Zachary Chen

Zachary began his legal practice in the Attorney General’s Office’s Criminal Division representing the State of Vermont primarily in cases investigated by a specialized State task force. He also assisted with special projects related to criminal justice, such as research on implicit bias training for law enforcement personnel.

Zachary continued his public service in the Chittenden State’s Attorney’s Office, where he prosecuted a variety of criminal matters and also represented the State in cases involving children in need of care and supervision. Zachary worked to keep the community safe by representing the State to obtain extreme risk protection orders in some of the first cases brought under Vermont’s red flag law. His service brought him before the Vermont Supreme Court to argue a case involving the First Amendment and limitations that can lawfully be imposed upon threats. When the Covid-19 pandemic brought many court operations to a standstill, Zachary adapted quickly to ensure that sensitive cases involving children’s welfare moved forward in remote hearings.

Since joining Monaghan Safar, Zachary’s portfolio has expanded from criminal and child-protection issues to include several aspects of municipal law, property taxation, land use, landlord–tenant issues, as well as employment law. Zachary brings to the firm the lessons and experiences he gained as a litigator in a high-paced environment on a diverse range of issues.

Zachary came from Chicago to Vermont to attend Middlebury College, where he majored in Chinese. After graduating, he moved to Beijing and guided hikes in the hills and along the Great Wall outside of China’s capital city. Zachary returned to the Green Mountain State to attend Vermont Law School, where he worked on the Vermont Law Review and also represented VLS at Emory University’s Civil Rights and Liberties Moot Court Competition. After graduating from Vermont Law School, Zachary completed a clerkship with the Honorable Paul Reiber, Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court.

Zachary is a member of the Vermont Bar Association. Outside of work, he enjoys climbing, running, hiking, cross-country skiing, swimming, and paddle-boarding.

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