Eric A. Poehlmann

Director - Burlington
Eric Poehlmann

Practice Areas

  • Commercial litigation
  • Product liability
  • Insurance defense
  • Professional liability
  • Electronic discovery


    Cornell Law School
    (J.D., 1996)
    Articles Editor, Cornell Law Review

    London School of Economics
    London, England (M.Sc., 1993)

    Carleton College
    (B.A., cum laude, 1991)

Bar Admissions

    Vermont (1997)

    U.S. District Court, District of Vermont (1998)

    U.S. District Court, Southern District of NY (2005)

    U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit (2000)

    U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit (2012


    Vermont Bar Association

    Chittenden County Bar Association

Practice Focus

Eric Poehlmann handles complex commercial litigation, professional liability, products liability, and insurance defense and coverage litigation matters before federal and state courts.  He has tried numerous jury cases to verdict, as well as cases to judgment before the courts.  In addition, Eric has prepared and argued appeals before the Vermont Supreme Court and federal Circuit Courts of Appeal.

Significant Matters

In over fifteen years of practice with Downs Rachlin Martin, Eric has been involved in a number of high-profile trials and matters.  For example, Eric was a principal member of the litigation team that successfully challenged the State of Vermont’s attempts to apply its land use law (Act 250) to a local rail carrier, prevailing at the trial court level and on appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Eric recently defended a trust fund manager in Massachusetts' Superior Court, Business Litigation Session, against a complex shareholder derivative action seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages.

Eric has also successfully tried various commercial cases before state and federal courts in Vermont, including defending a high-profile attorney in a legal malpractice case in state court, an out-of-state manufacturer in a substantial breach of contract case, a foreign manufacturer of saunas in a wrongful death suit brought in state court and that same manufacturer in a property damage case brought in Massachusetts.

Professional Activities

Eric served as first vice president of the Northern New England Defense Counsel Association (now the Tri-State Defense Lawyers Association), a professional organization for defense counsel practicing in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, and an affiliate organization of the Defense Research Institute (DRI), whose membership includes more than 20,000 attorneys committed to the defense of civil litigation claims.

Community Involvement

Eric served on the board of trustees of Woodbury College in Montpelier from 2006 - 2009.



Webinar, Electronic Discovery: Planning vs. Panic, DRM Intellectual Property Briefly Speaking Seminar Series,

Author, Vermont Section, Punitive Damages -- A State-by-State Compendium, Defense Research Institute, 2010

Reported Cases

Rathe Salvage, Inc. v. R. Brown & Sons, Inc., 2012 VT 18 (2012) (commercial dispute)

Green Mountain Railroad Corp. v. Vermont, 404 F.3d 638 (2d Cir. 2005) (federal preemption)

Cigna Ins. Co. v. Oy Saunat ec, Ltd., 241 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2001) (product liability)

White v. Quechee Lakes Landowners’ Ass’n., Inc., 170 Vt. 25 (1999) (indemnification)

Southface Condominium Owners Ass’n., Inc. v. Southface Condominium Ass’n., Inc., 169 Vt. 243 (1999) (lender liability)

Moffitt v. Icynene, Inc., 407 F.Supp.2d 591 (D.Vt. 2005) (product liability)

Macia v. Microsoft Corp., 152 F. Supp.2d 535 (D. Vt. 2001) (intellectual property)

Rathe Salvage, Inc. v. R. Brown & Sons, Inc., 2008 VT 99 (2008) (commercial dispute)

Vermont Country Foods, Inc. v. So-Pak-Co., Inc., 170 Fed.Appx. 756 (2d Cir. 2006) (commercial dispute)

Cigna Ins. Co. v. Oy Saunatec, Ltd., 59 F. Supp.2d 163 (D. Mass. 1999) (products liability)

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