Ed Adrian


Ed Adrian is an attorney at the law firm Monaghan Safar Ducham PLLC.  He previously served on the Burlington City Council for five years and currently sits on the Burlington Library Commission.

Ways to Connect

I’ve been thinking about compassion in the digital age. Thanks to social media options like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, it’s easier than ever to express our sympathy and solidarity with people facing overwhelming odds, whether caused by nature or society.

In his 1944 book Anti-Semite and Jew French Philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre wrote that we should “never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves," he concludes, "for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words.”

The kerfuffle between the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity and Vermont’s Secretary of State has me thinking about privacy, secrecy and transparency.

Adrian: Summer Detour

Jun 30, 2017

Vermonters live in a bubble. And there are sub-bubbles such as those found around Montpelier and Burlington. Indeed a frequent quip is that “Burlington’s a great place to live because it’s so close to Vermont.”

Adrian: Christmakah

Dec 21, 2016

President-Elect Trump is advocating for us to bring back Merry Christmas as the de facto salutation-of-choice for the holiday season. And I’m actually OK with that. I’ve often participated in the traditionally Christian Christmas festivities of others. However, since I’m Jewish I don’t celebrate the religious aspects.

The Burlington City Council is poised to vote, by my calculation, on whether to increase councilor pay from $2.40 an hour to $3.60 an hour. And this perfunctory adjustment reminds me of a lyric from Pink Floyd’s ‘73 classic Money wherein the psychedelic rockers declare “Money, it’s a crime. Share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie.”

Adrian: The Damage Done

Nov 28, 2016

Neil Young’s song The Needle and the Damage Done details the devastating impact that Young witnessed heroin having on musicians in the early ‘70s . Now, nearly half a century later, we’re dealing with the impact of heroin’s far more powerful opioid cousins.

Adrian: Closing Time

Nov 4, 2016

If there’s one refrain I’ve heard over and over again for the last month it’s “I can’t wait for this election to be over.” Well we’ve finally arrived at closing time.

Adrian: REM Days

Oct 21, 2016

The recent and prolonged spate of unseasonably warm days often called “Indian Summer” has got me thinking about the future.

In a philosophical moment, Star Trek’s Mr. Spock professed that “logic is the beginning of wisdom; not the end.” And such is the case with the law and ethics. For those aspiring to higher levels of ethical conduct, the law sets the floor for behavior, not the ceiling – thus leaving space to navigate in between.

The Latin phrase Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes literally means “who will guard the guards themselves.” One contemporary rift on this maxim asks “who will watch the watchers.”

In Vermont we have two very clearly defined dates for voting: Election Day, the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November, and Town Meeting Day, which is the first Tuesday in March. To hold an election as important as the one that will decide all of our state elected leaders for the foreseeable future on a day other than Town Meeting or in November just doesn’t make sense. And this year, Vermont’s primary election will be held on August 9th – the very dog days of summer – which to me seems downright indefensible.

Adrian: Distractions

Aug 24, 2015

The “lady in red” appears often in popular culture. In The Matrix, a “lady in red” is created specifically as a distraction in a virtual world training session. Another “lady in red” materializes within Star Trek’s virtual “Holodeck” - again as a distraction, this time to Commander Riker.

Adrian: On Sterling Pond

Aug 11, 2015

I’ve been going to Sterling Pond off the Smuggler’s Notch Road for a quarter century. It’s a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life; soak in the Western Alpine atmosphere; and dip a fly line in the water to angle for one of its once plentiful, self-sustaining Brook Trout.

Adrian: Honoring Cheryl

Jul 27, 2015

Right about this time last year, a colleague of mine committed suicide after wrestling with what by all accounts was severe and major depression. I had gotten to know Cheryl Hanna over a period of nearly 20 years as our lives routinely intertwined through Law School; law practice in Vermont; and of course politics.

Adrian: Bern Out

Jul 15, 2015

Political endorsements are often sought after; difficult to obtain; and even harder to quantify. In Vermont we recently witnessed an early Presidential endorsement battle worthy of the Cold War. Leading Democrats such as Senator Leahy and Former Governors Kunin and Dean endorsed Secretary Hillary Clinton. Governor Shumlin strategically tweeted his endorsement for Clinton the day before Senator Sanders’ official Presidential announcement. Bernie countered and parlayed with the endorsements of noted environmentalist Bill McKibben, Ice Cream gurus Ben and Jerry as well as nearly the entire slate of elected progressive officer holders in Vermont. Subsequent notable endorsements for Sanders include Comedian Sarah Silverman, the Vermont National Education Association and of course legendary Canadian rocker Neil Young.

Adrian: We The Folk

Jun 24, 2015

Mark Leibovich of the New York Times recently explored the popularity of the term “folks” as the nomenclature preferred by politicians when referring to groups of people. And he notes the origins of the word as coming from the old English “folc” meaning … people.

Adrian: Brothers' Keepers

Jun 17, 2015

Recently, the Associated Press reported that a man showed up for jury duty in Caledonia County wearing an iconic black and white striped prison jumpsuit and matching beanie. According to the report, he was segregated from the rest of the jury pool, admonished by the judge and dismissed from service – leading some to speculate that this might “set off a new trend” among persons seeking to avoid jury duty.

Adrian: 2016 is Coming

Jun 4, 2015

Two well-known Vermont politicians looked to 2016 this past week. Senator Bernie Sanders formally announced he’s running for President. And Lt. Governor Phil Scott announced that he’s starting to think about possibly… maybe… running for Governor.

Adrian: Closed Doors

May 19, 2015

Poet William Blake once wrote, “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.”