John H. Hollar

Co-Chair - Government & Public Affairs; Director - Montpelier
John Hollar

Practice Areas


    Georgetown University,
    (J.D., 1989)

    Oklahoma University
    (B.A., 1982)
    Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

    Vermont (1991)


    Vermont Bar Association

    Washington County Bar Association

Practice Focus

One of the most experienced lobbyists in Vermont, John Hollar brings more than 30 years of public policy experience at the state and federal levels to his work as a member of DRM’s Government and Public Affairs Group. Since 1990, he has represented a wide range of businesses and associations before the Vermont General Assembly in the areas of insurance and utility regulation, health care, education, telecommunications and general business.

John represents a variety of clients on administrative matters before state regulatory agencies, including the Department of Financial Regulation and the Office of Secretary of State licensing boards, as well as civil matters brought by the Office of the Attorney General. He serves as outside general counsel to a Vermont domestic property and casualty company.

John understands the business of the clients he represents and uses that knowledge to advocate on their behalf before the legislature and regulatory agencies. He works closely with clients – many of whom have complex and challenging legislative and regulatory needs – to develop alliances with other businesses and organizations.

An effective government relations strategy often involves much more than the legislature. Working with other members of the DRM Government Affairs team, John helps clients to implement effective media and public relations strategies.

Significant Matters


  • Helped a major telecommunications provider defeat legislation that would have created new rules governing the company's purchase of a Vermont business.
  • Lobbied for the passage of legislation creating a new legal entity - the Low-profit Limited Liability Company, or L3C - for businesses seeking to take advantage of foundation investments.
  • Successfully lobbied to create a stable funding source for adult education programs in Vermont.
  • Successfully opposed legislation that would have imposed unique refund requirements on credit card companies doing business in Vermont; negotiated a compromise that was acceptable to the industry and the Attorney General's office.
  • Helped to defeat legislation that would have allowed child care centers and workers to bargain collectively with the state over subsidies, licensing standards, grievance procedures and professional development; obtained an exemption in the House-passed bill for child care centers.
  • Successfully lobbied against a bill that would have increased workers' compensation costs by extending benefits to workers after they recover and making it more difficult and costly to settle workers' compensation liens when workers sue third parties. 
  • Worked closely with a variety of health advocacy organizations to obtain passage of legislation that prohibits smoking in bars.

Professional Activities

John co-chairs DRM’s Government & Public Affairs Group and formerly chaired the Regulated Entities Group, which includes the EnergyTelecommunications, Land Use & Environmental Law, Government & Public Affairs and Health Law Groups. The firm's energy, environmental, land use & zoning and government relations practices were all ranked in the top tier for Vermont law firms in US News & World Report's inaugural ranking of Best Law Firms.

Before joining DRM, John operated a private law and lobbying practice in Montpelier for seven years, after having been a partner with the Montpelier law firm, Wilson & White, for four years. He represented cities and towns on a wide range of environmental matters as a lawyer with Cutler & Stanfield in Washington, D.C. As legislative assistant and legislative director for former U.S. Representative Mike Synar, he was the principal draftsperson of federal legislation in the areas of health and telecommunications. He served as a press assistant for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 1982-83.

John was appointed in 2012 by the Vermont State Senate leadership to the Educational Opportunities Working Group, a commission charged with making legislative recommendations on ways to improve education outcomes in Vermont. He served in 2010 on a working group that advised Education Commissioner Armando Vilaseca on how to restructure Vermont's educational system to meet savings targets established by the legislature.

John is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013.

Community Involvement

John has been deeply involved in Montpelier civic life for more than 20 years. He served as chair of the Montpelier School Board from 2002 to 2010.  He has served on the boards of the Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice, the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce and the Onion River Arts Council.  He also has served as a volunteer teacher for Prevent Child Abuse Vermont.

John currently serves as mayor of Montpelier, having been elected in March 2012.

Personal Interests

An avid mountain biker, he also enjoys Nordic skiing and kayaking.


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