James J Dunn

Join us Saturday, September 28th as James J. Dunn reads and discusses his book Breach of Trust: The Ethics Scandal that Challenged the Integrity of the Vermont Judiciary chronicling the ethics scandal that shook the roots of the Vermont judiciary and led to Chittenden County Assistant Judge Jane Wheel becoming the first and only Vermont judge ever charged with a criminal felony.


James took his first job out of law school in 1974 with Vermont Legal Aid. In 1981 Dunn joined the administration of Burlington’s newly-elected mayor, Bernie Sanders, where he served as an assistant city attorney, personnel director and chief labor negotiator

He returned to his private law practice in 1992 and spent the next twenty-five years serving as general counsel to many municipal and private sector labor unions before retiring in 2016. He lives in Burlington, where he serves on the Burlington Police Commission.


Praise for Breach of Trust:

“A masterful piece of work! It is a story that ought not to be forgotten and I am very glad Dunn has been so diligent and determined to bring it to light.”-Jeffrey Amestoy, former Attorney General and retired Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court

“Breach of Trust is an important book, because today so little is known about Judge Wheel and the lessons to be learned from her reign. An excellent contribution to Vermont judicial history, Well-written and entertaining, “Breach of Trust” is a must read for Vermont attorneys and those concerned about our system of justice.”-James Morse, retired Vermont Supreme Court Justice