At Massucco & Stern, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive and effective representation in a wide variety of practice areas. We firmly believe that understanding the needs and the circumstances of our individual clients is as important as understanding the law. Like life, legal representation often requires a broad, holistic view rather than a narrow focus. Whether in litigation, transactional or collaborative matters, we work to make our clients feel heard, and to develop and implement a plan to achieve their goals.
No matter who is the lead attorney on your case, we at Massucco & Stern work together to get the job done. This means that every client has the benefit of more than 70 years of combined experience in the legal profession, and a diversity of skills and knowledge.
Our firm was founded in 1948 by William F. Kissell. Mr. Kissell was a Windham County Senator, a bank director, and was very active in numerous local organizations.
After serving in the U.S. Army, working in the machine tool shops in Springfield, Vermont, and training as a watchmaker, Tony F. Kissell joined his brother in the practice in 1954.
Kissell & Kissell became one of the leading law firms in Windham County, with a focus on real estate, banking, litigation and business law.
Following William Kissell’s death in February, 1972, L. Raymond Massucco joined the firm as a Clerk in June, 1972. After his graduation from Suffolk University Law School in May, 1973, Attorney Massucco joined the practice full-time and became a partner in January of 1975, when the firm became Kissell & Massucco.
Tony Kissell died in 1989 by which time the firm had grown to four attorneys and eight professional staff members.
Under the guidance of Attorney Massucco and now Attorney Stern as well, Massucco & Stern remains a fixture of the downtown Bellows Falls area as well as one of the most venerated firms in southern Vermont.
Ray Massucco graduated from University of Vermont in 1970 and Suffolk Law School in 1973. Attorney Massucco came to the firm directly from law school joining as a Law Clerk in 1972. By 1975 he had become a partner in the firm handling a majority of the firm's criminal defense cases and litigation.
Ray is a former president of the Vermont Trial Lawyer’s Association and of the Windham County Bar Association, counsel for the Bellows Falls Village Corporation, an acting Vermont state court judge since 1975, has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations, and is a two-time recipient of an award from the Vermont Supreme Court for exceptional service to the people of Vermont.
Josh Stern joined the firm as a partner in April, 2019, after working as an associate attorney with Hoff Curtis, P.C. in Burlington, Vermont, representing clients in a wide range of matters in criminal and family court. Before that, he clerked both at this firm (then Massucco Law Office) and at Hoff Curtis, where he completed Vermont’s Four-Year Law Office Study Program.
Attorney Stern's experience in both litigation and transactional law includes motion and trial practice, and the drafting of appellate briefs to the Vermont Supreme Court, as well as real estate and title work, business formation, probate and estate planning, employment, civil litigation and municipal law.
Debra Austin graduated from the University of New Hampshire Paralegal Studies program in 1989. She joined Massucco Law Office, now Massucco & Stern, P.C., in September, 1984 and is a former member of the Vermont Paralegals Association.
Mrs. Austin resides in Westminster with her husband and enjoys spending her free time with her children and granddaughter. She is a former Boardmember of the local Westminster Area Youth Sports Association, a program promoting youth sports in the local community.
Rita brings a diverse educational and experiential background to her work. With a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology and a Master of Fine Arts from Marywood University in Scranton, PA, she is a longtime artist and a dedicated member of the local arts community. Her wide-ranging career includes positions in banking management and operations, court-reporting proofreading, and arts instruction, and for the last seven years she has worked as a legal assistant and office administrator at multiple law firms. She joined Massucco & Stern in June of 2019, and has quickly become an invaluable member of the team.
Rita lives among the backwoods and dirt roads of Chester, Vermont, where she practices a contemplative and creative lifestyle.
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