District Judge J. Garvan Murtha
Hon. J. Garvan Murtha
P.O. Box 760
Brattleboro, VT 05302-0760
J. Garvan Murtha is a Federal District Judge for the United States District Court for the District
of Vermont. At the time of his appointment as a District Judge in 1995, he was in private practice with
the Brattleboro firm of Kristensen, Cummings & Murtha. He served as Chief Judge from the time of his
appointment until 2002 when he was succeeded by Chief Judge William K. Sessions III.
Judge Murtha earned his B.A. degree in 1963 from Yale University; his L.L.B. degree in 1968
from the University of Connecticut Law School; and an LL.M. degree in 1972 from Georgetown
University Law Center, where he was the recipient of an E. Barrett Prettyman Fellowship.
Prior to entering law school, Judge Murtha was a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia from
1963 to 1965.
From 1968 to 1970 as part of the Prettyman Fellowship, he served as a Public Defender in
Washington, D.C. Upon moving to Vermont, he served as a Deputy State’s Attorney in Windham
County from 1970 to 1973; and was a private practitioner from 1973 until his judicial appointment in
Judge Murtha has been a member of the Second Circuit Judicial Council since his appointment
and a member of the Standing Committee on the Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial
Conference of the United States since 1999, chairing its Style Subcommittee. He was a member of the
Vermont Judicial Nominating Board from 1980 to 1986; Chair of the Vermont Commission on Low-
Level Nuclear Waste from 1987 to 1990; and a member of the Vermont Professional Conduct Board
from 1993 to 1995. He is a bencher of the American Inns of Court, Southern Vermont Chapter.