Supreme Court to hear cases at Mahady Courthouse

MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Supreme Court will travel to Addison County and sit in the Frank Mahady Courthouse on Wednesday, Oct. 28, to hear oral arguments in seven cases.
The public is invited to attend and watch the justices hear arguments in cases that could set legal precedents in Vermont. The arguments will begin at 9 a.m. at the courthouse, which is at 7 Mahady Court, just off Court Street behind Shaw’s supermarket.
Cases the court will hear will address questions of law including one involving a Middlebury man, the question being: Does a defendant’s proper registration of a trade name used by plaintiff provide him with any rights to use the business name?
The case in question is TLOC Senior Living LLC v. Bingham, and it will be the first case of the day.
The plaintiff, TLOC, operates a senior living community that has done business as “The Lodge at Otter Creek.” Although TLOC registered the name with the Secretary of State in 2005, in 2011 the registration lapsed. Subsequently, Alpine Bingham of Middlebury registered the same business name with the Secretary of State.
TLOC filed suit against Bingham alleging, among other things, that he had engaged in trade infringement and unfair competition by asserting he could use the business name “The Lodge at Otter Creek.” The plaintiff argued that it retained the exclusive common-law right to use the trade name “The Lodge at Otter Creek.”
The trial court concluded that TLOC had established common law rights to the trade name and it prohibited Bingham from actually using the moniker. Bingham appealed to the Supreme Court.
Other cases to be heard on Tuesday will consider the following questions:
• Was there a proper factual basis on which to accept a defendant’s plea? Did the defendant make his plea voluntarily and knowingly?
• Is it within the town of Underhill’s discretion under Vermont law to decline to follow the county road commissioners’ findings that a class 4 road requires maintenance and repairs?
• Did the trial court commit errors that caused a Glen Haskins Jr. to be convicted of second-degree murder?
• Should the conviction of Shawn Kelley in a bodily injury case  be overturned as a result of alleged errors committed by the trial court?
• Can the town of Rutland and surrounding property owners prevent construction of a solar energy facility on the grounds it will interfere with orderly development, aesthetic, historic sites and soil quality?
• Is Hannaford’s required to pay for voice recognition software under Vermont’s worker’s compensation statute for an employee who injured her wrist but was able to find suitable alternative employment? Is voice recognition software a medical benefit for purposes of the statute?
For more details on these cases, read the story online at addisonindependent.com.

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