Joseph A. Farnham joined the firm in 1995, after six years as a prosecutor, and is a principal of the firm. Joe focuses on assisting clients with regard to litigation, municipal law and labor and employment matters. He regularly represents municipalities and municipal officials and employees in the state and federal courts in cases involving civil rights, personal injury/death, permit/regulatory compliance and/or enforcement, and access to government proceedings and records. Joe has significant jury trial and appeals experience, and has argued numerous times before the Vermont Supreme Court and United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Joe grew up in the Burlington area, and when time allows, he enjoys fishing and hunting in Vermont and beyond.
- Successfully defended at jury trial one of Vermont’s largest police departments against constitutional claims premised on allegations of failure to train and supervise.
- In separate federal jury trials, successfully defended two different Vermont police officers against constitutional claims premised on allegations of excessive force.
- Successfully defended a Vermont municipality against claims of improper road maintenance, brought following a fatal motor vehicle accident.
- Successfully defended a municipality and one of its public works employees against personal injury claims based on allegations of improper snow plowing of a town road.
- Successfully defended at jury trial one of Vermont’s largest municipalities against claims of wrongful termination brought by two different retirees.
- In a federal bench trial, successfully defended a Vermont municipality against a former employee’s constitutional claims premised on allegations of retaliatory discharge.
- Successfully defended by federal motion practice, a Vermont police officer accused of excessive force, false arrest, assault and battery, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
- Co-counsel for a school board in successful defense (through the Vermont Supreme Court) of an arbitration award involving a school administrator’s contractual and statutory rights.
- Successfully defended by motion practice a Vermont municipality accused of causing a wrongful death as a result of delayed EMS response.