Sheehey Welcomes New Paralegal

Sheehey Furlong & Behm is pleased to announce that Lane Waples has joined the firm as a paralegal.

Lane graduated from Boston College in May of 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in political science.  Prior to joining the firm Lane worked for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy.  Throughout college Lane spent his summers working as an intern at the Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s Office and as a legal assistant at Bassil & Budreau, a law firm in Boston, Massachusetts.

Lane will work primarily with the firm’s litigation team.

Ethical Considerations for Gift Planners Working with Older Individuals

This article first appeared in the December 2017 edition of the Association of Fundraising Professional Northern New England Chapter’s e-newsletter.  It is reprinted here in its entirety with their permission.

By Daphne Moritz

With a gradual rise in life expectancies overall, it is no surprise that gift planners are increasingly working with older donors. Most gift planners are aware of and follow ethical canons using guidelines offered by the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning. The ethical guidelines have in mind the best practices when it comes to working with donors.

While it is essential for planners to understand these guidelines, putting ethical considerations into practice may be more challenging, particularly when working directly with an aging donor population. Those over age 65 retain a great deal of wealth, but we also know that one in nine people over age 65 has dementia, and this number increases dramatically for those over age 85. Moreover, even without a formal diagnosis of dementia, many older individuals eventually struggle with their executive functioning, finding even daily banking and bill payment challenging. Knowing this, should lead gift planners to be extra vigilant with aging donors.

Take multiple meetings before a donor completes a gift. Most gift planners know that cultivating a relationship with an individual is a critical part of the gifting process. Multiple meetings will allow you to get to know each other in more detail, ask a greater variety of questions, and responsibly review a prospective donor’s intentions.

Be aware that seniors may have been subject to scams, some under the guise of charitable giving. If the individual you are working with is aware of fraudulent and deceptive schemes, she may be less forthcoming and developing the trust relationship with her may be more challenging. Be extra vigilant to avoid misleading marketing techniques.

Put it in writing. It is advisable to put any sort of planned gift agreement in writing so that both parties are aware of the agreement they are entering into. Disclosing the terms prior to finalizing the agreement will provide more clarity for everyone involved.

Another idea is to put yourself or one of your family members in your prospective donor’s shoes. You wouldn’t want anyone taking advantage, or even appearing to take advantage of you or your loved ones. Thus, consider the “relative” test to be a good rule of thumb when working with older donors.

Daphne Moritz can be reached at dmoritz@sheeheyvt.com or 802-864-9891.

Mark Melendy Attends 52nd Annual Heckerling Institute of Estate Planning

Mark Melendy, Sheehey Furlong & Behm Estate Planning Department Chair, is attending the 52nd Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning held in Orlando, Florida from January 22 – 26, 2018.

The Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning is the leading and largest conference for estate planning professionals in the United States and provides unparalleled educational and professional development opportunities for estate planners. The program covers topics of timely interest and practical guidance to plan effectively in the current uncertain and unpredictable legal and economic environment. Leading national estate planning experts will explore today’s most important tax and non‑tax planning issues, including the planning implications of recently enacted and anticipated legislation.

 

Sheehey Announces Three New Principals and Directors of the Firm

The firm is pleased to announce that Kevin A. Lumpkin, Owen J. McClain and Heather E. Ross have become Principals and Directors of the firm effective January 1, 2018.

Kevin Lumpkin joined the firm in November 2013. Kevin’s practice is focused primarily on civil litigation, serving both businesses and individuals.  Prior to joining Sheehey, Kevin served as a law clerk for the Vermont Superior Courts in Bennington, Addison, and Chittenden Counties.  In 2015, 2016 and 2017, Super Lawyers magazine named Kevin to its list of Rising Stars in New England.  Additionally, Kevin received the Vermont Bar Association’s Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award in 2016 for his work providing indigent litigants with legal representation.  He serves on the board of the Young Lawyers Division of the Vermont Bar Association.  Kevin is a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School.

Owen McClain joined the firm in September 2014. Owen practices both civil and administrative litigation. He provides counsel regarding construction contracts, energy projects, utility tariffs, transmission and distribution issues, and a variety of other matters affecting some of Vermont’s largest contractors, developers and regulated utilities. Prior to joining the firm, Owen served as a law clerk in Vermont Superior Court. Owen graduated magna cum laude from Vermont Law School.

