Articles & News 2011

Judge Malcolm Muir - 2007 picnicMalcolm Stabler Muir


July 22, 2011 - Senior U.S. District Court Judge Malcolm Stabler Muir died overnight, in hospice care.  He was 96 years old and had served on the bench since 1970.  Judge Muir, one of the oldest federal judges who still worked on a daily basis, was stricken on Tuesday while at his desk.

Judge Muir, 2009 annual banquetJudge Muir was the dean of the Lycoming County Bar, having been admitted to practice in 1938.  In 1946, he started the Lycoming Reporter, which was published for some time by him without advertisements and in mimeographed form. After the Court recognized it as the official legal periodical for Lycoming County, he served as the first editor for nearly 20 years during which time he analyzed all of the local court opinions and wrote all of the syllabi. Judge Muir served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Lycoming Law Association for many years,Malcolm Muir at Harvard Law School and as its President in 1954.

Judge Muir was appointed to the federal bench in 1970, and he served as an active judge until 1984, when he took senior status.  He continued to handle trials through last year, until failing hearing limited his activities to mostly Social Security appeal cases, that he could handle in chambers.

The judge had a well deserved reputation for being a stickler for detaJudge Muir - 2007 Law Day Ceremonyil.  Early in his judgeship he began using a practice order that provided for every possible circumstance that could arise during litigation.  Attorneys who appeared before Judge Muir were well advised to follow the order, without deviation.  Ignoring the order during trial would ordinarily lead to a swift rebuke.  The practice order and the judge's custom of conducting summary jury trials as tools to encourage settlements in civil cases, have been generally adopted system-wide.

Judge Muir was very active in the Law Association and attended most of the events.  He rarely missed a picnic or annual banquet. At the 2011 annual banquet, the judge was recognized for his 40 years on the bench. 

Judge Muir influenced many generations of lawyers in Lycoming County, and was a fixture in the federal courthouse.  His presence will be sorely missed.

There will be no funeral or viewing.  A memorial service has been set for Saturday, August 13, 2011 at 10:00 AM at Trinity Episcopal Church, in Williamsport t a time to be determined.