Gravel & Shea PC

June 2019

Gravel & Shea Attorneys Graduate Leadership Champlain Program







Congratulations to Gravel & Shea attorneys Brent Lanoue, Celeste Laramie and Hillary Borcherding! After completing a year of seminars and community service projects, Brent, Celeste and Hillary graduated from the esteemed Leadership Champlain program last week. Leadership Champlain is a professional development and community engagement program of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce with a mission to foster growth and leadership in professionals across Vermont. Brent, Celeste and Hillary will join the ranks of the many other Leadership Champlain alumni here at Gravel & Shea and will use the skills and connections they gained through this program to better serve their clients and their community. We are indeed fortunate to count such dedicated and engaged professionals as our colleagues!

dOrg Launches First Limited Liability DAO

dOrg, a blockchain development cooperative, announced today that it is now the first legally established Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) under United States law.

After deploying its DAO to the Ethereum blockchain, dOrg formed a Blockchain-Based Limited Liability Company (BBLLC) in Vermont, dOrg LLC. By linking the DAO to this BBLLC, the DAO has official legal status, allowing it to enter contractual agreements and offer participants liability protections.

dOrg’s legal DAO is only the first step in a wider research collaboration to develop best practices and software that automates DAO legal formation. dOrg hopes that these efforts will catalyze a new wave of DAOs that can interoperate with the broader economy.

“We want to make what we just did accessible to anyone in the world,” according to a statement ratified by dOrg’s proposal engine. “Ultimately, the process of configuring and deploying a legally registered DAO will be as easy as creating a social media account.”

Vermont enacted the law that enables BBLLCs in July 2018. The law creates an enforceable legal framework for blockchain-based governance and organizational structures.

“dOrg asked us to help design a DAO legal wrapper after discovering the potential of BBLLCs,” said Oliver Goodenough, a law professor at Vermont Law School and special counsel to Gravel & Shea. “We believe that dOrg is now the first legal entity that directly references blockchain code as its source of governance. Its material operations and ownership interests are managed entirely on-chain.”
dOrg uses DAOstack– an open-source blockchain-based framework for decentralized governance– as the underlying technology for its DAO.

“We are very excited about the launch of dOrg’s legal DAO. This is a bold experiment to bridge the blockchain world with legacy systems,” said Matan Field, Chief Architect and CEO of DAOstack Technologies.

For more information, visit To view interviews about dOrg, visit

About dOrg

dOrg is a blockchain development shop that specializes in Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). We build open-source tooling, execute on client work, and conduct research that advances the DAO ecosystem.


Ori Shimony:

Gravel & Shea
Oliver Goodenough:
Catherine Burke:

Patrick Rawson:

Cannabis in the Specialty Food Industry







“Last Thursday, Cassandra LaRae-Perez was a featured speaker at the Vermont Specialty Food Association Spring Annual Meeting at the Mountain Top Inn at Chittenden, Vermont. She participated on a panel discussing Cannabis in the Specialty Food Industry with Cheryl DeVos, CEO of Kimball Brook Farm and Philip Lamy, Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Cannabis Studies Program at Castleton University.

The legality of incorporating CBD in food and beverages is a complex and constantly evolving topic keeping everyone on their toes!”

Blockchain-Enabled Consensus Community Engagement App Launches in South Burlington, Vermont






The City of South Burlington and the Toronto-based artificial intelligence/ blockchain company Consensus announced the official launch today of a groundbreaking app using blockchain technology to gather real-time feedback from residents about municipal issues. The Consensus app is the first blockchain-based citizen engagement platform in use by a city government in the U.S.  The app pushes questions the city government generates to users in real-time and seamlessly feeds their responses to city leaders. This allows people to voice concerns or register their satisfaction quickly and directly to the city government on a wide variety of issues, from paving schedules and commutes to parks and recreation options.

The new Consensus app was unveiled at the South Burlington City Hall today.  City Council Chair Helen Riehle, City Manager Kevin Dorn, Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan, Consensus Founder and CEO Oleg Gutsol, and Consensus Chief Strategy Officer Dustin Plett all attended the announcement. They invited South Burlington residents to get involved and make their voices heard by downloading the app, responding to survey questions, and giving Consensus and the City feedback about improving the app. The free Consensus app is now available for Apple and Android users in the iTunes Store and in Google Play, and via a link on

City and state government leaders touted the Consensus app as an invaluable and innovative tool for the city to keep its pulse on residents’ concerns, as well as another sign of the City’s competitiveness in attracting tech jobs to Vermont.

Riehle explained that “effective government leaders” need “timely, informed and thoughtful feedback from residents.”  She characterized the feedback the City will receive through the Consensus app “so important to our form of representative government.” Attorney General TJ Donovan added that the “bold leadership” shown by South Burlington leaders in adopting the Consensus pilot project would allow the City to be “more responsive, more competitive” and to increase access to government.

Consensus, the company that developed the app, also highlighted the Consensus app’s value as a secure tool to improve citizen engagement and enable rapid decision-making in government. Plett called the pilot “an incredibly innovative initiative” to foster citizen engagement and improve democracy. He added that the three- to four- month pilot would allow Consensus to test user adoption and scalability of the secure Consensus app while preparing for its commercial launch. Plett confirmed that the Consensus app includes security features that protect users’ personal information and  “ensures no outside influences” affect or corrupt residents’ votes.

Blockchain supporters who gathered for the launch echoed the enthusiasm of Consensus’ developers and the government officials at the launch.  The “race is on for states to attract blockchain companies,” said David Thelander, Special Counsel at Gravel & Shea PC, which aided Consensus in landing the pilot in South Burlington. Thelander noted that the City of South Burlington had distinguished itself as a leader in that race, including through its earlier partnership with Propy to complete the first U.S. real estate transaction conducted entirely on the blockchain. “Our firm, and the rest of the blockchain industry, are eager to see how this pilot helps improve blockchain products and paves the way for their use by cities, states, and towns,” Thelander added.

Those interested in downloading the Consensus app or getting more information about the pilot project are encouraged to visit