERE to see agenda for specific timing & to register
2020 Bankruptcy Holiday CLE
The 2020 Annual Bankruptcy Holiday CLE has moved to a virtual format!

We'll have three 2-hour sessions on Thursdays in December - 3rd, 10th, & 17th, with additional time set aside beforehand for networking.

Topics include the annual Year in Review and Judge Brown's State of the Court and VTB Stats, as well as ethics, technology, an intro to bankruptcy for the new practitioner, and small business bankruptcy issues, as well as a bench-bar. Attend any or all three sessions by visiting our website CLE calendar and refresh to December 2020!

--YLD Mid-Winter Thaw: Jan. 11-15, 2021
--Tech Week: January 25-29, 2021
--Real Estate Law Day rescheduled: Feb. 10-12, 2021
--Basic Skills in VT Practice & Procedure: April 22-23, 2021
Martin Luther King, Jr. Poster-Essay Contest
The VBA Diversity Section and Young Lawyers Division are co-hosting the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Poster - Essay Contest for Vermont Middle School Students. Here's a link to the Bar News story with all the details. Please pass the information on to any middle school students you know who may wish to enter. The entry deadline is December 18, 2020.
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
TELESEMINARS have a new & improved format!
The VBA has been working with Webcredenza to bring you an easier way to browse and register for teleseminars. You can still take part using your phone, but now you also have the option of taking part using your laptop, desktop, or other device with internet access. Both are live, as you have the opportunity to interact with presenters via phone or emailing/chatting through your browser.
No more waiting for materials to be posted to our website or searching through your email to find that call-in number! 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.
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