VERMONT PARALEGAL ORGANIZATION, INC.

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VERMONT PARALEGAL organization News

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  • 05/19/2021 4:53 PM | Caitlin Belcher (Administrator)

    Governor Scott signed a proclamation May 11th, 2021 proclaiming May 19, 2021 as Vermont Paralegal Day.  Take a moment to celebrate your accomplishments in the profession.  Happy Paralegal Day!

    Paralegal Day Proclamation signed by Governor Scott.

  • 05/19/2021 12:30 PM | Caitlin Belcher (Administrator)
    • 05/19/2021 @ 12:30 PM - 1:00 PM
    • Zoom

    Save the Date! 

    Our 2021 Annual Meeting with officer elections will be held online on May 19 at 12:30 pm. We won't have CLE at this meeting because we hope to have an in person CLE meeting in the fall. But you won't want to miss it because after voting, we will have a town hall with the newly elected board members to discuss future directions for the organization. Please mark your calendars and plan to cast your vote! 

    We have several open positions - if you ever thought about being on the board, now's a great time! 


  • 04/20/2021 6:03 PM | Caitlin Belcher (Administrator)

    Are you a credentialed member?

     

    If so, you may have submitted your third-party CLE materials to NFPA for approval towards your biennial renewal in the past.  In the Spring of 2020, however, NFPA announced that it was no longer offering this service.  In its place, it decided that member organizations can now begin to self-approve its own members’ CLE credits.  The VPO is now offering this service at no cost to members!  If you’ve attended a 3rd party CLE that needs approval before submitting your renewal package to NFPA, please read the following documents which describe the new process for approvals.  Also included is an Approval Application (Note:  applications must be submitted within three months of CLE completion.)  Once an Application is approved, the member will receive an Approval Certificate for use with their renewal package.

     

    Please contact Krista Cadieux, VPO Certification Ambassador, at certification@vtparalegal.org with questions.”

    VPO Certification Flowchart.pdf

    Third Party CLE Application for Approval.pdf

    Guidelines for Third Party CLE.pdf

    Letter to Credentialed Members (CLE Process).pdf

  • 04/06/2021 12:00 PM | Caitlin Belcher (Administrator)
    • 04/06/2021 @ 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
    • Zoom - register for the link

    Do you have questions about Odyssey File and Serve? Andy Stone, Odyssey Project Team Leader with the Vermont Judiciary, will be on hand to answer questions in a members only free Zoom Lunch-n-Learn CLE on Tuesday, April 6 from noon to 1:00 pm. You can send your questions in advance to president@vtparalegal.org or ask them the day of. Please register by 5:00 pm on Friday, April 2, to have the Zoom link emailed to you. Hope to see you then! 


  • 04/05/2021 2:37 PM | Caitlin Belcher (Administrator)

    Vermont Paralegal Organization, Inc. Celebrates 30 Years!

    Thirty years ago, the role of a paralegal in Vermont law firms and corporations began to grow and expand. Trudy Seeley, a paralegal at that time, and a founding member of the Vermont Paralegal Organization (VPO), reached out to other legal professionals around the state and asked if they would be interested in forming a group to share information and support one another in their expanding roles. This effort lead to a small group of enterprising paralegals forming what would  become the VPO. In November of 1990, the group had their first meeting at the Vermont Law School.It was an informal 5 hour bring-your-own lunch event held on a Saturday. In 1992, the VPO became a member of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) in an effort to have a presence and voice on the national level. In 2016, paralegals from all over the country convened in Burlington for the NFPA Annual Convention, hosted by the VPO. A small but mighty group of VPO volunteers coordinated and managed the four-day event that included a day of seminars, and two full days of policy meetings. The VPO officially incorporated in 2019.

