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Interesting trial on campus this week

One of the benefits of being a small law school in a small state is our relationship with the local judiciary.  This coming week, a trial will be held on campus and the students are invited to observe the proceedings:

On Tues., Feb. 16, there will be a full-day trial held at Vermont Law School (Oakes 109 and 110) starting at 9 AM.  Students are invited and encouraged to attend the trial throughout the day.  Judge Brown is comfortable with students coming and going as long as they do so quietly and respectfully.
Brief Summary
Michael and Diane Montagne (the defendants), own a family farm in St. Albans, VT where they raise cattle and have a cash crop. They had an open account with Bourdeau Brothers, Inc. (the plaintiff) for the purchase of grain and feed.  BBI brought a suit in state court for the payment on the accounts and obtained an ex parte attachment of the Montagne’s land, including an alleged “marital property” distribution  of three parcels of land (estimated worth of $1 million) from Michael to Diane through a quit claim deed.  Michael and Diane testified they are currently separated.
Michael filed for bankruptcy and the underlying dispute was moved into the bankruptcy court for resolution. It would seem a fairly straight forward debt collection case, except there aren’t any documents.  Apparently it is the practice in farming finance to be quite casual about documenting transactions and so BBI doesn’t have a coherent paper trail.  As a result, BBI will have to resort to witness testimony with some documentary support to prove its case.

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