John D. Shullenberger

John is Of Counsel to Sirotkin & Necrason.

Practice Areas

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)

Professional Background

June 1995-Present
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.

1988-June 1995
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.

Bar Admissions

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.

Community Involvement

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.

Adam R. Necrason

Adam is a Founding and Managing member of the firm.

Practice Areas

Planning, managing and implementing State capitol and public dialogue advocacy for matters relating to: Education , Appropriations, Tax Policy, Conservation, Environment, Land Use and Development, Energy Policy, Utilities, Solid Waste, Transportation, Human Services, Professional Regulation, the Judiciary, Consumer Protection, Insurance, Housing, Health Care, Substance Abuse, Tobacco, Drug Policy, Civil Rights, Employment, Labor, and Special Projects.

Adam is Vermont’s leading expert on how 501c3, c4, and c6 nonprofit organizations’ advocacy and lobbying activity is enabled and governed by the Internal Revenue Code and the state lobbying laws. He regularly provides trainings on these matters for the Vermont Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations.

Adam has special public and media relations expertise that clients tap for everything from statehouse steps press conferences and placement of feature editorial pieces to management of major paid media and public relations campaigns (TV, radio, print, direct mail, door-to-door canvassers).


Vermont Law School (Juris Doctor, 1996)
Vermont Law School (Master of Environmental Law, Magna Cum Laude, 1996)
University of Massachusetts (Bachelor of Science, Cum Laude, 1993).

Professional Background

After graduating law school, Adam was an associate at the law firm of Mickenberg, Dunn, Sirotkin & Dorsch, where he supported complex consumer litigation and state house lobbying.

Since 1998, Adam has worked exclusively in Vermont state government and public affairs.

Adam has been a lead advocate for many state capital victories, including: HMO consumer protections, Downtown revitalization, Clear-cutting restrictions, Opiate addiction treatment and prevention, Auto insurance consumer protections, and over $100M of state funding for affordable housing construction and land conservation.

Adam has also aided local citizen groups confronting complex issues.

Community Involvement

Adam has been a volunteer leader for Habitat for Humanity, the Randolph Area Community Development Corporation, the Northern Appalachian Restoration Project, and 20/20 Vision.

Adam lives in Jericho with his wife Diana and their children. They recently rebuilt a dilapidated 1860 farmhouse near the village center, which is a family project that continues.

Michael D. Sirotkin

Michael is a founding and managing member of the firm. In his 25 years of lobbying at the Vermont Statehouse, Michael has distinguished himself as the chief lobbyist on dozens of pieces of challenging legislation, many of which were precedent-setting or nation-leading. Examples of just a few of these are mental health parity, family and medical leave, right to counsel in guardianships, prohibition of balance billing of Medicare patients, minimum wage increases, ban on smoking in the workplace, the nation’s first state healthcare ombudsman, civil liberties protections in drug testing, the clean indoor air act, and prohibition of age discrimination in employment.

Practice Areas

Judiciary & Legal Practice; Human Services; Consumer Protection; Labor; Commerce; Transportation; Health Care; Aging; Mental Health; Higher Education; Licensing & Professional Occupations; Appropriations; Special Projects.


University of Denver College of Law (Juris Doctor, 1975)
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (Bachelor of Science, 1970).

Professional Background

Founding and Managing Partner of Sirotkin & Necrason, PLC (1998 to present)
Partner, Law Firm of Mickenberg, Dunn, Sirotkin & Dorsch (1981-1998)
Vermont Senior Citizens Law Project (1975-1980).

Community Involvement

Member, Zoning Board of Adjustment, Town of Essex
Member, Planning Commission, Town of Essex
Member, Vermont Department of Aging & Disabilities Advisory Board

Michael and his wife Sally Fox have two sons (19,22).