The Vermont Supreme Court has the power under the Vermont Constitution to oversee the professional conduct of all attorneys practicing in Vermont. The court formed the Vermont Professional Responsibility Board to administer the professional responsibility program, which regulates the legal profession.

About the Board

The Professional Responsibility Board oversees the Professional Responsibility Program. Board members are appointed by the Vermont Supreme Court. By rule, the Board must consist of:

  • Three attorneys admitted to the bar of the Vermont Supreme Court;
  • Three nonlawyers; and,
  • One active or retired judge.

The Program’s objectives are:

  • to assist attorneys and the public by providing education, guidance, referrals, and other information designed to achieve, maintain, and enhance professional competence and professional responsibility;
  • to resolve disciplinary complaints against attorneys through fair and prompt dispute resolution procedures; and,
  • to investigate and discipline attorney misconduct are.

While providing general oversight and supervision, the Board does not play an active role in meeting the objectives above. Rather, the Board oversees and supervises the staff of the Professional Responsibility Program. For more information on the Program, got to the tab “Professional Responsibility Program & Contact Information.”

General questions about the Board should be sent to Merrick Grutchfield:

  • By email:
  • By telephone: 802-828-3204
  • By U.S. Mail:
    Merrick Grutchfield, Program Administrator
    Professional Responsibility Board
    109 State Street
    Montpelier, VT 05609

IMPORTANT: Communication and correspondence related to disciplinary complaints, disciplinary investigations, and inquiries about legal ethics & professional responsibility should be sent to the Program.

  • By email:
  • By telephone: 802-859-3000
  • By U.S. Mail:
    Professional Responsibility Program
    32 Cherry Street, Suite 213
    Burlington, VT 05401
Board Members

Carolyn Anderson, Esq.


Bonnie Badgewick, Esq.


Honorable Paul L. Reiber Chief Justice, Liaison from Supreme Court

Honorable David A. Howard(Ret.)


Caryn Waxman, Esq.


Larry Cassidy


Kevin O’Donnell


Susan Fay


Bar Counsel

Bar Counsel administers the Bar Assistance Program. The program’s mission is to promote professional competence and a culture of compliance with the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct. Bar Counsel aims to:

  • provide attorneys with guidance, referrals, educational materials, and information necessary to achieve, maintain, and enhance high standards of professional competence and professional responsibility;
  • provide attorneys and judges with guidance, referrals, and educational materials that promote the wellness and well-being of legal professionals;
  • provide a forum for the prompt non-disciplinary resolution of disputes involving attorney conduct; and,
  • inform the public about the existence and operation of the Professional Responsibility Program.

Michael Kennedy is Bar Counsel. To make an inquiry, call Michael at 802-859-3004 or email him at He often responds quicker to email than to phone messages. Inquiries are confidential. For more information, please review Bar Counsel’s Mission Statement and Policies Concerning Ethics Inquiries.


Prior to September 1, 1999 the Professional Responsibility Board was known as the Professional Conduct Board. Any case which was originally heard prior to that date, even if the decision was released after September 1, 1999 is listed under the Professional Conduct Board.

Professional Responsibility Board

A Digest of Decisions provides a brief summary of each decision made by the Board as well as information needed to locate the decision.

Professional Conduct Board

A Digest of Decisions provides a brief summary of each decision made by the Board as well as information needed to locate the decision.

Pending Public Disciplinary Cases

In the cases listed on this page, there are disciplinary proceedings pending. Files in these cases are a matter of public record and available for examination at the Office of the Professional Responsibility Board, 1st Floor of the Supreme Court Building, 111 State Street, Montpelier. The Professional Responsibility Board Program Administrator serves as the Clerk for the Hearing Panels for purposes of all filings. Please refer to Contact Info below.

Hearing Panels

Disciplinary charges are considered by hearing panels. Each panel consists of three members who are appointed by the Chair of the Professional Responsibility Board. Two members must be lawyers who are admitted to the bar of the Vermont Supreme Court. One member must not be a lawyer. Terms are for two years, with each member eligible to serve three terms. The current members are:

Hearing Panel No. 1
Anthony Iarrapino, Esq., Chair
Emily Tredeau, Esq.
Scott Hess

Hearing Panel No. 2
Amelia W.L. Darrow, Esq., Chair              
Mimi Brill, Esq.
Brian Bannon                                                                                 

Hearing Panel No. 3
Gary Karnedy, Esq., Chair
Ashley Taylor, Esq.
Peter Zuk

Hearing Panel No. 4
Cara L. Cookson, Esq.., Chair
James Murdoch, Esq.
Thad Richardson

Hearing Panel No. 5
Devin McLaughlin, Esq.
Sarah Star, Esq.
Traci Cherrier

Hearing Panel No. 6
David A. Berman, Esq., Chair
Matthew Little, Esq.
Nicole Junas Ravlin

Hearing Panel No. 7
Richard Goldsborough, Esq., Chair
Megan Manahan Bliss, Esq.
Karen Luneau

Hearing Panel No. 8
Jennifer E. McDonald Esq., Chair
Jonathon T. Rose, Esq.
Beth Anderson

Hearing Panel No. 9
Mary Kay Lanthier, Esq., Chair
Shannon Lamb, Esq.,
Thomas J. Sabotka           

Hearing Panel No. 10
Katherine M. Lamson, Esq. Chair
Michael Munson, Esq.,
Kelley Legacy

Hearing Panel Counsel
Robert Keiner, Esq.
Wendy Chen, Esq.

