TROY - The only thing that stands now between local attorney Matthew Brann and a federal judgeship is a final U.S. Senate vote.

Back in May, President Barack Obama nominated Brann and U.S. Magistrate Judge Malachy E. Mannion to fill two judicial vacancies on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Brann practices law in the Troy-Canton area.

According to a news release from the office of U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Brann and Mannion were approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in July. Now, they await full Senate confirmation. If confirmed, Brann will sit in the U.S. Courthouse & Federal Office Building in Williamsport. Back in June, Toomey introduced the two nominees at their Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing. Currently, the Senate is in recess.

On Aug. 14 in Williamsport, Toomey "highlighted the importance of confirming a new U.S. District Court judge to sit in Williamsport," Toomey's office noted.

"With respect to the Middle District, one of the highest priorities for me is that we have a candidate who is going to sit in Williamsport," Sen. Toomey said in the news release. "This is an important community, an important county."

Sens. Toomey and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) collaborated to recommend Brann and Mannion, Toomey's office noted.

"I'm pleased that the Judiciary Committee has voted in favor of the judicial nominations Malachy Mannion and Matthew Brann," Sen. Casey had said in a July news release. "Both nominees were selected through a bipartisan process that included myself, Sen. Toomey and the administration. Malachy Mannion and Matthew Brann will make excellent judges and I'm hopeful that the full Senate will soon vote in favor of these nominations in a bipartisan fashion."

"Matthew Brann has a wealth of legal experience gained from more than two decades in private practice, and I look forward to seeing him on the federal bench in Williamsport soon," Sen. Toomey stated in the July news release. "Malachy Mannion has served honorably for more than a decade as a U.S. District magistrate judge, and his intellect, experience and knowledge of the law will serve him well in his new role. I hope the Senate will confirm these qualified, experienced nominees in a timely manner."

Toomey's office provided the following description of Brann:

"Matthew Brann is currently a partner at Brann, Williams, Caldwell & Sheetz, where he has worked since 1991 on civil trial litigation, corporate and commercial transactions, probate and estate planning, and general real estate transactions. Before joining the firm, he served as a law clerk to Bradford County Court of Common Pleas Judge John C. Mott."

"He serves on the boards of a number of charitable and civic organizations, including the Lions Club, the Boy Scouts of America, the Martha Lloyd School, Guthrie Health, the Five Rivers Council, the Endless Mountain Music Festival, the Elmira City Club, and the Wheel Inn."

"Brann graduated from the Pennsylvania State University's Dickinson School of Law in 1990. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1987. Brann and his wife, Laura, have two sons, John and Peter."

Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: reviewtroy@thedailyreview.com.