    After Champlain College discontinued its Paralegal program, members of the VPO sought another higher education institution to take on the program. In January of this year, two VPO board members met with Marni Leikin at the ACE Academy at Burlington Tech Center to discuss how to bring a paralegal program back to Vermont. As of today, we are on a path to creating such a program with a partnership of the VPO, ACE Academy at Burlington Tech Center, and a state higher education institution. It is expected that the Paralegal Certificate Program will roll out in January of 2021. We owe a very special thank you to Marni Leikin for embracing our ideas for the program and making it happen in a short 8 months, and to James Knapp, Esq., of First American Title Insurance Company, who from the day Champlain College announced the discontinuance of the only paralegal program in Vermont, has been our biggest supporter and partner to finding another institution to carry on a Paralegal Program and who will be one of the instructors when the program rolls out. We are very excited to celebrate this undertaking as part of our 30-year celebration.

    The VPO is proud to be a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the paralegal profession by offering its members networking opportunities, continuing legal education (CLE), pro bono opportunities, leadership training, and a quarterly newsletter filled with information to keep paralegals up to date on legal issues. The VPO maintains a code of conduct, promotes high standards of integrity among paralegals, and fosters relationships with local and state bar associations. The VPO’s Annual Meeting and Conference includes seminars that provide CLE credits which are presented by generous and supportive members of the Vermont Bar Association and individuals who specialize in related fields. All VPO members are afforded membership in NFPA. Through affiliation with NFPA, VPO members stay current on paralegal issues on a national level as well as contribute to the development of NFPA policy. The VPO offers an annual scholarship and guidance in the process of earning certification through the NFPA Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE®) and/or the Paralegal CORE Competency Exam (PCCE), which involves educational or experiential prerequisites and passing a standardized exam.

    The VPO owes much of its current success to the many past and present members, and the attorneys,

    law firms and corporations who have supported its mission since 1990. The VPO is fortunate to have attorneys who present seminars on a regular basis and the list of supporting presenters continues  to grow every year. The VPO would also like to thank the following firms and attorneys with VPO members:

    Atlas Legal Services, LLP; Barber & Waxman; Behrens Venman & Sussman, PLLC; Cleary Shahi & Aicher; Darby Thorndike Kolter & Nordle, LLP; Dinse P.C.; Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC; Dunkiel Saunders; Elliott Raubvogel & Hand, PLLC; Facey Goss & McPhee P.C.; Green Mountain Power; Hehir Law Office, PLLC; Heilmann, Ekman, Cooley & Gagnon, Inc.; Joseph Greenbaum; Lab Partners Associates, Inc.; Langrock Sperry & Wool, LLP; Law Office of David I. Schoen; Law Office of Ruth Kinney, Esq.; Law Offices of Fred V. Peet; Law Offices of Steven A. Bredice PLC; Law Offices of F.J. von Turkovich, P.C.; Liberty Mutual; Lisman Leckerling, P.C.; Little & Cicchetti, P.C.; Lynch & Foley, P.C.; Lynn, Lynn, Blackman & Manitsky, P.C.; Main Street Middle School; Maley and Maley, PLLC; Marathon Health; Martin, Harding and Mazzotti; McClintock Law Office, P.C.; McCormick, Fitzpatrick, Kasper & Burchard; Nanci A. Smith, Esq. PLLC;  Northern Vermont Paralegal Services, LLC; Numbers Matter; Oliver L. Twombly Law Office, P.C.; Paul Frank + Collins P.C.; Pease Mountain Law, PLLC; Pinto MacAskill PLLC; Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer PC; Ryan Smith & Carbine, Ltd.; Sheehey Furlong & Behm P.C.; Stackpole & French Law Offices; Stark Law, PLLC; State of Vermont; The Law Office of William J. Fisk, PLC; Unsworth LaPlante, PLC; Vermont Attorney General's Office; Vermont Attorneys Title Corporation; Vermont Department of Labor; Vermont Energy Investment Corporation; Vermont Land Trust, Inc.; Vermont Law School; VOSHA Review Board; VT Office of the State Judge Advocate; VT Army National Guard; and Zalinger Cameron & Lambek PC.

    The all-volunteer Board of the VPO began planning a dinner event to celebrate its 30th anniversary. Unfortunately, as with so many similar events, due to the restrictions of COVID the event has been cancelled. The VPO hopes to hold its celebratory event in 2021.

    If you are interested in more information about the VPO, becoming a member, membership benefits, or its history, please visit the VPO website at vtparalegal.org.


  • 01/21/2021 9:41 AM | Lucia White (Administrator)

    Several VPO members will be presenting at the VBA Tech Conference next week. Check out their program!

    Document & Case Management Programs January 28, 2021 @ 10AM

    Description and Speakers: There are a number of software platforms out there that profess to help you cull and organize unlimited amounts of documents and information that you encounter through discovery. Everybody wants the edge: something user friendly, fast, accurate, and inexpensive. What program is the best for your firm or specific project? Hear from the people “in the trenches” that use some of the more popular document and case management software.

    What is Logikcull? (Melinda Siel) Logikcull.com is instant discovery for modern legal teams. Its secure, cloud-based solution helps law firms and organizations of all sizes solve the expensive, complex, and risky challenges associated with eDiscovery, internal investigations, and open records response. With Logikcull, you can start a discovery project in five seconds, from anywhere at any time on any device. Reviewing data is as easy as performing a Google search. And in Logikcull, your data is always secure. That’s why it’s trusted by the Fortune 500, Am Law 200, and governments of the biggest cities in the world. Founded in 2004 by CEO Andy Wilson and CTO Sheng Yang, Logikcull builds powerfully simple software that democratizes discovery.

    Ipro Eclipse (Laura Bezio) Ipro Eclipse Desktop is a non-cloud based option. It is helpful for smaller law firms or for a low cost eDiscovery option. Ipro for Desktop lets you migrate from the most popular legacy flat-file review databases and has been purpose-built with the most cutting-edge features found in any in-house review platform. Effortlessly manage reviews, unitize documents, ingest native files, and produce documents with this true all-in-one litigation platform. The platform is best suited for smaller cases, but a great way to process Mbox or PST files in-house.

    CaseMap (Heather Moreau) CaseMap, owned by LexisNexis, is a desktop relational database used to organize and evaluate facts, people, research and issues. In CaseMap, any aspect of a case can be sorted or searched while preserving the relationships between various sources of evidence (i.e., documents, depositions, and persons). Information in CaseMap that has been searched and sorted can be exported into Word, WordPerfect and Excel. CaseMap also allows for collaboration between concurrent users. CaseMap is most often used to create chronologies, witness lists, and document indexes (for exhibit lists or document productions).

    You can sign up for this session here: https://www.vtbar.org/Calendar/Signup.aspx?EventNo=3994

  • 06/22/2020 5:08 PM | Corinne Deering, RP

    Unfortunately, the VPO Board had to make the difficult decision to put off celebrating the VPO’s 30th Anniversary until next year, and also decided not to hold the usual Annual Meeting of short seminars that had been rescheduled to September 10th.  There remains a great deal of uncertainty, and we decided that holding an in-person event would be challenging for several reasons.  However, we will be brainstorming on whether we can still offer some CLE’s via Zoom or other virtual means, so stay tuned for updates while we further develop those ideas.

    Thank you for your understanding and Stay Safe and Healthy!


  • 06/10/2020 5:11 PM | Lucia White (Administrator)

    Hello everyone, 

    Our country is at a boiling point. The murder of George Floyd by a white police officer has unleashed the frustrations of a nation that has waited far too long to see racial justice. People have braved a pandemic to fight for change, for the most part trying to do so safely. That same pandemic shines a bright light on the ways systemic racism hurts people of color in this country. Black people are dying three to four times as much as whites from COVID 19. https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/05/health/coronavirus-african-americans-study/index.html Blacks are disproportionately affected by unemployment during this crisis. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/06/01/coronavirus-impact-black-communities-protests/ And we have far too many narratives of unarmed black men, women and even children being killed by police.

    As Vermonters, the majority of our VPO membership is white. Some of us might not see the violence or discrimination that others of us experience. The majority of our membership is female, so many of us understand sexism. A number of our members are in same sex relationships and understand discrimination. While some of us may not experience racism directly, we can understand our common humanity and we can identify inequality and bias when we see it.

