• James Valente has been nominated a SuperLawyers Rising Star in 2015.
  • George Anthes has been nominated a SuperLawyers Rising Star in 2015.
  • James Valente was nominated "Top 40 Under 40" by The National Trial Lawyers Association.

"Lawsuit challenging Vermont's education funding formula moving forward"

"The fundamental issue as it relates to Whitingham is that they are paying very high taxes as if they have a Cadillac of a school, when in fact their school offers less than comparable schools in comparable towns," said Brattleboro-based attorney James Valente, who represents the plaintiffs.

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"Town asks for more school data"

NEWFANE — In a case over education funding, the state did not object to a chart submitted to the court showing Whitingham as one of the top three spenders. But the plaintiffs' attorneys look at it as just one piece of the puzzle.

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"Colo. group turns to local court"

NEWFANE — Consultants in Colorado want their money for work done on behalf of the Hermitage Club as company officials eye a loan to get the company back on its feet in time to open its members-only ski resort this winter.

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"State Asks Judge To Dismiss Education Fund Lawsuit Filed By Town Of Whitingham"

The state wants a judge to dismiss a lawsuit that challenges Vermont’s public education funding system.

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"Judge to set path of school funding case"

NEWFANE — Judge Robert Gerety will decide whether attorneys present more evidence in a case against the state by the town of Whitingham, a student and a taxpayer. The plaintiffs allege the school funding system creates inequity regarding education quality and tax rates.

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"Civil suit filed in 2016 UTV death"

NEWFANE — The mother of a woman who was killed in a UTV crash in Westminster in 2016 has filed a civil suit against the driver of the UTV and a number of other people.

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"Whitingham prepares for legal battle with state over education funding"

WHITINGHAM — An attorney working on suing the state on behalf of the town, a taxpayer and a student, is getting ready for a legal fight that will at the very least spark more conversation on "equitable" education.

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"Special Event to Help Vets"

BRATTLEBORO — To honor and assist our community's veterans, a special event is being offered by Costello, Valente & Gentry this Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Brattleboro VFW on Black Mountain Road.

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"NECCA Turmoil Continues"

BRATTLEBORO — Coaches at the New England Center for Circus Arts are resigning and students are asking that their deposits be returned after NECCA’s board of directors "separated from employment" Elsie Smith and Serenity Smith Forchion, the founders of the organization.

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"Mock trial team coached by Valente earns "Best Defense Team" in statewide competition"

The Vermont Bar Association was pleased to collaborate with the Unites States District Court for the District of Vermont, the Snelling Center for Government, and Vermont Law School to organize the First Annual Statewide High School Mock Trial Program this year. United States District Court Judge Geoffrey Crawford contacted high schools throughout the state last Fall to gauge interest in the program, and three high schools (Brattleboro Union High School, Rutland High School and Southwestern Vermont Technical Development Center in Bennington) responded by fielding teams of students who spent the Spring preparing for the state-wide competition held last Saturday at the Vermont Law School.

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"Costello, Valente & Gentry, P.C. named Best Real Estate Firm by Vermont Business Magazine"

Introducing the Best of Business Awards, the first EVER Vermont Business Magazine readers poll of the best stand-out businesses in the Green Mountain State.

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"Court News: Valente receives appointment to PRB"

BRATTLEBORO — Attorney James A. Valente, has been appointed to the Vermont Judiciary Professional Review Board.
The board's mission is "to protect the public, promote confidence in the integrity of the legal profession, and assist attorneys to achieve and maintain high standards of professional responsibility." Appointments are made by the Vermont Supreme Court, and the board is led by Michael Kennedy, Bar Counsel.

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"Report finds discrimination in VT marijuana registry"

MONTPELIER – The Vermont Department of Public Safety illegally discriminated against a man who sought to use medical marijuana to ease symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, according to a recent Vermont Human Rights Commission investigation.

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"Man found not guilty in alleged assault"

BRATTLEBORO — A Saxtons River man was found not guilty by a jury of disorderly conduct and simple assault of a 12-year-old boy during a basketball game.

