Vermont Legal Resources

Overview of the Vermont Court System

The Vermont judiciary is historically comprised of seven divisions. Recently, the state merged its environmental, family and criminal courts with its superior court system and its probate courts with its family courts. However, its original divisions are still embedded in the judicial system.

The environmental division deals with cases involving the state’s Agency of Natural Resources and National Resource Board. The two judges for the environmental court also hear municipal matters related to environmental law. Vermont's probate courts focus on matters of inheritance, testamentary trusts, guardianship and probate. The state has 18 probate judges. Vermont’s family courts oversee divorces, annulments, child support, juvenile and domestic violence issues. Several types of judges hear family law matters, including those in the district, superior and family courts.

The state’s district courts adjudicate most criminal cases and some civil matters, such as traffic tickets. Each county in the state has at least one district court judge. Vermont’s superior courts preside over the majority of civil cases, including small claims. The Supreme Court is the only appellate court in the state. It not only hears appeals from lower courts but also administrates the entire state court system.

Vermont Attorneys and Lawyers

When faced with a legal issue, contacting an experienced attorney is always the best bet. At LawInfo you can search for a skilled, Lead Counsel Rated Vermont attorney by location and by practice area. We have Vermont attorneys who dedicate their practice to specific areas of the law, so you will not only find an attorney, but an attorney who is knowledgeable to help you with your particular legal issue.

Vermont Legal Forms

LawInfo offers free Vermont legal forms and documents to help resolve many of your issues on your own. Whether you need a power of attorney or you want to complete your will, we have you covered. You can click on our most popular forms located in the right column of this page. A user account is required to use the service, but it’s completely free.

If you are a landlord in Vermont, get LawInfo’s free Residential Lease Agreement. A clearly written agreement with your tenants that spells out each party’s rights and responsibilities minimizes the chance of costly landlord/tenant disagreements down the road.

Every Vermonter should secure his or her legacy by downloading and completing a LawInfo Last Will and Testament. Vermont probate law requires that your will be in written form and include your signature plus those of at least two witnesses. You can deposit your document for safekeeping with the probate division of the Superior Court in your home jurisdiction.

Because an incapacitating illness or accident can strike with no warning, you should fill out and sign a free Power of Attorney form from LawInfo. It ensures that a representative of your choice would handle your financial and legal matters according to your expressed wishes.

Starting a Business in Vermont

Start out on the right foot when you become an entrepreneur in Vermont. Consult the Secretary of State’s website for a step-by-step checklist that guides you through the start-up process.

The site provides excellent resources for writing a solid business plan, which is the backbone of a successful enterprise. It also offers links to the right government pages for registering your business name, getting local permit information and taking care of business tax matters.

Vermont Business Statistics

With approximately 18,000 small businesses operating in Vermont, the state offers an array of opportunities for entrepreneurs. Nearly 19,000 women and 31,000 men statewide are self-employed. According to the Small Business Administration, the new business market shows steady growth in the state. In particular, more minority citizens are opening new businesses.

Although one of the nation’s smaller populations, numbering just 626,000 as of 2012, Vermont does host some major corporations too. National Life Group of Montpelier is one of Vermont’s largest firms; its annual revenue is more than $1 billion. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) has also topped the billion-dollar benchmark.

However, small businesses with fewer than 500 workers shoulder the lion’s share of Vermont’s economy. They total 96.3 percent of all employers and provide jobs for 59.7 percent of the labor force in the private sector, proving that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in this small but thriving state.