    All of us work in a profession that fights for justice. While we do it in different ways, justice is a core value we share. How do we work for justice in a world that seems so broken in so many ways? The answer to that is different for every one of us. Because racism is systemic, there are many points of entry to effect change. Protests, prison reform, food insecurity, discriminatory housing practices, discriminatory employment practices – there are many potential points of entry to effect change in our systems. Writing letters to editors or politicians, volunteering at legal clinics, boycotting businesses with unfair practices or intentionally seeking out minority owned business are other ways to make a difference. Whatever it is for you, I’d encourage you to find your path. Our country has been on this journey for far too long.

    The VPO Board

  • 04/29/2020 4:58 PM | Corinne Deering, RP

    The VPO 2020 Annual Meeting has been rescheduled for September 10th.  SAVE THE DATE!  More information to come!

  • 03/18/2020 6:00 PM | Corinne Deering, RP

    Prometric, NFPA's test administrator, has notified NFPA that they are closing their testing sites for the next 30 days. NFPA will extend any authorization to test for any candidate impacted by the events surrounding the COVID-19 health crisis up to 60 days, as needed. Any candidate who experiences a delay in testing due to a testing facility being closed for the next 30 days will be contacted by Prometric's Candidate Care Team with instructions on how to reschedule their exam at no charge. NFPA is also working with Prometric on remote proctor exam options and will update our membership when those come online.

     


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vpo als ice bUCKET CHALLENGE

Sep 4, 2014

On September 4, 2014, several members of the Vermont Paralegal Organization Board and Committees accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and nominated the Capital District Paralegal Association and the New York City Paralegal Association to accept the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge! VPO participants were Carie Tarte, Corinne Deering, Cathy Foutz, Lisa Contois Laramee, Evelyn Wetzel, Ashley LaRose, and Heather Moreau. Click here to watch the video!

Congratulations Kristin Mattes

Oct 1, 2012

The VPO congratulates Kristin Mattes who was selected by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations as the 2012 recipient of the Individual Pro Bono Award for exhibiting outstanding dedication and service in the area of pro bono service to the public. Kristin is the Pro Bono Committee Chair for the VPO, and a Paralegal for the law firm of Sheehey Furlong & Behm in Burlington. Click here to read Kristin's nomination submission.

VPO to Host 2016 NFPA National Convention

Oct 1, 2012

The Vermont Paralegal Organization was chosen to host the 2016 National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) National Convention in Burlington! The VPO submitted a bid and presentation at the convention this year in Alaska and we were chosen to be the hosts for the 2016 convention. We are all very excited about this news and hope that our members will support and assist us with the planning and organizing of this event. It will be a great opportunity for all Vermont members and for the legal community to become more familiar with NFPA and its benefits to paralegals.

Exhibit Sticker Fundraiser and New Member Benefit

May 11, 2012

The VPO has obtained a new member benefit and has launched a fundraising effort all in one exciting opportunity for you! We have coordinated with ExhibitSticker.com to offer members a 15% discount on an Adobe Plug-In that creates any color exhibit sticker, with any words that you desire, on your PDF trial exhibits, deposition exhibits, or any documents requiring this type of sticker! What a great option!! You can virtually "sticker" your documents in one quick step saving you time and money in copying and scanning your exhibits. To find out more about this great All-in-One E-Sticker, click on the link below to get the brochure and coupon code for ordering the plug in. Get it Now!! The fundraiser which saves you 15% will also earn 15% for the Vermont Paralegal Organization. It's a win-win for everyone. Get your Adobe Plug-In now!! 15% Offer expires July 5, 2012. Brochure and Coupon Code

March Appearances

Mar 23, 2012

The Vermont Paralegal Organization attended two events this month to promote the organization to the legal and educational community.

The VPO had an Exhibitor's Table at the Vermont Bar Association's Mid-Year Meeting on March 23, 2012, at the Hilton Hotel in Burlington. Thank you to Board Members who covered our table to meet and greet VBA members and other exhibitors in attendance at the meeting. Board Members Carie Tarte, Lisa Laramee, Laure Noyes, RP, Louise Reese, Corinne Deering, RP and Heather Moreau, were in attendance on behalf of the VPO. The VPO congratulates Patricia Benelli, Esq., of Chester who won the VPO's Door Prize of free admission to its Annual Meeting and CLE on May 10, 2012.

