Dauphin County Court judge to leave bench in August

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Judge Bruce Bratton

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. – Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas Judge Bruce F. Bratton who announced his retirement Thursday is leaving the bench for personal and family reasons effective August 31, according to court President Judge Richard A. Lewis.

Judge Bratton, a Republican, was appointed to the bench by Governor Tom Ridge in 2001 to fill the vacancy of retired judge Clarence C. Morrison. He was elected to a full, 10-year term of office later that year and won retention in 2011. Bratton served as Civil Calendar Judge and presided over civil, family, criminal and Orphans Court matters. Lewis said that Bratton “carved a reputation as an able, insightful and fair jurist, and possessed a special talent for putting pen to paper in a concise, persuasive and often elegant fashion.”

Judge Bratton, a Viet Nam veteran, founded the county’s highly successful Veterans Court in 2010, and has continued to preside over the specialty court since its inception.

“His passionate interest in the problems and issues involving veterans entangled in the criminal court system, often accompanied and complicated by drug, alcohol and mental health concerns, served as an inspiration for all of us to recognize the importance of creating new approaches to deal with issues of addiction and mental health throughout our court system,” Lewis stated. Lewis further commented that Bratton will likely continue service part time as a Senior Judge.

He graduated from Penn State University in 1973 and the University of Pennsylvania School of Law in 1976. Judge Bratton was stationed in the Republic of Viet Nam during his U.S. Army service from 1969 – 1970. Prior to becoming a judge, he practiced law with the Harrisburg firm of Martsolf and Bratton from his admission to the Bar in 1976.