byYork County Bar Association & Compiled by J. Ross McGinnis
Book Cover & Preview Text
JUDGE CLARENCE N. PATTERSON, JR. – NOVEMBER 2011
IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF YORK COUNTY,
THE HONORABLE STEPHEN P. LINEBAUGH, PRESIDENT JUDGE
THE HONORABLE SHERYL ANN DORNEY, JUDGE
THE HONORABLE JOHN S. KENNEDY, JUDGE
THE HONORABLE JOHN W. THOMPSON, JR., JUDGE
THE HONORABLE GREGORY M. SNYDER, JUDGE
THE HONORABLE RICHARD K. RENN, JUDGE
THE HONORABLE THOMAS H. KELLEY, VI, JUDGE
THE HONORABLE MICHAEL E. BORTNER, JUDGE
THE HONORABLE JOSEPH C. ADAMS, JUDGE
THE HONORABLE HARRY M. NESS, JUDGE
THE HONORABLE ANDREA MARCECA STRONG, JUDGE
THE HONORABLE CRAIG T. TREBILCOCK, JUDGE
THE HONORABLE JOHN C. UHLER, SENIOR JUDGE
P R O C E E D I N G S of the Bench and Bar of York County, Pennsylvania
Upon the Death of
T H E H O N O R A B L E C L A R E N C E N. P A T T E R S O N, J R.
Friday, June 22, 2012
PRESIDENT JUDGE STEPHEN P. LINEBAUGH:
Good morning, everyone. I want to welcome all of you to this Minute of Respect
for our departed colleague, The Honorable Clarence “Chuck” N. Patterson, Jr.
I would ask that everyone who is going to speak, please use the microphone.
And I would request that you state your name before you begin remarks for the
record so that we know who is making the various remarks.
The first thing we want to do is to recognize The Honorable John C. Uhler,
former president judge of the 19th Judicial District of Pennsylvania and the current
president of the York County Bar Association. Judge Uhler.
SENIOR JUDGE JOHN C. UHLER:
President Judge Linebaugh, colleagues, members of the bar and friends of the
late Clarence “Chuck” Patterson, Jr., it is my duty — How would you like me
PRESIDENT JUDGE STEPHEN P. LINEBAUGH:
I think to face the audience. We’ll ask all the speakers to do that. Since the
microphone is here, I think it’s more appropriate for the speakers to be addressing
the audience. So we’ll excuse everyone’s —
SENIOR JUDGE JOHN C. UHLER:
Everyone’s backside. By tradition, the president of the York County Bar Association
presents to the Court the formal notice of the passing of one of our late colleagues.
In that respect, it is my sad duty to report to the bench the loss of our colleague,
Clarence Nicholas “Chuck” Patterson, Jr., who passed away on November
21, 2011. The Honorable Joseph C. Adams will be presenting the initial motion and
Minute, and thereafter those who wish to second the Minute will be invited to do
so. Judge Adams.
THE HONORABLE JOSEPH C. ADAMS:
May it please the Court, President Judge Linebaugh, members and colleagues
of the bench, members of the York County Bar, family and friends of Judge Patterson,
it is with the greatest sorrow that I formally announce the passing of our member,
The Honorable Clarence Nicholas Patterson, Jr., more affectionately known to
his family, friends and colleagues as Chuck.
Judge Patterson passed away unexpectedly on Monday, November 21, 2011, in
the early afternoon after having presided over a busy morning docket.
Judge Patterson was born in Roanoke, Virginia on September 1, 1949, to the
late Clarence N. Patterson, Sr., and Juanita Jackson Patterson. He graduated from
the Lucy Addison High School with honors in 1967. He then went on to graduate
from the Oberlin College in Ohio as part of the class of 1971. Judge Patterson
graduated from law school in 1976 from the Indiana University School of Law.
At the time of his death, Judge Patterson was the widower of Cecelia Stone
Patterson. Left to mourn his loss were three sons, Nick, Damon and Khamal, and
he was a proud grandfather of five grandchildren.
I had the great fortune of working with Chuck on two separate occasions, first
in the district attorney’s office and then as a colleague on the bench. I to this day
can remember my first encounter with him. It’s often said that you will over time
forget what people say to you, but you will never forget how they made you feel.
