Legal Innovation With A Personal Approach
Paul J. Perkins
802-295-3151 Ext. 103
- Vermont Law School, South Royalton, Vermont
- University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon
- B.A. - 1994
- Major: English and Philosophy
- Vermont, 1998
- U.S. District Court District of Vermont, 2002
- New Hampshire, 2020
- U.S. District Court District of New Hampshire, 2021
- U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 2022
- Windsor County Bar Association
- Vermont Bar Association
- New Hampshire Bar Association
- Vermont Trial Lawyers Association
- Chair, Newton School Board, Strafford, Vermont
- Executive Committee, Orange-Windsor Supervisory Union, South Royalton, Vermont
- Trustee and Committee on Trustees, The Sharon Academy, Sharon, Vermont
- Chair, Insurance Law Section, Vermont Bar Association
- U.S. Navy, Special Warfare/Special Operations Deep Sea Diver, 1986 to 1990
Paul litigates substantial personal injury, medical malpractice and commercial cases in the state and federal courts of Vermont and New Hampshire often against multi-national corporations, large insurers and regional healthcare entities.
He has tried many dozens of jury and bench trials. He is one of the few lawyers in Vermont to obtain a punitive damages award and maintain that award on appeal.
Paul officially began his legal career in October 1998, upon passage of the Vermont Bar. Unofficially, his career began under Vermont's law student internship rule, which allowed him to sit second chair in attempted murder and other trials while still in law school.
After passing the Bar, Paul began a vigorous trial practice in the criminal and juvenile courts of Vermont at the public defense office in Windsor County.
In 2001, he changed focus to civil litigation and went to work at Plante & Hanley, P.C. In the first few years of civil practice, Paul defended people and businesses insured under commercial, homeowners, automobile liability and workers' compensation policies for a Fortune 100 insurer and its subsidiaries. He also litigated insurance coverage, subrogation and bad faith matters.
For nearly two decades, Paul has represented plaintiffs in cases involving substantial personal injuries or wrongful death as the result of negligence or intentional acts, medical malpractice, business disputes, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, violations of consumer protection laws, bad faith, insurance coverage and claims against third-parties arising from worker's compensation claims. Paul also maintains a limited criminal practice.
Paul is the former Chair of the Insurance Law Section of the Vermont Bar Association, where he conducted the Year-in-Review continuing legal education programs on insurance litigation, prepared written continuing education materials, published "Practicing Insurance Law in Vermont" in Coverage Opinions, and advised attorneys on insurance law matters.
He teaches Intensive Trial Practice at Vermont Law and Graduate School, coaches its mock trial teams in a national trial competition and has been a guest lecturer on ethics at Dartmouth College.
Just a few of Paul's cases:
Reliant Life Sciences, LLC v. AGC Biologics, Inc. and Daigle Computer Systems, Inc., no. 22- cv-137, D. N. H. 10/25/2022 (Paul removed the case to federal court and obtained dismissal of the plaintiffs' claims for lack of personal jurisdiction); Carpentier v. Tuthill, 2013 VT 91, 195 Vt. 52, 86 A.3d 1006 (2013) (Paul tried an intentional harm case to verdict, obtained compensatory and punitive damages awards against the defendant and maintained both damage awards on appeal); Blake v. Progressive Northern Ins. Co., No. 164-9-15 Oecv and White River Traffic Group, Inc. v. United Ohio Ins. Co. and Cass Insurance, Inc., No. 330-7-17 Wrcv (Paul convinced trial courts to hold that plaintiffs may sue their insurers for deceptive acts under Vermont's Consumer Protection Act); Griffith v. Mozaffari, No. 451-9-15 Wrcv (August 13, 2018) (Paul prevented the defendant from introducing third-party payments of plaintiff's medical bills at trial, under the collateral source rule); Choiniere, P & D Consulting, Inc. v. Marshall and Harris Beach LLP, No. 10-1-05 Wrcv (September 13, 2016) (Paul prevented the defendant from introducing evidence of plaintiff's settlements with others at trial); Parker v. Malletts Bay Boat Club, Inc., 2010 AMC 2518 (D. Vt. 2010) (Paul and Michael Hanley persuaded the court to apply admiralty law, and pure comparative fault, in a case involving an injury on a yacht club tender on Lake Champlain); In re Dayco, Inc., No. 07-061-I (Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities, and Health Care Administration) (Paul obtained a reversal of the Vermont Worker's Compensation Appeals Board decision that endorsed a well-known global insurer's misclassification of workers, and increase in worker's compensation premiums, during a policy audit); Robinson v. Springfield Hosp., File No. 1:09-CV-75, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10160 (D. Vt. February 5, 2010) (Paul and Michael Hanley succeeded in compelling hospital employees to testify about their clients' cause of death over the hospital's assertion of the peer review privilege; Fine Paints of Eur., Inc. v. Acadia Ins. Co., Case No. 2:08-cv-81, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24188 (D. Vt. March 24, 2009) (Paul and Michael Hanley succeeded in compelling an insurer to defend their client in a claim for property damage to a historic property); Nichols v. Brattleboro Retreat, 2009 VT 4, 185 Vt. 313, 970 A.2d 1249 (Paul and Michael Hanley succeeded in obtaining a new trial in a medical malpractice case, because the trial court had allowed the defense to present expert testimony by video, when that expert was available to testify at trial).
Paul has a unique background and took an independent route to become a lawyer. He interrupted college to undergo U. S. Navy diver and pilot rescue swimmer training and serve in those capacities aboard the USS Reclaimer (ARS 42) at Hickam Air Force Base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After serving his country, Paul took advantage of the G. I. Bill and returned to college at the University of Oregon, newly married. There, he double-majored and received recognition and awards for his academic achievement. When it came time to choose a law school, Paul and his family moved to his wife's home state of Vermont where they raised a daughter while Paul attended Vermont Law School. There, Paul competed in mock trial and moot court competitions, published a book chapter and law review article on criminal law and was chosen to represent the law school at a national mock trial competition held in Boston. Weeks after graduating, Paul's wife gave birth to a son while Paul was studying for the Vermont bar.