Attorney Trust Accounts

The Professional Responsibility Board's guide "Managing Client Trust Accounts, Rules, Regulations and Tips” is for both new and experienced lawyers dealing with trust accounting questions.

Because there are no absolute rules, the guide provides only basic rules, highlighting areas that will always require a lawyer's best judgment. It also dispenses practical advice based on years of answering lawyers' questions. If you are an attorney and have a trust account question, please call the Professional Responsibility Board at 802-859-3000 or 802-828-3204.

The board has also developed a trust account questionnaire. 

This questionnaire serves as a tool that Vermont attorneys can use to assess the procedures by which they manage their trust accounting systems. The questionnaire is the result of several years of input from the board, bar counsel, disciplinary counsel, and certified public accountants. It provides a starting point for self-education on trust account management. Completion of the questionnaire is not a substitute for complying with the rules.

Rule 1.15B(a)(1) of the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct requires members of the Vermont Bar to maintain their trust accounts only in financial institutions approved by the Professional Responsibility Program. Financial institutions which have not been so approved may obtain information as to how to become certified by contacting the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (802) 859-3000.

Bank of Bennington
Bank of Burlington
Bar Harbor Bank & Trust
Berkshire Bank
Brattleboro Savings & Loan Association
Capital Bank, N.A.
Citizens Bank
Claremont Savings Bank
Community Bank
Community National Bank
First American Trust, FSB
Green Mountain Credit Union
Heritage Family Federal Credit Union
Key Bank
Ledyard National Bank
Mascoma Savings Bank (NH)
M&T Bank
National Bank of Middlebury
NBT Bank
New England Federal Credit Union
North Country Federal Credit Union
Northfield Savings Bank
One Credit Union
Passumpsic Savings Bank
Peoples Trust Company
TD Bank, N.A.
Union Bank
Vermont Federal Credit Union
Wells River Savings Bank
Disciplinary Counsel

The board employs disciplinary counsel to:

  • Administer the disciplinary program
  • Investigate and litigate disciplinary and disability matters
  • Select and recommend investigative staff
  • Confer with the board to review operations

If alleged misconduct may require disciplinary sanctions, the complaint is referred to disciplinary counsel.

Discipline may be imposed for:

  • Violation of professional conduct rules
  • Violation of a rule or order of a hearing panel, the board, or the court
  • Failure to give information or respond to a request for information from disciplinary counsel, a hearing panel, or the court

Disciplinary counsel investigates and can:

  • Dismiss the complaint
  • Refer it to an assistance panel
  • Commence formal disciplinary proceedings
  • Commence disability proceedings

If disciplinary counsel dismisses a complaint after investigation, the complainant is notified of the reasons for the dismissal. There is no further review of that decision.

If disciplinary counsel concludes that prosecution is necessary, disciplinary counsel files a request for review for probable cause. If a hearing panel finds that there is probable cause to believe that a lawyer has violated the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct, disciplinary counsel begins formal disciplinary proceedings. The matter is assigned to a different panel than the panel that reviewed the request for probable cause.

After disciplinary counsel files formal charges, a hearing may be held. Disciplinary counsel informs the complainant of the date and place of the hearing.

Disciplinary counsel has the burden of proving the alleged violations by clear and convincing evidence. The hearing panel resolves the case by making findings of fact and conclusions of law and, in cases where a violation is found, imposing a sanction against the lawyer’s license.

Either disciplinary counsel or the charged lawyer may appeal the order. The court can also order its own review.

Professional Responsibility Program & Contact Information

The Professional Responsibility Board oversees the Professional Responsibility Program. However, the Board is a voluntary board that meets quarterly. The Board does not play a role in responding to inquiries about legal ethics & professional responsibility, or in investigating and prosecuting disciplinary complaints.

Communication and correspondence related to disciplinary complaints, disciplinary investigations, and inquiries about legal ethics & professional responsibility should be sent to the Program.

  • By email:
  • By telephone: 802-859-3000
  • By U.S. Mail:
    Professional Responsibility Program
    32 Cherry Street, Suite 213
    Burlington, VT 05401

The Professional Responsibility Program staff:

Jon Alexander, Disciplinary Counsel
Merrick Grutchfield, Program Administrator
Michael Kennedy, Bar Counsel
Brandy Sickles, Administrative Coordinator
Andrew Strauss, Screening Counsel

Filing a Complaint

Complaints must be in writing or email. A complaint must state the name of the attorney against whom it is being filed. Then, a complaint should provide sufficient detail to understand the conduct that the complainant wants reviewed. Complaints can be filed by email or U.S. Mail:

Complaints are reviewed by Screening Counsel. For an explanation of the process, please review this brochure: