Federal Judge Officially Presiding In Williamsport

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WILLIAMSPORT -- Judge Matthew Brann has been on the bench for about a month and Monday was the public ceremony to officially welcome the newly-appointed U.S. District Court judge.

In fact, he's the first judge in a few years who will be based in Williamsport's federal court.

The courtroom at the federal building in Williamsport was filled with state and federal judges, lawmakers, and dignitaries.

It's been a few years since a federal judge has been assigned to the courthouse full-time, and former attorney Matthew Brann from Bradford County is now the one in that role.

“I'm a country lawyer. Things have played out in such a way I've ended up as one of the federal judges for the middle district,” said Judge Brann.

Brann was nominated by Pennsylvania's Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey, confirmed by the Senate, and appointed to the bench by President Obama

Brann's wife and two boys helped him with his robe during the ceremony as he begins his tenure as federal judge based in Williamsport.

“It's terrific. He'll sit here in Williamsport, which has had a vacant courthouse for some time and needs a member of the federal bench,” said Senator Pat Toomey, (R) Pennsylvania.

“It's also critically important this community based here in Williamsport has a federal judge in this courthouse,” added Senator Bob Casey, (D) Pennsylvania.

Following the deaths of two long-serving judges, James McClure and Malcolm Muir, the federal courthouse in Williamsport has relied on judges based in Scranton and Harrisburg since 2010.

Now Judge Brann has taken up that mantle, at the very least, making federal court proceedings more convenient for people in north/central Pennsylvania.

“It's important this Williamsport division have a federal judge, so that the parties, litigants and attorneys don't have to travel to Scranton, or to Harrisburg, or in some cases to Wilkes-Barre to have their cases heard. So it's important you have somebody here,” said Judge Brann.

Judge Brann was an attorney in Bradford County for more than 20 years.

He says while in private practice, he dealt with many issues involving oil and natural gas development, certainly something he'll see his fair share of while on the bench in federal court in Williamsport.