John is Of Counsel to Sirotkin & Necrason.
John has more than 25 years of public policy and legislative advocacy experience. With Sirotkin and Necrason, he targets his efforts on appropriations for affordable housing and farmland and natural area conservation; tobacco control programs; regional planning; and Vermont’s Area Agencies on Aging. He also supports Sirotkin & Necrason’s efforts on behalf of organized labor and the Vermont Trial Lawyers Association. In addition he is an advisor to members of the Vermont Trial Judges Association relating to judicial retention and other legislative issues that affect the work of trial judges and magistrates.
Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois. (Juris Doctor, 1969)
Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio. (A.B., Cum Laude with Honors, 1966)
Solo law practice; Lobbyist for Vermont Bar Association, Vermont Housing and Conservation Coalition, American Cancer Society of Vermont and other group clients.
Of Counsel to Sirotkin and Necrason
July 1996-November 1996
Acting Deputy Director and Interim Litigation Director, Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago. Supervisor of all major federal and state litigation, including class actions and appeals for 65-lawyer program. Assisted in transition period after federal funding reductions and restrictions. Coordinated drafting , filing and discovery for several new lawsuits involving salvaging public housing units, Medicaid eligibility rules, housing quality standards, employment discrimination and other issues.
Partner, Mickenberg, Dunn, Sirotkin and Dorsch–Litigation and appeals practice focusing on civil rights, labor, personal injury and health law; professional lobbying for various clients, including Vermont Legal Aid, Vermont Bar Association, Vermont Trial Lawyers Association and Vermont Housing and Conservation Coalition.
Executive Director, Vermont Legal Aid, Inc. Management and fiscal responsibility for statewide, multi-funded civil legal services program, with eight offices and over 60 staff members, representing low-income, elderly and disabled clients; included policy advocacy on behalf of the program and clients, impact litigation and training of staff.
Full time faculty instructor and Legal Clinic attorney, Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois. Supervised law students in handling civil and criminal cases and appeals; taught courses in trial advocacy and juvenile law.
1969 – Illinois Supreme Court; United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois; United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
1980 – Vermont Supreme Court, United States District Court for the District of Vermont.
1988 – United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Member and former Chair of the Selectboard – Town of Jericho, Vermont 1990-Present.
Chair, Zoning Board of Appeals, Town of Jericho, Vermont 1983-1990.
Board Member, Vermont/Karelia Rule of Law Project – since 1998
Board Chairman – Legal Services Law Line of Vermont – since 1995
Vermont Bar Association – Chair, State Affairs Committee; Professional Responsibility Committee, member since 1988; Commission on the Vermont Lawyer; Member of VBA since 1980.
Vermont Trial Lawyers Association, 1992-Present.
Contract Board Counsel (complaint investigations) Vermont Judicial Conduct Board, 1993-1995.
Vermont Civil Liberties Union – Board Member 1991-1996; President 1994-1995; Volunteer Lawyer since 1987; first recipient of Jonathan Chase Award for Exceptional Service as Volunteer Attorney, October 1988. David Curtis Civil Liberties Award, October 2002.
Vermont Assistance, Inc. – Board Member since 1986. VAI is a non-profit corporation that raises private donations to support legislative and policy advocacy for the Vermont Low Income Advocacy Council, a non-profit, non-partisan organization which has long represented the interests of low income Vermonters.
Publications and Lectures
Juvenile law and practice; rights of the handicapped; examining experts in mental health cases, negotiation of merits and attorney fees in civil rights case; Vermont and U.S. Supreme Court developments in due process; ethical issues in domestic abuse cases; attorney fees in private litigation under the Americans with Disabilities Act; ethical issues in legislative advocacy; rule of law changes in the Karelian legal system; employment rights litigation.
John is married to Dianne Shullenberger, an artist, avid skier and hiker and the owner of the Dianne Shullenberger Gallery. They have a son (34) who lives and works in Vermont; and a daughter (31) who works in sports administration in Colorado. John and Dianne live in Jericho in the home once owned by the Bentley family and the place where Wilson “Snowflake Bentley” made his pioneering snowflake photographs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.