James Stuart Holden

James Stuart Holden (January 29, 1914November 18, 1996) was an American attorney and judge. He served as an associate justice and chief justice of the Vermont Supreme Court and later on the federal United States District Court for the District of Vermont.


Born in Bennington, Vermont, Holden received an A.B. from Dartmouth College in 1935 and an LL.B. from Albany Law School in 1938. He was in private practice in Bennington from 1938 to 1941. He was in the United States Army during World War II, serving from 1941 to 1945 and achieving the rank of major in the U.S. Infantry. He returned to private practice in Bennington from 1945 to 1948, and was also a state's attorney of Bennington County, Vermont from 1947 to 1948. He was Chairman of the Vermont Public Service Commission from 1948 to 1949. He was a judge on the Vermont Superior Court from 1949 to 1956, and then served on the Vermont Supreme Court, as an associate justice from 1956 to 1963, and as chief justice from 1963 to 1972.[1]

On November 11, 1971, Holden was nominated by President Richard Nixon to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Vermont vacated by James L. Oakes. Holden was confirmed by the United States Senate on November 23, 1971, and received his commission on November 30, 1971. He served as chief judge from 1972 to 1983, assuming senior status on January 29, 1984. Holden served in that capacity until his death, in Longwood, Florida. He was buried at Park Lawn Cemetery in Bennington.


Legal offices
Preceded by
James L. Oakes
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Vermont
Succeeded by
Franklin S. Billings, Jr.
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