April 7, 2017

Stris & Maher Opens Vermont Office

Bridget Asay, the former and first solicitor general for Vermont, and Mike Donofrio, the former general counsel for Green Mountain Care Board, have joined Stris & Maher, launching its new Montpelier office.

Bridget joins the firm after serving as the first Solicitor General for the State of Vermont. For over a decade, Bridget supervised all appellate litigation for the Vermont Attorney General’s Office. She has handled major appeals and civil litigation in a wide variety of areas, and her oral arguments include two appearances before the U.S. Supreme Court and over 40 appearances before the Vermont Supreme Court. After graduating from Yale Law School in 1995, Bridget clerked for Chief Judge J. Garvan Murtha of the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont and Justice Denise Johnson of the Vermont Supreme Court.

Mike served for four years as the first general counsel of the Green Mountain Care Board, a first-of-its kind regulatory body created by Vermont’s groundbreaking 2011 health care reform law. Before his tenure at the Board, Mike represented Vermont state agencies and officials as well as individuals and corporations in a wide array of complex litigation matters. Mike earned his law degree from New York University in 1995 and clerked for Justice Marilyn S. Skoglund of the Vermont Supreme Court.

Many SMLLP lawyers got to know Bridget and Mike when the firm represented Vermont before the Supreme Court last Term in the landmark preemption case Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual. Both sides were impressed. According to Bridget, “We found Peter, Brendan, and SMLLP to be responsive, creative, and smart. They added tremendous value to our efforts in Gobeille, and they were great colleagues throughout the process.” As firm founder Peter Stris puts it, “When we learned that Bridget and Mike were moving to private practice after years of public service, we jumped at the opportunity to join forces.”

Bridget and Mike have already dived into the firm’s sophisticated healthcare litigation practice, a natural fit given their previous experience. According to founder Brendan Maher, “Not only do Bridget and Mike have a deep understanding of the complex regulatory issues we face, but they are also experts on state authority in a variety of substantive areas. That is important for us because we often represent States and their agencies.”

Related press coverage:
Health Hires: Vt. SG to Stris, BCBS In-House to Kilpatrick (Law360, April 7, 2017)