A two-year judicial vacancy at the U.S. Middle District Court on West Third Street ended Friday when the U.S. Senate confirmed Bradford County attorney Matthew Brann to be the next full-time federal judge.
Brann was waiting since May when he was nominated by President Barack Obama and the Senate judiciary committee gave its approval to Brann and U.S. District magistrate judge Malachy Mannion soon afterward.
There's been a vacancy of a sitting judge at the federal courthouse, 240 W. Fourth St., since the deaths of 96-year-old Senior U.S. District Judge Malcolm Muir in summer of 2011 and Senior U.S. District Judge James F. McClure in 2010, who died at age 79.
Since that time, visiting judges have filled the role, presiding over criminal cases and ruling on civil matters.
Following the Senate vote, U.S. Sens. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, and Pat Toomey, R-Zionsville, expressed how pleased they were for Williamsport to finally have a judge.
Both senators said they worked in a bipartisan way to recommend and confirm the judicial candidate.
"Brann has a wealth of legal experience gained from more than two decades in private practice," Toomey said.
Casey said he considered Brann's experience to be "impressive," a demonstration of a "commitment to the community."
Attempts to reach Brann were not successful but earlier in the year he told the Sun-Gazette he considered nomination to the post to be an honor.
A partner at Brann, Williams, Caldwell & Sheetz in Troy and Canton, Brann has worked in civil trial litigation, corporate and commercial transactions, probate and estate planning, and general real estate transactions. He is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University's Dickinson School of Law and earned a bachelor's degree from Notre Dame University.
During his spare time, Brann serves on boards of a number of charitable and civic organizations, including the Lions Club, Boy Scouts of America, the Martha Lloyd School, Guthrie Health, the Endless Mountain Music Festival, the Elmira City Club and the Wheel Inn.
Brann and his wife, Laura, have two sons, John and Peter.