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James A. Valente

Criminal defense Attorney at Brattleboro, VT

5.0   2 reviews
Free consultation
Free consultation
  • Licensed for 12 years
    State VT
    Acquired 2011
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About James

Learn James’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Criminal defense
    I started my career as a "conflict counsel," assigned to cases where the public defender had a conflict. I tried many cases large and small to verdict, and developed an understanding of how to defend in a wide variety of situations. Now that I do private defense work, I have much more time to pursue investigation, novel theories of defense, and to spend valuable time with the client.

    11 years, 250 cases

  2. Personal injury
    Since I've reduced the amount of criminal work I do, I've increased my personal injury caseload. It may sound odd, but the trial skills developed in criminal court (utilizing the rules of evidence, making quick decisions on your feet) are perfect for civil trial work, too. It's been very rewarding to help injured people get what they're entitled to from those who are too irresponsible or greedy to treat them fairly.

    11 years, 30 cases

  3. Divorce and separation
    Divorces are hard for those going through them as well as their lawyer. A person going through a divorce faces the loss of everything they've worked for, time with their children, and an order that can impact their life for years to come. I am not a "bulldog." In my experience, that type of advocacy leads to less resolution, increased attorney's fees, mutual contempt, and it is no more effective (and much less credible) in a courtroom.

    11 years, 75 cases

  4. Wrongful death
    I am grateful, in a sense, that death cases are so rare. They demand a great deal of care, and even a great result, in our system, is worthless on its face, because compensating someone for the loss of a loved one is not possible. That said, there is great value in accountability. Pursuing wrongful death suits allows a family to force those who intentionally or negligently take the life of another to stop making excuses and take responsibility - and there is great value in that.

    11 years, 5 cases

  5. DUI and DWI
    I've always done a good deal of DUI defense. It is a fairly specific field that requires an understanding of the science of field sobriety tests, the Datamaster breathalyzer machine, and the way a body interacts with alcohol and other medications. Driving is very important and the potential suspension that comes with a DUI conviction has the potential to change a client's life. I take these cases very seriously and work hard to avoid impact on the client's life.

    11 years, 75 cases

  6. Litigation
    I've done lead poisoning cases. Restraining orders. I represented two different dogs (through their owners, of course) who municipalities sought to kill. I could go on, but there is a character limit. I enjoy helping people in all kinds of disputes, and our firm's model (all of us have a hand in every case, so you get the benefit of all of our experience, and always have someone to talk to) is very adaptable.

    11 years, 50 cases


I enjoy trying cases.  There are fewer and fewer lawyers who go to trial regularly, and I think it's important because every trip to court makes me a better lawyer, and opponents will be more likely to resolve a case favorably if they're worried about our firm's ability to organize the facts and make a persuasive presentation.  

I do civil litigation, personal injury, divorce, and criminal defense (both minor and major).  I also get involved with litigation that isn't easily categorized (town ordinance issues, worker's compensation claims, restraining orders, etc.)  

I am the president of Costello, Valente & Gentry, P.C., where I've worked since 2006.  We offer free consultations in all kinds of matters.  When we take a case, we use a team-based approach which means that the combined wisdom of all our lawyers helps every single client, and that every client can get in touch with us when they need to.  

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Contact James

James A. Valente
51 Putney Road
PO Box 483
Brattleboro, VT, 05301


5.0 / 5.0
  2 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by John | May 23, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent laywer
I hired James for an unusual case and he was superb. He listened...REALLY listened, then he asked questions, presented multiple options and allowed me to make the decision on the course of action. Once I did, he methodically prepared prior to court. He compiled evidence, established timelines and culled the information according to how pertinent and impactful it would be. In court he was articulate and firm without being overly aggressive. During cross examination he showed how, when and where the plaintiff had lied. I received an outcome beyond what I hoped for. While the circumstances of hiring James were tough, his work was beyond reproach. I highly recommend him.
Read less
Posted by Matthew | April 20, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
James is excellent
James helped me out with a criminal defense situation that was causing me a lot of anxiety. He explained the problems, gave me a range of options, and helped advise me on a way to resolve the case without major impact on my life.


  • Free Consultation 120 minutes
  • Hourly Rates $ 225-300 per hour
  • Contingency 25%-33%
  • Pro bono 5 %
  • Retainer Sometimes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • President
  • Costello, Valente & Gentry, P.C.
  • 2013 - Present
  • Lawyer
  • Costello, Valente & Gentry, P.C.
  • 2011 - Present
  • Law Clerk
  • Costello, Valente & Gentry, P.C.
  • 2006 - 2011


  • Drew University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 2006

Legal Cases

  • Lott v. O'Neill, 2017 VT 11.
  • Success at lower level affirmed.
  • State v. Mottolese, 199 Vt. 470 (2015)
  • Successful reversal.
  • State v. Tuma, 194 Vt. 345 (2013).
  • Success at lower level affirmed.
View all legal cases


  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member
  • 2017 - Present
  • Vermont Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division
  • Board Member
  • 2016 - Present
  • National College of DUI Defense
  • Member
  • 2016 - Present
  • Vermont Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Treasurer
  • 2015 - Present
  • Vermont Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2011 - Present
  • Vermont Association for Justice
  • Member
  • 2011 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2017
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • National Trial Lawyers
  • 2017
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2016
  • 40 Under 40
  • National Trial Lawyers
  • 2016
  • Rising Star
  • Vermont Business Magazine
  • 2016
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2015
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • National Trial Lawyers
  • 2015
View all awards


  • Vermont Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Newsletter
  • Good News and Bad News in the Age of Facebook
  • 2017

Attorney endorsements

Received (2)
Given (4)
Endorse James
Criminal defense Attorney | Dec 22
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I was co-counsel on a case with Mr. Valente recently in a Brattleboro criminal court. The charges against our client were very serious. James was incredibly diligent, well beyond any co-counsel I'd ever encountered. He is well-respected in the community and there is little doubt the State respects his presence in court."
Litigation Attorney | Jun 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"James is an excellent and knowledgeable attorney. He is also an accomplished leader in the Vermont Bar. I endorse James in civil litigation, personal injury, divorce, and criminal defense."
Criminal defense
Medical malpractice
Personal injury