My first day of work in the DA’s office, as was custom at the time, I was taken
around to meet each of the prosecutors in their office. Each would give you a few
words of wisdom, and then you would go on your way.
As you can expect, on my first day I was
very nervous and apprehensive. I went into
Chuck’s office. I was actually taken there by
Judge Kelley, and I met with him. For the life
of me I cannot remember what he said to me,
but I can tell you I’ll never forget how he made
He was one of the most kind, gracious, warm
people that I have ever met. As we all know, he
had a deep, wonderful voice. His demeanor and
personality quickly put me at ease. And when I
left his office, I was no longer apprehensive or
nervous. To the contrary, I was ready to begin
the practice of law.
During my time in the DA’s office, Chuck
was always available to talk. He never brushed
you aside or told you to come back later. He never
gave you the impression that you were not important.
Whatever he was doing, he put it aside
and answered your question.
In responding, he wouldn’t give you a
cursory answer. He would give a measured response.
He’d first think about it, ask you your
thoughts, and then give you an answer. And he
always did it with a smile.
I left the DA’s office in 1998, and Judge Patterson
stayed there for several more years prosecuting
some of the most horrific crimes York
County has ever seen. He was incredible in the
courtroom. He was born to try cases, and he was
at his absolute best giving a closing argument. I
thoroughly enjoyed sitting in this room watching
him give closing arguments to a jury.
Our paths, fortunately, crossed again in
2008 when Judge Patterson took the bench. Fortunately, he was assigned to the
family division and in particular to juvenile matters, which was also my assignment.
In this assignment he really excelled. After a few years he was offered the opportunity
to move to the working with juveniles, and he did.
The bench and the bar of York County lost one of its finest. Judge Patterson
will always remain very much alive in the memories of those who loved him, respected
and treasured him. Thank you.
York County Bar Association & Compiled by J. Ross McGinnis
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About the Book
A compelling series of insightful biographical sketches of the men and women of the York County Bar commencing eleven years before the start of the Civil War as recounted by contemporaries and colleagues. Candid, sincere, honest, and on occasion with a touch of comic relief, these memorial minutes are tributes to those who have made their rendezvous with mortality.
Found within these volumes is the venerable Jeremiah S. Black who walked the corridors of national recognition during the Civil War era; the urbane and brilliant Herbert B. Cohen who wielded substantial political power throughout the commonwealth and rose to become an associate justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court; and the charismatic Harvey Gross whose superb advocacy in the third Hex trial and subsequent twenty-year tenure on the York County Orphans’ Court placed him in the forefront of the princes of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence.
This “callout” of the giants in no way diminishes the significance, commitment, and integrity of the many other remarkable individuals who came after and counseled and inspired others to live honestly, to exercise compassion, and to act with prudence and diligence, and above all else made their contribution to the vast and diverse panorama of our humanity.
Not a typical memoir or story, these memorial minutes constitute the defining epic of the York County Bar. More than history, more than recitals of character and personality, and more than delightful encounters and more somber content, they are about individuals remembered for the richness and power of their hopes, achievements, and commitments to the timeless values of the life of the law.
About the Author
Compiled and forward by J. ROSS MCGINNIS. J. Ross McGinnis, attorney and author of “Trials of Hex,” was born in 1928 and was raised on a farm in southern York County. After graduating from Fawn Township Vocational High School in 1944, he attended York Collegiate Institute/York Junior College for one year. He then went to Princeton University, graduating in 1949 summa cum laude, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and awarded the Lawrence Hutton Prize in History, and was the co-recipient of the C.O. Jolene Prize in American Political History for his thesis on Henry Adams, the Sequence of the Democratic Force. He graduated from the Harvard Law School in 1952 and was given a direct commission in the U.S. Air Force. He became a staff judge advocate and, after two years, was discharged with the rank of Captain. Since 1954, he has been a practicing attorney in York County. He was President of the York County Bar, Moderator of Donegal Presbytery, and a life member of the Salvation Army. He is currently “of counsel” for the law firm of Stock and Leader in York, Pennsylvania.