Heather Ross joined the firm in December 2016 after fourteen years at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont. She has extensive experience in complex civil and criminal litigation, as well as investigations. During her time at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she prosecuted a variety of fraud cases, multi-state drug trafficking cases, and human trafficking cases. She began her career clerking for the Honorable William K. Sessions III, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Vermont and spent six years in civil practice before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  Heather currently serves on the Boards of KidSafe Collaborative, the Federal Bar Association, Vermont Chapter, and the Chittenden County Bar Association.

 

 

Owen McClain Sleeps Out For Charity With Vermont Gas Systems

On Saturday, December 2nd, Sheehey attorney Owen McClain joined a team of fundraisers from Vermont Gas Systems to sleep out by the Otter Creek Falls in Middlebury to raise money and awareness for homelessness. Together, they raised over $13,000 to benefit John Graham Housing & Services, an Addison County non-profit organization dedicated to providing food, shelter, and housing to the homeless. The low temperature on Saturday night was 28° Fahrenheit.

This is the second consecutive year that Owen has participated in the sleep-out with a team from Vermont Gas. This year, Vermont Gas was recognized as the “Top Team” for the fundraiser and Owen was recognized as the “Top Fundraiser.”

4 Sheehey Attorneys to Present at Trust and Estate Planning Seminar

 

4 Sheehey attorneys to present at upcoming Trust and Estate Planning seminar in South Burlington, Vermont on December 4th  and December 5thMark Melendy, Daphne Moritz, Leigh Phillips and Walter McCarthy will each speak at the seminar on a range of trust and estate planning topics including:  fiduciary relationships, revocable trust planning, business succession planning and ethical considerations for estate planning professionals.  The presentation is being provided by the National Business Institute, Inc. and will be hosted at the Holiday Inn, 1068 Williston Road, South Burlington, VT.  For more information about the seminar, including registration details and credit information, please visit the National Business Institute’s website by clicking on the following link  

 

Sheehey ranked by US News as one of the 2018’s “Best Law Firms” in Burlington VT

Sheehey is proud to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a 2018 “Best Law Firm” in metro Burlington VT. US News has recognized 9 practice areas within Sheehey for this very prestigious designation. These areas are: (in Metro Tier 1) Arbitration, Criminal Defense: General Practice, Criminal Defense: White-Collar and Mediation; (in Metro Tier 2) Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants and Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs; (in Metro Tier 3) Mergers & Acquisitions Law.

To be eligible to participate in the “Best Law Firms” submission process, a firm must have at least one attorney who has received high enough peer review to be listed in the current edition of Best Lawyers. Firms are eligible in the practice area(s) and metro region(s) in which they have listed lawyers. The “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a combination of client feedback, information provided on the Law Firm Survey, the Law Firm Leaders Survey, and Best Lawyers peer review.

3 Sheehey Attorneys named to the 2017 Vermont Rising Stars List.

 

Arline Duffy, Kevin Lumpkin and Renee L. Mobbs have been selected to the 2017 Vermont Rising Stars list. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.

The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country. Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in the practice of law. For more information
about Super Lawyers, visit SuperLawyers.com.

  

 

 

4 Sheehey Attorneys Named to the 2017 Vermont Super Lawyers List

 

R. Jeff Behm, Ian Carleton, Michael Furlong and James Spink have been selected to the 2017 Vermont Super Lawyers list. Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multi-phase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys. The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country. Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in the practice of law. For more information about Super Lawyers, visit SuperLawyers.com.

 

Sheehey Furlong and Behm, P.C. Fighting Hunger in Vermont

In September, Sheehey Furlong and Behm, P.C. participated in the Vermont Attorney General’s 1st Annual “Lawyers Fighting Hunger” food drive as part of Hunger Action Month in Vermont.  During the two week drive, we raised $5,200 for the Vermont Foodbank and delivered 173 food items to the Chittenden County Emergency Food Shelf.

In connection with the Lawyers Fighting Hunger Food Drive, the Attorney General’s Office announced a “friendly competition” to recognize lawyers and law firms who raised the highest totals during the event.  Sheehey was recognized at the Vermont Bar Association’s Annual Meeting on October 13 as the first place winner in the large firm category.  Overall, the Vermont legal community raised over $14,300 and contributed more than 4,400 non-perishable food items delivered to food shelves and meal sites around Vermont.