“Thin Skinned” Clarification from Town of Brattleboro

Please see the highlighted statement below from the attorney representing the Town of Brattleboro in Witherbee v. Town of Brattleboro, et al.

Jan Anderson
Executive Secretary
Brattleboro Town Manager’s Office
230 Main Street, Suite 208
Brattleboro, VT  05301
(802) 251-8100


From:Peter Elwell
Sent:Wednesday, September 19, 2018 6:04 PM
To:Jan Anderson
Subject:Clarifying Statement from the Town of Brattleboro


Jan –

Please distribute this to our news release list ASAP.

Thanks, Peter


From:Brian Monaghan [mailto:bmonaghan@msdvt.com]
Sent:Wednesday, September 19, 2018 5:51 PM
To:Peter Elwell <pelwell@brattleboro.org>
Subject:For Distribution



For distribution as appropriate:

As attorney for the Town of Brattleboro, I’d like to clarify and provide context for my use of “thin skinned” in the Town’s Motion to Dismiss in the Witherbee v. Town of Brattleboro, et al. matter, as reported in the Brattleboro Reformer today.  That term appeared in the Motion only because it is a direct quotation from applicable case law.   The Town intends to rely on the court process to provide a full airing and fair determination in this matter.  The Town denies that it has discriminated against the Plaintiff in any way, but we have no intention of using demeaning language or gratuitous personal attacks in presenting the Town’s defense.


Brian P. Monaghan, Esq.
Monaghan Safar Ducham PLLC
156 Battery Street
Burlington, Vermont 05401
Tel: 802.660.4735
Fax: 802.419.3662

92 Fairfield Street
St. Albans, Vermont 05478-1728
Tel: 802.524.0080

Comments | 3

  • Odd

    This is a very odd press release. There’s almost no context whatsoever.

    It’s also kind of funny. A lawyer quickly responding to a news story that used the phrase “thin skinned” might be seen as… thin skinned (ie, oversensitive to criticism or insult).

  • Lawyers

    Many lawyers live in their own world and it works for them because courts are powerful and judges are also lawyers.

    I had a lawyer once who would say: “I will generate a letter,” and the letter that he “generated” would consist of stilted jargon. His writing might qualify for a Putziler Prize, nonetheless, though inelegant, he got results.

    Brian P. Monaghan, Esq. could have avoided the public relations gaff by citing the “thin-skin” case in his court filing in a manner which made it clear that he was making a legal reference rather than a personal insult… if he were capable of ordinary common sense.

    Since Monaghan also wrote the press release, his explanation was as much a public relations blunder as his original court filing.

  • Perhaps

    Perhaps there is another case that used the term “thin-skinned” other than in the Kight v. Auto Zoneit . “Thin-skinned” does appear in the US Circuit Court of Appeals decision, but the outcome of the case was not favorable to the charged employer.

    “Bagwell had told Kight he would not investigate the complaints he raised about Sinor, and Kight’s attempt to contact Sinor’s supervisor about his behavior failed because the supervisor cancelled every appointment and told him he was too “thin-skinned.”

    Kight v. Auto Zone, United States Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, July 2007


    The questions, for me, then becomes:
    What applicable case law using the word “Thin Skinned” was referenced in the Motion , which was advantageous to
    the town”s case, and therefore explains its usage?

    I am aware that I am not a lawyer and could have easily missed something, and not comprehended the situation sufficiently.

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