On March 26, 2012, the VPO was present at Champlain College's Career and Internship Fair on the College's campus. Champlain Alums and VPO Members Melissa Young and Ashley LaRose were present on behalf of the VPO to talk to students about their careers as paralegals and about the benefits of joining the VPO. Thank you to Melissa, Ashley and Carie Tarte who spent their afternoons on campus talking with Champlain's students. Congratulations to Champlain student Kenneth Nosek who won the VPO's Door Prize of free admission to its Annual Meeting and CLE on May 10, 2012.

VPO - Dress Barn VIP Night

Oct 6, 2011

On Wednesday, October 26, 2011, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., the Dress Barn is offering VPO members a VIP Night where members will receive a 15% off discount on purchases. You will most likely be greeted by a VPO member, who also works at the Dress Barn, and all you need to do is identify yourself as a VPO member (on the honor system), and you will receive the discount.

It's time to change over to your fall/winter wardrobe. Visit the Dress Barn on Wednesday the 26th and receive a 15% discount! Happy Shopping!

VPO Activism Rewards Program

Jul 20, 2011

The VPO announced its Activism Rewards Program on July 20, 2011 at the Hump Day Summer Social. The purpose of the Rewards Program is to increase membership in the VPO and encourage our members to become active and involved in the Organization. The Rewards Program will continue until the VPO Annual Meeting to be held in April or May 2012. For more information and to find out how to earn your "entries," click here.

VPO Raises $4,918.40 Making Strides

Feb 26, 2011

The VPO recently received notice from the American Cancer Society that it raised a total of $4,918.40 in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Chittenden County event in October 2010. Congratulations and Thank You to the members of the VPO Team who participated in this worthwhile event.

SAVE THE DATE: The 2011 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event will be on October 16th. Let's hope for less wet weather this year so we can keep our feet dry! The start time this year will again be 1:00 p.m.

Developing Pro-Bono Opportunities

Dec 30, 2010

Through the hard work of our Pro-bono Committee Chairperson, Kristin Mattes, and with the assistance of Attorney Jacqueline Majoros of Vermont Legal Aid, the VPO will have the opportunity to become involved with the Vermont Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. At the annual meeting of the Vermont Probate Court Judges Association on December 3, 2010, the Probate Judges unanimously endorsed the proposed involvement of the VPO in long term care ombudsmanship as probate court designees under 18 V.S.A. §§ 9701(25) and 9702, subject to adequate support by means of a training, and perhaps certification, program. The VPO will keep members advised as we move forward with this opportunity.

VPO Exhibits at VBA Mid-Year Meeting

Mar 19, 2010

The VPO was pleased to be able to participate as an Exhibitor at the Vermont Bar Association's 53rd Mid-Year Meeting on Friday, March 19, 2010, at the Hilton Hotel in Burlington.

The VPO's Exhibit Table included copies of The Paralegal Perspective, the VPO Newsletter, membership applications, PACE Brochures, Sponsorship Applications and information, and a Pro Bono informational brochure outlining what the VPO can offer attorneys to accomplish providing pro bono services.

In addition, the VPO had a raffle for a VBA Member to win free attendance for his/her paralegal to the VPO's Annual Meeting and Conference in May. The exhibit table and our large poster board outlining the benefits of becoming a VPO member gave the VPO a presence with the State Bar Association, and reminded local attorneys of the importance and benefits of VPO membership for their paralegals.


Diane Brown and Missy Woessner, RP providing a presence at the VPO Exhibit Booth featured above.

Tina Wiles Receives Roger A. Perry Award

Oct 15, 2009

The VPO is proud to announce that Tina Wiles, former Region V Director and Past VPO President, has accepted the Champlain College Alumni Council's 2009 nomination for the Roger A. Perry Award. The award is given to alumni who show great leadership in his or her career, outstanding service to the community, and/or a notable accomplishment. Tina will be receiving her award on Saturday, October 24, 2009, at ECHO Science Center and Museum in Burlington, Vermont. Please join us in congratulating Tina Wiles on receiving this award.

Burlington Free Press Article, Champlain College to honor alumni

Vermont Paralegal Organization, Inc.
P.O. Box 5755
Burlington, VT  05402-5755

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