Patricia Gabel is retiring as a state court administrator after serving fifteen years in the Vermont Justice Department
Gabel is credited with working to modernize the judiciary and improve access to justice
Patricia Gabel, the Vermont Justice Department clerk, will retire from her current position in late December after serving fifteen years in the courts and eight years as clerk. Gabel becomes the first woman to serve as a Vermont state court administrator.
The Court Administrator is the CEO of the Justice Department and works under the direction of the Vermont Supreme Court. During her tenure in the judiciary, Gabel has served under Chief Justice Paul Reiber and nine associate judges, and heads a judiciary that consists of nearly 400 staff and law enforcement officers on a budget in excess of $ 50 million.
During her tenure, Gabel is credited with overseeing the extensive stakeholder consultation process that resulted in historic judicial restructuring laws and sponsoring several major modernization projects that improve access through the use of technology to support electronic filing and case management to the courts and remote video listening. She also advocated the establishment of a new center that will assist litigants and others who will benefit from specialized courts, including voice access services.
“It has been a great privilege and a true honor to serve Vermont all these years and to do a job that is vital to the lives of all Vermonters,” said Gabel. “In our work together, we have tackled many significant projects to develop into a more modern and efficient branch of government. As we face the rest of the pandemic and its impact on our operations, we face greater challenges. I believe now is the time for fresh leadership and new ideas to take the judiciary to the next level in the continuous improvement of our business. I know that the team is in good hands and I will cheer them on in their work. “
Scott Griffith, a veteran of Justice in Texas, Louisiana, and Vermont, will stand in as Interim Court Administrator. Griffith holds a doctorate in law from Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans and has served the Vermont Justice Department as Chief of Planning and Court Services since 2019.
“On behalf of the court, I would like to congratulate Patti on an amazing career and thank her for her service to the judiciary and the state of Vermont,” said Paul Reiber, chairman of the Vermont Supreme Court. “During her tenure as Administrator, we faced perhaps the most difficult challenges in the history of the Vermont judicial system. With dedication to improving the dishes, she has repeatedly grappled with the complex problems and found a way. The progress we have made would not have been possible without their tremendous commitment. In particular, we appreciate the hard work she has put in managing the operations in the face of COVID-19 and wish her all the best for her next chapter. On behalf of the court, I would also like to thank Scott Griffith for agreeing to take on this interim role. We know he has the skills and experience to guide us at this time and advance the vital work of the judiciary as we conduct a national search to hire a permanent state court administrator, ”he added.
Prior to working in the judiciary, Gabel worked as an attorney and businessperson in Vermont, Montreal and New York, including ten years as a partner in Vermont’s largest law firm. She is a Fellow of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard and has taught courses in international relations and conflict resolution in the Department of Political Science at Concordia University in Montreal. She is the founder and first president of the International Women’s Forum of Canada and the Vermont Women’s Forum, and has served as chair of the Vermont PBS board, as the first female chair of the board of Cynosure, Inc., and as a board member of many other not-for-profit organizations. She plans to keep working and looking for new ways to serve Vermont.