I have asked that this blog be disconnected from the Vermont Bar Association website. Lex et Ratio will no longer be the official VBA "ideas blog." It will, rather, be a blog of my own ideas, driven by my own interests, and reflecting only my own considered positions on the issues addressed.
This will offer greater freedom to write about a wider range of topics and to develop my own thinking on those subjects without casting an eye over my shoulder to make sure I'm not saying anything that could troublesome if taken as "official" VBA positions. While most of the time the issues I discuss and the conclusions I reach would not be -- and have not been -- contrary to VBA interests, there have been times in the past when I did not write, or carefully worded what I did write (by "toning it down," for instance, or by not pushing the argument as hard as it could be pushed), because of the link to the VBA. The tie between this blog and the VBA never led me to take positions with which I disagreed, but it did make me think very carefully about what and how I wrote, for I did not want to appear to be stating a "VBA view" when all I was really offering was my own take on a subject.
De-coupling from the VBA will permit me to address a host of issues and develop a number of arguments and positions that I would shy away from were I writing as a spokesperson for the organization. Now I can write without being worried that I will be criticized for taking a "political" stance at odds with the proper focus of a membership association. This is not a hypothetical worry, for I have received such criticism in the past and will be likely to tackle topics and take positions that will inspire such criticism in the future. The association does not need that kind of misunderstanding -- it is, after all, a membership association that seeks to appeal to all lawyers and persons interested in the law, not one that carves out a certain subset of that population and seeks to espouse their interests and viewpoints (like, for instance, the Vermont Association for Justice, which espouses the concerns of plaintiffs lawyers in the state). And I have come increasingly hesitant to write because I do not want to be perceived to be the spokesperson for the association when I am not.
Henceforth, the views expressed, and the arguments developed for them, in this blog should be taken as mine alone. They do not in any way reflect the views of the Vermont Bar Association. It's cleaner this way.