FC 92 Uncommon Law with Paul Gillies

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Paul S. Gillies, the author of the book Uncommon Law, Ancient Roads, and Other Ruminations on Vermont Legal History. This book shows us the importance of understanding how laws came about and their significance in helping us understand history.

Bio – Paul S. GilliesUncommon Law with Paul Gillies on Fieldstone Common

Paul Gillies is a partner in the Montpelier, Vermont law firm of Tarrant, Gillies, Merriman & Richardson. He co-edited The Records of the Vermont Council of Censors with D. Gregory Sanford, and wrote A Book of Opinions with James H. Douglas and A Place to Pass Through: Berlin, Vermont 1820-1991. He is a co-founder of the Vermont Judicial History Society and the Vermont Institute for Government. A former Vermont Deputy Secretary of State, he is presently Moderator of the Town of Berlin.

Book Summary

The 25 essays collected in this new book from the Vermont Historical Society examine the founda­tions of legal thought in Vermont, historical issues ranging from log drives to the keeping of sheep to blue laws, the state’s legal luminaries, and contemporary issues including ancient roads and Act 250.

Vermont was born in conflict and existed as an independent political community until becoming the 14th state in 1791. During those early years Vermonters had to chart their own course in matters of law. From these unique origins, the history of law in Vermont traces the evolution of social and economic developments over time and provides a fascinating lens for understanding the history of the Green Mountain State.

Publication Info  Uncommon Law with Paul Gillies on Fieldstone Common

Title: Uncommon Law, Ancient Roads, and Other Ruminations on Vermont Legal History

Publisher: Vermont Historical Society (2013)

Trade Paperback; 414 pages with end notes, a bibliography, an index, and some photos and illustrations.

Uncommon Law, Ancient Roads, and Other Ruminations on Vermont Legal History is available for purchase from the Vermont Historical Society.

The Interview

In this interview Paul Gillies and I talk about a variety of items from Vermont legal history such as the implication of towns settling the first minister and distributing land to him. We also dig into the importance of fences and why they were needed over the centuries. We discuss ancients roads that are still legal roads even though they only exist on old maps. We also discover three luminary characters from Vermont legal history – Nathaniel Chipman, the scandalous Royall Tyler and John Mattocks.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winner

One copy of Uncommon Law, Ancient Roads, and Other Ruminations on Vermont Legal History is given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of the Vermont Historical Society.

The winner is:

  • To be announced next week

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to the Vermont Historical Society for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

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