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Dinse Announces New Director and Shareholder of the Firm

Burlington, VT (January 2022) – Dinse, P.C. is pleased to announce that Margarita Warren has been elected as a Director and Shareholder of the firm.

Margarita joined Dinse in 2019 following her tenure at a civil litigation defense firm representing clients in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and clerking for the Hampden Superior Court in Springfield, Massachusetts. Margarita’s practice focuses on general civil litigation and insurance coverage disputes, and she represents clients at all stages of litigation in state and federal courts.

Prior to practicing law, Margarita worked as a public policy consultant, evaluating the implementation of domestic health programs for state and federal health agencies.  She also worked as a legal intern for the Office for Civil Rights in HIPAA compliance and enforcement matters, and at Boston Medical Center’s Medical Legal Partnership.

Margarita is a graduate of Brown University, the University of Chicago, and Suffolk University Law School.



Former Deputy Attorney General Joins the Firm

Burlington, VT (January 2022) – Dinse is pleased to announce that Joshua Diamond has joined the firm.

Josh is an accomplished civil litigator who until recently served as Vermont’s Deputy Attorney General under Attorney General TJ Donovan. Josh will focus his practice at DINSE on regulatory matters, litigation, and government relations.

During his six-year tenure as Deputy Attorney General, Josh reported directly to the Attorney General and managed the nearly 140 employees of Vermont’s largest law firm. He also oversaw major litigation brought on behalf of or against the State of Vermont.

Prior to his role as Deputy Attorney General, Josh was a shareholder with Diamond & Robinson, P.C., where he practiced law for over 20 years. While at Diamond & Robinson, Josh served as general counsel for Washington Electric Cooperative, handling permitting for the Coventry Landfill Gas to Energy Facility, rate cases, labor relations, and negotiating and drafting power supply agreements among other matters.

Josh serves on the Vermont Board of Bar Managers, President of the Board of Directors at the Cochran’s Ski Area and was elected Justice of the Peace in the Town of Williston, Vermont.


Dinse Announces Two New Directors and Shareholders of the Firm

Burlington, VT (January 2022) – Dinse is pleased to announce that Kendall Hoechst and Ted Lawrence have been elected as Directors and Shareholders of the firm.

Kendall joined Dinse in 2015 after clerking for the Honorable William K. Sessions III in the United States District Court for the District of Vermont.  Kendall assists clients with disputes at every level, including conducting workplace and other independent investigations, protecting clients’ interests in pre-suit and other negotiations, defending complaints filed with state and federal agencies, participating in civil lawsuits and trials, and briefing and arguing appeals.  Her practice focuses on general civil litigation, employment law, and higher education.  She also provides compliance training and counseling on related topics.  Kendall is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Yale Law School.

Ted joined Dinse in 2015. He began his career as a journalist covering foreign policy in Washington, D.C. Before moving to Vermont, Ted clerked for the Honorable Henry Saad of the Michigan Court of Appeals. Ted provides guidance and legal support to start-ups and established companies in all aspects of their business operations, including: private capital raises and bank financings, asset sales and acquisitions, company formation, contracting with other businesses and service providers, and incentive compensation for employees and advisors (including stock awards and stock options). He also assists commercial and agricultural lenders with loan transactions and regulatory compliance. When not lawyering, Ted enjoys hiking, writing freelance features and book reviews, and listening to “Addicted to Love” by Robert Palmer. Ted is a graduate of Kenyon College and the University of Michigan Law School.


Andy MacIlwaine selected as member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel

We are pleased to announce that Andy MacIlwaine has been selected as a member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC).  The FDCC is an international organization whose members have achieved professional distinction as leaders in the legal community. FDCC Membership is limited, selective, and by nomination only.

Andy is a member of the firm’s litigation practice. He represents clients in complex litigation matters, including commercial, land use/environmental, real estate, and insurance coverage disputes. Andy also regularly advises clients in matters of regulatory compliance and risk avoidance.


Jess Phelps Publishes Second Article, Defining the Role of Agriculture in Agricultural Conservation Easements, in Ecology Law Quarterly

Jess Phelps of Dinse’s Real Estate and Environmental practice groups recently published a second article, Defining the Role of Agriculture in Agricultural Conservation Easements, in Ecology Law Quarterly, the environmental law review published by the University of California- Berkeley. This article builds upon his earlier article, Defining the Role of Conservation in Agricultural Conservation Easements, recent winner of the American Agricultural Law Association’s 2017 professional scholarship award, also published by ELQ. This article specifically discusses the unique challenges that the tax code presents for securing working lands through conservation easements (which require careful balancing of the conservation and agricultural characteristics of these properties). This article is available for download, here.


Dinse Brief: IRS Announces 2019 Pension and Related Limitation

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced the dollar limitations for pension plans and other items beginning January 1, 2019. Please click here for full list of limitations.

If you have any questions about this memorandum, please contact any member of our Employment & Employee Benefits practice group listed below.

Maggie Platzer

Daniel Sharpe

Brian Murphy



Fair, Equitable, Trauma-Informed Investigation Training White Paper Available

Many colleges and universities have recognized that the quality of their sexual assault and intimate partner violence (“IPV”) investigations can be enhanced if they take into account the potential neurobiological effects of trauma.  Institutions have sought and received training for their investigators and adjudicators on these issues, consistent with promising practices, general training requirements imposed by the 2013 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act Amendments to the Clery Act, and certain state laws.  Recent court decisions, a 2017 OCR Q&A document regarding Title IX, proposed regulations posted in November, 2018, and media commentary have all emphasized, however, that the content of training will be analyzed closely, and that training for investigators and adjudicators, including trauma-informed training, should be presented in a manner that is fully balanced, does not rely on sex stereotypes, and promotes fairness and equity for both complainants and respondents.

A white paper on these topics, written by Dinse Education Practice Group Chair Jeff Nolan for the University of Vermont’s 2018 Legal Issues in Higher Education Conference and updated in December, 2018 to reflect recent developments, is available here. This white paper summarizes the state of the law and some of the public and scholarly discourse on these issues, and offers suggestions for college and university administrators and counsel who are designing and/or selecting investigation training programs.


American Agricultural Law Association (“AALA”) awards Jess Phelps the Organization’s 2017 Professional Scholarship Award

At its annual meeting in October, the AALA awarded Phelps the top award for his recent article, Defining the Role of Conservation in Agricultural Conservation Easements, published in Ecology Law Quarterly, the University of California-Berkeley’s environmental law review. The President of the AALA explained that “Jess’ article provides a thorough examination of the tension between conservation interests and the demands of evolving farm uses on lands encumbered by agricultural conservation easements,” Zwagerman said. “Jess’ reputation as an excellent writer and scholar is known by all who have worked with him over the years. This well-deserved honor recognizes his work and skill on a national level.”

For a link to the article, click here.

For a link to the full press release, click here.


New England Super Lawyers Recognizes Ritchie Berger and Karen McAndrew Among the Top 100 Attorneys in New England

Dinse is pleased to announce that Ritchie Berger and Karen McAndrew have been included by Super Lawyers in the Top 100 Attorneys in New England.

Ritchie is head of the firm’s litigation group and one of Vermont’s premier trial lawyers. His practice concentrates on the defense of complex civil litigation throughout Vermont and New England.

Karen is senior litigation counsel at Dinse. Her practice focuses on commercial litigation, college & university law, and employment law.