Posted by Carrie Fenn on Mar 04, 2020
 Michael Kennedy, Vermont Bar Counsel, with President Keith.

March 4, 2020
Charlotte Shelburne Hinesburg Rotary Trinity Episcopal Church

Keith called the meeting to order and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

In today’s devotional, Susan reminds us to be kind to others, and to be the change we want to see in the world.

Our guests today are David Denu and Michael Kennedy.

Unfortunately, there will be no Irish dancers at Pies for Breakfast because they are on school break.
Keith and Chris volunteered at the first Race Vermont event at Palmer’s Sugarhouse. Snowshoe race was fun and a very unique event.

Ski race team is Susan, Chris, Keith and Carrie, with Margo as back up.
Folks interested in RYLA should get in touch with Keith asap- Susan and Howard will coach.
February board meeting focused on the website and making the connections with other community groups- Shelburne Athletic Club and Race Vermont; other sites we should link to could include, Cub Scouts, Shelburne Vineyard, town offices and libraries, fire and rescues, local businesses. Erik and Bob Sanders are spearheading this effort.
The Club needs to start looking at ways to increase the money we have to work with, and put a microscope on our fundraisers- engage in some additional fundraising events to get our budget back in balance.
The Board voted to drop the spelling bee- too much money and not enough time to consider, plus Susan’s plate is pretty full.
Car raffle is on for October- Ric will choose a date.

May 1-May 3 District Conference at Jay Peak. District would like to see hard decisions on sponsorships from businesses and Rotary clubs by (date). Send ads to Rick. Bring your kids! Bring your grandkids!
Helping out:

  • Attend the event- and remember, it’s not just for Rotarians. Key note speaker, Joey Coleman, is an international speaker who presents an 8 step process for attracting customers and retaining them. Key note is Saturday night.

  • Volunteer as an ambassador, assist attendees and help them find their way. Volunteer opportunities begin Friday morning.

  • Sponsor events like water park.

  • Conference is one price, hotel is additional. Least expensive room is $85 plus tax

    March 14- Pies for Breakfast- Margo can freeze pies if you bring them next Wednesday. Volunteers should arrive between 7 and 7:30. Please thaw your pies!!

    Club shirts are here! Please pick up your shirt from Bob Sanders- $25. He doesn’t want to schlep them around so pick them up asap.

George and Linda Schiavone surprised us with a visit today!

Today’s speaker:
Michael Kennedy, Bar Counsel, is a lawyer’s lawyer. He is here to talk to us about the rules and regulations of maintaining a lawyer’s license. He is highly respected among lawyers in Vermont- everyone Jessica spoke to spoke of Michael’s ability to reach compromise.

Michael went to George Washington Law School, worked in the AG’s office and then moved to the Office of Professional Responsibility, which is basically an ethics office, and works to protect the public.
Michael is an employee of the judiciary. His office is funded 100% by lawyer licensing fees.

Pre 2012: the OPR focused on reactive discipline- imposed sanctions to protect the public. Post 2012 the program became based on proactive discipline- keeping fires from starting. In 2012, Michael started taking calls from lawyers who have questions. He offers guidance based on the rules and Supreme Court decisions.
The number of lawyer complaints has gone down by half since 2012, and inquiries from lawyers have doubled, showing that the OPR’s work is doing a better job of protecting the public.
Most complaints come from family law (about the other lawyer) and criminal law (about the complainant’s own lawyer). Michael feels no complaint is trivial, but some are ludicrous. Over 50% are not a violation of the rules, so there is no action. 25% go to diversion, 25% go to prosecutors.

7 C’s of legal ethics and professional responsibility:

  • Confidentiality- A lawyer shall not disclose information related to representation

    of a client no matter the source, unless authorized by the client or the client is

    planning to commit a crime. Public record is not an exception.

  • Competence- Know Your Job. Do Your Job.

  • Communication- Sufficient information to make informed decisions about

    representation. Lawyer’s job is to provide reasonable expectations.

  • Conflict of Interest

  • Candor- Honesty with clients and the courts

  • Commingling- Keep professional funds separate from personal funds.

  • Civility

    Big Picture issues:

  • Demographics and lack of lawyers

  • Tech competence

  • Wellness- lawyers suffer from behavioral issues including substance and


  • Nonlawyer ownership/investment- lawyers aren’t taught to run a business

  • Nonlawyer licensing- allow paralegals to do basic hearings in landlord or family

    law cases.

A copy of Theodore Roosevelt For the Defense is being presented to one of our local libraries.

Respectfully submitted, Carrie Fenn