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"Vt. Supreme Court orders a hold on assets of alleged killer"

BRATTLEBORO — Attorneys representing the estate of a Townshend man who was shot to death in November 2014 received a favorable decision in the Vermont Supreme Court on Friday.

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"State awards $500,000 to Father and Estate of Dezirae Sheldon"

Dezirae Sheldon was an infant who suffered two broken legs under the care of Dezirae's mother's boyfriend, Dennis Duby. Dezirae's mother, Sandra Eastman, plead guilty to criminal cruelty to a child for her failure to get Dezirae timely medical care. Vermont DCF took Dezirae into state custody after her legs were broken but failed to take the necessary and required steps to keep Dezirae safe. Without having performed the necessary and required actions to keep Dezirae safe, DCF placed Dezirae back into the home of Sandra Eastman and Dennis Duby. DCF never determined who had broken Dezirae’s legs. Willis Sheldon, the father of Dezirae Sheldon, sued the State of Vermont for failure to protect his daughter and for placing his daughter back into the home of Sandra Eastman and Dennis Duby. On November 10, 2016, the State agreed to pay $500,000 to settle the case.

Mr. Sheldon has taken half of this settlement and created a trust for Dezirae’s half-sister in recognition that Dezirae’s sister will be without Dezirae’s love and companionship throughout her life and in hopes that Dezirae’s half-sister will be able to have opportunities and education that Dezirae can no longer enjoy. The trust will be administered by an independent trustee.

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"Students in the news: From KOA to Cambridge, Mass"

BRATTLEBORO >> This fall, Justin Kenney, a 2010 graduate of Brattleboro Union High School, and the son of Beverly and Ernie Kenney (who own and manage the Brattleboro North KOA Campground on Route 5 in Dummerston), will become the first BUHS alumni in generations to study at Harvard Law School.

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"Board continues to grapple with disputes related to dog attacks"

HALIFAX—At a specially noticed public meeting of the Selectboard May 9, officials returned to the question of Shilo, a dog who has bitten two people this year and whose fate has been the subject of intense debate.

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"Valente Wins Suppression of Improperly Coerced Confession in Aggravated Sex Assault Case"

On January 6, 2016, James Valente of Costello, Valente & Gentry, P.C. won an order suppressing statements made during a coercive interrogation in a case for aggravated sex assault.

The Judge ruled that the investigating detective had manipulated the defendant by suggesting to the defendant that if he didn't admit to a crime, the officer would assume that he had been violent or used physical force in the commission of a sexual act. The detective implied that such an assumption would result in serious consequences the defendant could avoid if he would simply admit he "made a mistake." The detective then used methods the Court found improperly manipulative to elicit statements from the defendant. The Court found that the combination of tactics was improper and coercive.

It was a significant victory given the seriousness of the charges, which would result in a 25 year mandatory minimum sentence if convicted.

"Valente secures two reversals in one day from Vermont Supreme Court."

"On June 12, 2015, the Vermont Supreme Court reversed two trial court judgments on behalf of clients of Attorney Valente. In the first case, State v. Galanes, 2014 VT 351, the Court found that a probation condition was too vague, and overturned the trial court's finding of a violation.

In the second, State v. Mottolese, 2014 Vt. 245, the Court overturned the forfeiture of bail in the amount of $35,000.00 where bail bond company represented by Valente had no opportunity to produce the defendant, who had been incarcerated in a different state.

To read more about the decisions:

State v. Galanes, 2014 VT 351

State v. Mottolese, 2014 Vt. 245

Costello Organizes Civil War Sesquicentennial Event.

On Memorial Day (May 24, 2015) Tom Costello organized a free series of civil war lectures by notable historians and academic luminaries to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. The weekend's activities included (in addition to more than 11 lectures) an exhibition of civil war artifacts, a banquet that raised funds for American Legion Post #5, and a memorial service for soldiers from Brattleboro who lost their lives. In a moving ceremony, students from Brattleboro Union High School each read the name of one of the 50 Brattleboro casualties. The event was well-attended by both local crowds and history buffs who traveled from outside of New England to watch and participate.