The Honorable Colleen A. Brown, Biography
COLLEEN A. BROWN
HON. COLLEEN A. BROWN has served as the Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Vermont since April 10, 2000. Judge Brown received a B.A., cum laude, with honors in philosophy, from Colgate University in 1979, and a J.D., cum laude, from the University of Buffalo Law School in 1983. Prior to beginning her judicial service, Judge Brown was a partner in the law firm of Lawrence, Werner, Kesselring, Swartout & Brown, LLP, where her practice focused on bankruptcy, debtors’ and creditors’ rights, foreclosure, workouts, and matrimonial-bankruptcy issues. She previously served as law clerk to Hon. Beryl E. McGuire, Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of New York, as the Estate Administrator in that court, as the Assistant United States Trustee for the Western District of New York, and as in-house counsel to The Canandaigua National Bank and Trust Company. Since being appointed to the bench, Judge Brown has served as a member of the First Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (2002 – 2003); a member of the Russian American Rule of Law Consortium and instructor in Karelia on topics related to American bankruptcy law and commercial advocacy skills (2003-2004); the Second Circuit representative to the Bankruptcy Judges Advisory Group for the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts (2004-2007); a member of the Vermont Bar Association’s Professionalism Roundtable (2008 – 2012); a member of the Federal-State Law Council for the District of Vermont (2004- present); the Chair of Vermont’s first Rule of Law Conference in 2008; and Chair of the Federal Judges’ Committee of the National Association of Women Judges (2012-present). Judge Brown has been a member of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges since her appointment to the bench, and has served in several leadership roles in the NCBJ including as Second Circuit representative to the Board of Governors (2010- present), as a member of the NCBJ Education Committee (2007-2008 and 2011-2012), as Chair of the NCBJ’s US Trustee Liaison Committee (2005-2011), as Chair of the NCBJ’s National Association of Women Judges Liaison Committee (2013-present), and as a member of the NCBJ President’s Special Task Force for Cost Containment. Judge Brown is also an active member of the Vermont Bar Association and the American Bankruptcy Institute, and is a frequent lecturer at legal education programs. She is an author for Collier on Bankruptcy, 15th edition revised, and an associate editor for the American Bankruptcy Law Journal. Judge Brown was the recipient of the New York State Bar Association's President's Pro Bono Service Award in 1992 and the Vermont Bar Association’s Pro Bono Service Award in 2006. She and her family reside in Middlebury, Vermont.