About Us

The seven permanent staff at Grossman & Ripps bring over 100 years of experience working in the law to serving our clients’ legal needs.

Dan GrossmanDaniel F. Grossman

Dan started the practice in 1982. He was graduated in 1971 from Brown University and in 1980, cum laude, from Vermont Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Vermont Law Review. Dan was admitted to practice in Vermont in 1980 and in New Hampshire in 1981. For over 30 years, one of the foundations of Dan’s practice has been real estate title searches, closings, purchases, and sales.

The other main focus of the practice has been common-sense estate planning for middle-class clients and the administration of the estates of those same clients. 

Dan is a member of both the Vermont and New Hampshire Bar Associations.

Thetford, Vt., has been Dan’s home since 1972. He and his wife, Dana Cook Grossman, an editor and writer, raised their two now-grown daughters there, on a tree farm at the end of a dead-end dirt road; nowadays, they enjoy sharing their woods with their four grandchildren.

For over four decades, Dan and Dana have participated in the full range of small-town civic and volunteer activities. Dan served as president of the Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society, as moderator of the Thetford School District, and as a Thetford Academy trustee. In addition, he led the creation of the 5-kilometer Woods Trail at Thetford Academy in 1990 and 1991 and for the next 13 years was the meet director of all the cross-country events held on it. In recognition of his role in establishing and perpetuating this major community resource, the trail was named in his honor in 2010. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of high school and college students and community members have walked, run, and skied on the Dan Grossman Woods Trail.

Dan now serves the region as a volunteer photographer — taking 100,000 photographs a year for area nonprofits, from high school plays and sporting events to productions of the regional City Center Ballet Company to fundraisers that benefit the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth and Dartmouth’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

Dan may be reached at dg@dg123.com.

Markell RippsMarkell J. Ripps

Markell started working in the office upon her graduation in 2010 from Vermont Law School, after doing a third-year externship with the practice. She holds two degrees from the school — a J.D., cum laude, and a master’s of environmental law and policy, magna cum laude. Markell was also a staff editor and head notes editor of the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law and cochair of the school’s Arborist Society. Markell earned her undergraduate degree at Cornell University, majoring in natural resources and minoring in law and society. Markell is admitted to practice law in both Vermont and New Hampshire and is a member of the bar associations in both states.

Markell handles much of the estate planning and estate administration in the office. She also works on real estate transactions, small business and landlord-tenant matters, and guardianships. Markell is currently a member of the board of directors of Vital Communities, a nonprofit that links citizens, organizations, and municipalities to make the region a vital place to live, work, and play. In addition, she serves on the board of the Upper Valley Young Professionals, a group aimed at connecting young professionals with one another and with the community; she has been active with the organization since its founding in 2012, including as cochair and then chair of its board of directors.

Markell grew up on a small farm in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts and spent every summer at a family camp on a lake in New Hampshire. She now lives with her husband, Jack Kauders, in Thetford, Vt., where they garden and raise chickens, goats, and two alpacas named Ben and Jerry.

Markell may be reached at mr@dg123.com.

Cara E. Albert

Cara joined the office in April 2017, after five years of experience practicing with two other Upper Valley law firms. A 2012 graduate of Vermont Law School, she earned both her J.D. and a master’s of environmental law and policy there. Her undergraduate degree is from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Penna., where she majored in policy management, lettered all four years in volleyball, and captained the volleyball team her senior year. During law school and college, she also held internships and externships with the U.S. Department of Justice; the Pennsylvania State Senate; and the Lebanon, N.H., District Court.

She has a long commitment to community service as well. In college, she won Dickinson’s campus-wide leadership award for her role in helping to raise over $500,000 for a children’s literacy organization, volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, and was a nominee for the national Jimmy Carter Service Award. Since moving to the Upper Valley, she has served on the board of the Carter Community Building in Lebanon and volunteered with the Upper Valley Humane Society. She is currently the vice president of the Grafton County, N.H., Bar Association.

Cara lives in Enfield, N.H., with her husband, Kevin; their two young children; one dog; and two cats. The family enjoys the outdoors — especially hiking and boating on Mascoma Lake — and Cara also continues to play volleyball and softball recreationally.

Cara may be reached at ca@dg123.com.

Office StaffMelissa B. Maxwell

Melissa was graduated from Thetford Academy in 1998, and she joined our office in the summer of 2000. It was clear from the outset that Melissa had the skills and attitude to be an accomplished paralegal.

 Melissa has since then become indispensable in our office’s preparation of all the complex documents required for conducting real estate transactions, doing estate planning, and managing the administration of estates.

Melissa has lived her whole life in the village of Post Mills in Thetford, Vt. She now lives — with her husband, Mike; their preteen daughter; and their dog, Diesel — in the house where she grew up.

Melissa may be reached at mm@dg123.com.

Vanessa L. Kingsbury

Vanessa has worked in the legal field since taking a summer job here the summer after her sophomore year in high school, in 2004, and she continued working in the office every summer through the rest of high school and all through college. After graduating from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island in 2010 with a bachelor of science degree in paralegal studies, she worked for six years for two other Upper Valley law firms.

In 2016, she returned to Grossman & Ripps as a paralegal. She works on the drafting and execution of estate planning documents and the administration of estates, as well as assisting with real estate transactions.

A lifelong resident of the Upper Valley, Vanessa was born and raised in Post Mills, Vt., and is a 2006 graduate of Thetford Academy. She played varsity sports all through high school and for several years coached the junior varsity girls’ basketball team at Oxbow High School in Bradford, Vt. Vanessa now lives in Corinth, Vt., with her husband, Tad; their young son; and their dog, Levi.

Vanessa may be reached at vk@dg123.com.

Chelsea Mousley

Chelsea joined the practice as office administrator in November 2017, after working for several years for two locally owned banks — as a senior banker with Mascoma Savings Bank and as a personal banker with Merchants Bank. She also worked for the practice when she was in college, the summer before her senior year and during her winter break that year.

She graduated with a bachelor of fine arts in photography from SUNY Plattsburgh in 2012 and is also a graduate of Thetford Academy.

Chelsea grew up in West Fairlee and Thetford and now lives in Corinth, Vt., with her husband, Tyler, and their young daughter plus two dogs, Ranger and Raleigh, and two cats, Hamster and Don. Chelsea’s nonwork interests include photography, knitting (she sells her wares at area craft fairs and through local retailers), gardening, and snowshoeing. She and Tyler are also involved in his family’s annual maple sugaring operation.

Chelsea may be reached at cm@dg123.com.

Kristie 2

Kristie M. Wadsworth

Kristie joined the office as our bookkeeper in 2004, after working for a local bank and an auction service. Kristie grew up in northern Vermont and was graduated from Peoples Academy in Morrisville. It’s Kristie who usually greets clients as they enter our office. In addition, she handles all of our bookkeeping and does the final processing for the issuance of title insurance policies.

Kristie lives in Topsham, Vt., and has a grown daughter and son and, with her husband, Matt, two teenaged stepchildren.

Kristie may be reached at kw@dg123.com.