Five empty seats -- but only one needs to be filled.
The Vermont Supreme Court is looking for a new judge after Justice Brian Burgess announced his retirement.
"He approaches cases in a very thorough way," says Chief Justice Paul Reiber.
Chief Justice Paul Reiber says he will miss Burgess' intellect and humor.
Reporter Gina Bullard: "How did he affect the deliberation process?"
Chief Justice Reiber: "Brian many times has served the role of arbiter of differences in opinions on the court."
Reporter Gina Bullard: "Is it good for the Court to have regular turnover?"
Chief Justice Reiber: "That's an interesting question. Yeah, I think it is. It's good to have new blood."
Reiber says the next Justice needs to be a person who can relate and analyze combinations of complex questions.
"I think what you want to look for is someone who is a substantial character, who is very well grounded, who is compassionate, who understands the problems of people," he says.
The court has had its own problems. Facing a budget shortfall, three years ago Reiber pushed for a major overhaul of Vermont's court system, creating a unified management structure where all courts are overseen by the Vermont Supreme Court.
Reiber says the system is more efficient, saving $1 million a year as projected. But Reiber says there are still problems.
"We have a number of courts that are under significant stress because of the workload our people are under, and the hiring freeze we had to put in place last fall to balance the budget," says Chief Justice Reiber.
Another problem for the court -- technology. Last year officials spent $1.7-million of taxpayer money to modernize the courts computer system. The goal: all court documents in the state would be accessible through one system. Reiber says it had never been done before in the country. But the court pulled out of the contract, saying the software did not work.
Reporter Gina Bullard: "How did that happen? Who is to blame?"
Chief Justice Reiber: "We've learned about the system we have and the system we want."
As for change, Reiber has no plans to leave and is looking forward to getting a new viewpoint on the bench.
"One of the best things about this court is the common committment that the five of us have to ensure justice," says Chief Justice Reiber.
In Vermont, Supreme Court justices are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. They have to retire when they turn 90 years old.
Friday, December 6 2013 11:16 PM EST2013-12-07 04:16:55 GMT
A Connecticut man is charged with DUI after police say he admitted to overdosing on prescribed Ritalin when he was pulled over. The incident happened on Route 105 in Berkshire late Friday afternoon. AuthoritiesMore >>
A Connecticut man is charged with DUI after police say he admitted to overdosing on prescribed Ritalin when he was pulled over.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 10:03 PM EST2013-12-07 03:03:22 GMT
In Dorset, a car crashed into a bank and there was no drive-through lane.The car jumped the curb in front of the Berkshire Bank Friday morning, taking out a railing and getting hung up on the front steps.More >>
In Dorset, a car crashed into a bank -- and there was no drive-through lane. More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 10:01 PM EST2013-12-07 03:01:17 GMT
The longtime bookkeeper at Cold Hollow Cider Mill is expected to plead guilty to embezzling from the business and a local youth hockey program.Cold Hollow in Waterbury is one of Vermont's top tourist attractions.More >>
The longtime bookkeeper at Cold Hollow Cider Mill is expected to plead guilty to embezzling from the business and a local youth hockey program.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 10:00 PM EST2013-12-07 03:00:14 GMT
Police in Burlington say they've caught an armed robber.Investigators arrested Tyran Sprauve, 19, Friday afternoon for assault and robbery. Police say last month he and two other men broke into a homeMore >>
Police in Burlington say they've caught an armed robber.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 9:59 PM EST2013-12-07 02:59:17 GMT
A Claremont, New Hampshire couple is behind bars, charged with sexually assaulting two children under the age of five.Police say 25-year-old Kevin Blood and his 25-year-old wife, Ashley, were arrestedMore >>
A Claremont, New Hampshire couple is behind bars, charged with sexually assaulting two children under the age of five.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 9:40 PM EST2013-12-07 02:40:47 GMT
College students at St. Mike's have some strong words for Vermont's Senators. The groups of young people are part of a national organization known as the Student Global AIDS Campaign. Friday they marchedMore >>
Leahy spokesman says students mininformed on Senator's record.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 9:01 PM EST2013-12-07 02:01:01 GMT
In Burlington's Old North End there are still hints of what used to be -- a bustling Little Jerusalem years go. But one symbol of the area's past is not so obvious."It's priceless, it literally is oneMore >>
In Burlington's Old North End there are still hints of what used to be -- a bustling Little Jerusalem years go. But one symbol of the area's past is not so obvious.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 8:50 PM EST2013-12-07 01:50:18 GMT
It's that time of the week when almost everybody says TGIF. It's the first weekend in December and that has special meaning for Plattsburgh residents like Leigh Mundy, who loves spending time in the city.More >>
A tradition in the making for Plattsburgh -- it's called First Weekends. The idea is to have a special event in downtown Plattsburgh the first weekend of every month.More >>