Judge Gray   Judge Anderson

Retiring Judges Honored at LLA Annual Banquet

Judges Anderson & Gray feted by the Lycoming bar

The year 2018 is the first since 1997 that Dudley Anderson has not been a member of the Lycoming County bench. Since 2004, Richard Gray served on the bench with Judge Anderson, but he too will retire from active service in mid 2018. On January 16, 2018, the bar, judges, county officials and state PBA officials gathered to honor these two distinguished public servants, at the annual LLA banquet.

Highlights of Judge Anderson's life and career were the subject of a thoughtful presentation by his long-time friend, Mike Collins. He related how freshman Dudley Anderson first experienced Lycoming County as a freshman at Lycoming College in 1964. There he played basketball under coach Ron Travis, a recently departed member of the LLA.

He then served 2 years in the Army special services. He was in Viet Nam, and boxed for the Army.

Judge AndersonAfter his war service, Dudley obtained his juris doctor degree from Widener University School of Law in 1975. He returned to Williamsport, and through the intervention of Judge Charles Greevy, was able to land a job with Jim Wollet (who later became judge) a practice where he continued until he became Judge in 1988. While in private practice, he also served in Williamsport City Council.

After he became Judge he was well respected within and outside of the county. Judge Anderson served on the statewide ethics commission and was president of the Pennsylvania Trial Judge's Association.

Mike Collins concluded by complementing the judge for the way he treated attorneys; he never forgot what it was like to be an attorney. He also never lost his sense of humor. Judge Anderson was, "basically a good and decent person who happened to end up as a judge."

Judge Anderson's poignant "response" was well received by the crowd. He commented that he was "born under some sort of lucky star that brought me here." He worked with some of the finest judges in the state, during his tenure. His comments received a standing ovation.

Judge Gray was introduced by his former law partner, Ed Mitchell. He noted that Richard Gray was a local boy, having graduated from Loyalsock Township High School in 1966. He played baseball and football, sang in the Glee Club and was the sports editor for the school paper.

He graduated from Penn State University in 1970, Phi Beta Kappa. Of course, those were the Viet Nam War years, and so Rick served two years in the Army.

Judge GrayOn return from active duty, Rick attended Dickenson School of Law, graduating in 1975.  Upon graduating, he joined Commonwealth Court's first President Judge James Bowman, as his law clerk.

Lycoming County called, and he returned to join the Mitchell & Mitchell law firm, where he practiced until elected judge in 2003.

Before being elected judge, he served 12 years as president of the Montoursville Area School District Board of Directors. There he was known as a peace keeper and an consensus builder. He also raised a family, which included 15 years as a girls soccer coach.

During his judicial tenure, Judge Gray entered unfamiliar territory, rather quickly. Despite practicing in the field of civil litigation before becoming judge, his first assignment was in family court. He has been able to successfully navigate that area of law as well as criminal, juvenile, Orphan's Court and finally, civil court.

Judge Gray's tenure was marked by the mortgage crisis brought on by the banking crash of 2008. He implemented the Lycoming County Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion program to deal with the record number of foreclosures occurring in the County at time. The program processed some 248 mortgage claims and successfully reduced the number of homes lost to foreclosure.

Judge Gray humorously noted that his successful tenure was made so by "wonderful law clerks" who served him over the years. "They could just prop me up in that chair" and his courtroom would continue to operate.

One of the challenges of his service was learning "social work" which is something he was not trained to do.

Judge Gray was also greeted with a standing ovation when he concluded his remarks.

Both Judges were presented with tear shaped crystals to commemorate their service.