September 17, 2021

Chief Superior Judge for the Trial Courts, Brian Grearson to Retire

Judge Thomas Zonay Appointed to Fill the Position

The Vermont Supreme Court has announced that the current Chief Superior Judge for the trial courts, Brian Grearson, has tendered notice of his retirement effective November 1, 2021. The Court has selected Superior Judge Thomas A. Zonay of Hartland to succeed Judge Grearson upon his retirement.

After practicing law in Barre for almost 30 years Judge Grearson was appointed as a Superior Judge in 2004. In 2014 he was  appointed Chief Superior Judge by the Vermont Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Paul Reiber thanked Judge Grearson for his service to Vermont.

“On behalf of the Court, I want to extend my sincere appreciation to Judge Grearson for his hard work on behalf of the Court and throughout his tireless efforts to address the many challenges we have faced. Vermont’s judiciary is a vital institution of democracy that ensures equal justice under the law. Judge Grearson’s work in support of the courts has been distinctive, accruing to the benefit of every person in our great state. The current public health crisis has been particularly challenging and Judge Grearson has often shown the way leading with knowledge and heart toward our mission of access to justice for all. We wish him well in his retirement,” said Justice Reiber.

Judge Zonay was appointed as a Superior Judge in 2007. He practiced law in Rutland and Woodstock, Vermont, for 18 years prior to his appointment to the trial bench. Judge Zonay previously served as President of the Vermont Bar Association and the New England Bar Association. At the time of his appointment to the bench, he was the Chair of the Vermont Human Rights Commission. Judge Zonay is currently the Chair of the Vermont Sentencing Commission, as well as chair of the Criminal Rules and Judicial Education Committees. He is also a member of the National Judicial College Faculty and is the chair-elect of its faculty council.

Justice Reiber welcomed Judge Zonay to this new role.

“We are pleased to welcome Judge Zonay to this new leadership role within the courts and know he will continue the great legacy of ensuring access to justice. He is a knowledgeable, hardworking and committed public servant. I wish him all the best in his new role,” Justice Reiber concluded.

The Chief Superior Judge supervises and oversees the administrative responsibilities of the judicial officers who serve in the Superior Court of the State and of the Judicial Bureau (trial courts). The Chief Superior Judge and the State Court Administrator cooperate to ensure that the trial court system operates as efficiently and effectively as possible. The Chief Superior Judge also fulfills responsibilities established by law and other administrative responsibilities assigned from time to time by the Vermont Supreme Court, which may include providing testimony before the Legislature on issues affecting the administration of the trial courts.