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Traffic Court Judge Faces Accident Charges - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Traffic Court Judge Faces Accident Charges

Rutland, Vermont - November 7, 2007

A red flag still marks the location on the Killington Road where police say a motorcyclist was injured when he was cut off by an SUV driver who slammed on his brakes. The biker broke an ankle and needed facial stitches. Police say the SUV driver took off, but a witness got the license plate number and police traced it to Melvin Neisner, 52, a lawyer from Killington who also serves as Killington's town moderator.

Wednesday, Neisner was in court facing a series of charges stemming from the incident including reckless driving causing serious bodily injury, leaving the scene of an accident with injury, giving false information to police and hindering the investigation. Police say Neisner initially lied about the crash claiming his wife was driving, but eventually admitted he was behind the wheel.

Neisner's wife was looking on in the courtroom as his lawyer denied the charges on Neisner's behalf.

"We would waive the reading of the charges. Waive the 24 hours. Enter a plea of not guilty," lawyer Stephen Klein said in court.

Neisner knows a lot about traffic violations. He is one of several specially designated lawyers in Vermont authorized to rule on the appeals of other drivers accused of traffic violations.

Neisner was released on conditions and as he left the courthouse let his lawyer do the talking for him.

"I think the case has been overblown and over-exaggerated," said Klein. "Hopefully everything will come out in court. Everybody will be able to go on with their lives."

Three of the charges in this case are felonies. Under the Vermont rules of conduct for lawyers, that means attorney Neisner could face disciplinary action if he is convicted of any one of them including suspension and possibly even disbarment.

Vermont's Court administrator says Neisner will no longer be permitted to sit on traffic appeals because of the charges. And even if he is not convicted, he will have to reapply to be recertified for traffic cases.

Brian Joyce - WCAX News

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