HON. COLLEEN A. BROWN has served as the Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Vermont since April 10, 2000, and was reappointed to a second 14-year term October 2014. 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, both 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 Vermont Bar Association’s Professionalism Roundtable, Chair of the Federal-State Law Council for the District of Vermont, Chair of Vermont’s first Rule of Law Conference; Chair of the Federal Judges’ Committee of the National Association of Women Judges. Judge Brown has been very active in the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges since her appointment to the bench, including as the Second Circuit representative to the Board of Governors, a member of two NCBJ Education Committees, Chair of the NCBJ’s U.S. Trustee Liaison Committee, Chair of the NCBJ’s Liaison Committee to the National Association of Women Judges, and Chair of the NCBJ President’s Special Task Force for Cost Containment. She is also Chair of the leadership development committee of her church and a member of the Board of Hunger Free Vermont.
Judge Brown is also an author for Collier on Bankruptcy, 15th edition revised, an associate editor for the American Bankruptcy Law Journal, and frequently lectures on consumer and farm bankruptcy law. 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.