Nancy Goss Sheahan


A native of Burlington, Nancy Goss Sheahan joined the firm in 1982 and is a principal of the firm. A former prosecutor, she focuses her practice on the defense of high exposure cases in the area of governmental liability, with a particular expertise in defending governmental entities, officials and employees in civil rights matters. This expertise includes handling cases alleging constitutional violations and police misconduct such as excessive force and unlawful arrest claims as well as state claims of negligent training, investigation and malicious prosecution. Nancy is familiar with accepted police practices and policies and has defended cases of officer-involved shootings, pursuits, and the use of Tasers, batons and pepper spray.

In addition to her litigation experience, Nancy has advised numerous law enforcement agencies and municipalities in a variety of areas including policy development, disciplinary and employment matters. She has also assisted various government entities in responding to public records requests and utilizes her considerable experience to conduct workplace investigations for public entities.

Notable Representations

  • Successfully defended a Vermont police department and its officers in the use of a Taser, including obtaining a favorable judgment on appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which established the legal standard for the use of Tasers in those districts comprising the Second Circuit which includes Vermont
  • Successfully defended a Vermont town and its police department in the United States District Court and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals against a claim of unconstitutional policies and practices, training, supervision and hiring in connection with an officer-involved shooting
  • Successfully represented Vermont municipalities against charges filed with the Civil Rights Unit of the Vermont Attorney General’s Office and the Vermont Human Rights Commission