MURRAY S. ECKELL

Phone: 1-610-565-3700 x242Email: meckell@eckellsparks.com

As head of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practice, Murray began the practice of law in the City of Chester in 1959 following his graduation from the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania. His undergraduate work was completed in 1956 at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

After practicing at the law firm of Snyder and Snyder for three years, Murray practiced alone for a short time. Thereafter, he, along with Don Sparks, formed Eckell & Sparks in the spring of 1964 which was the genesis of the present law firm. During his first 15 years of practice, Murray engaged in the general practice of law, primarily litigating commercial and personal injury cases specializing in the trial of condemnation cases. His practice gradually became restricted primarily to the areas of real estate and commercial law, and administration of decedents’ and incompetents’ estates, and Housing Authority law. Throughout the growth of the firm and from its original inception through its merger with Vadino and Auerbach, and later with Arthur Levy’s law firm, Murray was, until 2009, the chief executive officer.

His activities in the legal arena are extensive and varied. One of his principal accomplishments was his appointment by then-Governor Milton Shapp to the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in March of 1977. When his term expired, he chose to forego running for election and returned to his partners in the active practice of law.

Murray has spent many years in service to local, state and national bar associations. He served as a director and ultimately as president of the Delaware County Bar Association; has been chairman of several statewide committees of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, a member of the House of Delegates of the Pennsylvania Bar, a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association, and in 1994 was elected to the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania Bar Association for a three-year term. He has been solicitor for a number of municipal governing bodies and twice served as solicitor for the Chester Housing Authority. Over the years, his municipal clients also have included Marple Township, Springfield Township, Nether Providence School District, Chester School District and the District Justice Division Office of the Court Administrator of Delaware County. Following his tenure as judge, Murray served as special counsel to the Board of Judges for ten years. Early in his career he served as law clerk for the Honorable Leroy Van Roden in the Orphans’ Court of Delaware County and thereafter continued for a short time as judicial clerk for the then-President Judge Henry G. Sweeney. Murray has taught as an adjunct professor of law at the Penn State University, Delaware County Campus. He was a member of the panel lecturing on the art of negotiations on behalf of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and was the course planner and lecturer for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute on the subject of law office management for small and medium-sized law firms. He has received every major award available to be presented by the Delaware County Bar Association for service to the profession and has served 12 years in the disciplinary system of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

He has been a member of the Disciplinary Board by direct appointment from the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and in 1993-1994 was its chairman.

Murray and his wife, Elayne, who are both avid golfers, reside in Upper Providence.

  • "When I was sued for a significant amount of money and assets, I retained Eckell Sparks. They developed a comprehensive litigation strategy to give me the best chance of success. They were easy to get a hold of, fair with billing, and kept me regularly informed and up to date on how my case was proceeding. When we were unable to achieve a fair settlement, my lawyer was confident in taking the case to trial. In the courtroom, they were strong, articulate and persuasive. After two days of trial, we achieved a very favorable verdict and made out even better than our last settlement offer."

  • "I could not be happier with the experience I had with Eckell Sparks. My attorney walked me through the process of my discrimination suit step by step and held my hand the whole time. I had no prior experience with anything like this and they answered every one of my questions without all the fancy legal jargon. They were always accessible to me whenever I had concerns or thought of something that could be useful. From our first meeting to the last hearing, they were absolutely wonderful. This firm helped me through an awful experience with my previous employer and fought for me and what I deserved to the end. They talked me through every aspect in a way that was comfortable and like talking to an old friend. If I had to do the entire lawsuit over again, I would go with this firm."

  • "I would feel very confident with this firm's representation should I have any future matter, and I would recommend them to anyone looking for strong, quality representation."

  • Peer Review Rated
  • Main Line Today

Areas of Practice

Admitted to Practice

  • Pennsylvania

Education

  • Law School of the University of Pennsylvania,
    Juris Doctorate, 1959

Professional Memberships

  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Delaware County Bar Association

Bar Association Committees, Activities and Functions

Bar Association Committees

1965

Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee

1967

Minimum Fee Committee
Grievance Committee

1968

Minimum Fee Committee
Nominating Committee

1969

Public Relations Committee
Rules Committee
Preservation for the Right to Trial by Jury Committee
Administrative Procedure Committee

1970

Grievance Committee
Judicial Selection Committee
Preservation for the Right to Trial by Jury Committee
Trial Practices Committee
Mastership Appointment Committee

1971

Chairman, Judicial Selection Committee
Preservation for the Right to Trial by Jury Committee
Mastership Appointment Committee

1972

100th Anniversary Committee
Mastership List Committee
Medical Dental Law Committee
Committee of Unauthorized Practice of Law

1973

Economics of Law Committee
Delaware County Bench Bar Conference Committee
Mastership Appointment Committee
Medical Dental Law Committee

1974

Chairman, Economics of Law Committee
Medical Dental Law Committee
Mastership List Committee
Bench Bar Conference Committee

1975

Chairman, Economics of Law Committee
Bench Bar Committee

1980

Medical Dental Law Committee

1994

Chairman, Personnel Committee

1973-1985

Co-Chairman of the Bench Bar Conference

Offices

1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980

Board of Directors

1967

Secretary

1977

Vice President

1978

President Elect

1979

President

Pennsylvania Bar Association

1973

Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee

1979-1982

Economics of Law Committee

1980-2001

Member of the House of Delegates

1986

Judicial Administration Committee

1986-1987

Judiciary Committee – Appointed as one of a two-member subcommittee to evaluate the qualifications of a sitting justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for endorsement by the Pennsylvania Bar Association for statewide retention election in 1987

1987

Draft Committee

1988-1990

Chairman of the Judiciary Committee

1989-1991

Committee for the Alternate Dispute Resolution for Lawyers

1994-1997

Member of the Board of Governors

1997

Appointed by Governor Schapp to serve an unexpired term as judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County

Solicitorships

Chester Housing Authority 1962-1964; 1992-1996

Musicians Union Local 484 AF of M, January 1, 1968 through 1992

Borough of Brookhaven, January 1, 1970 through December 31, 1971

Solicitor for the County of Delaware to evaluate juvenile public defenders program for the County of Delaware and for the Governor’s Justice Commission for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 1973

Special Counsel to the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County 1975-1990

Special Counsel Marple Township

Special Counsel Springfield Township

Special Counsel Neither Providence School District

Special Counsel District Justice Division Office of the Court Administrator of Delaware County

Special Counsel to the School District of the City of Chester for Disciplinary Hearings

Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable Leroy Van Roden in the Orphans’ Court of Delaware County May 17, 1968 until the judge’s retirement, then continued for a short time as judicial clerk for President Judge Henry Sweeney.

Public Relations

Adjunct Professor of Law 1974 – Widener University Paralegal Course

Instructor – Pennsylvania State University, Delaware County Campus Business Law 1968

Panel member and lecturer 1978, “The Art of Negotiations” for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute lectures given to lawyers in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh

Course planner and lecturer – law office management for small and medium-sized law firms sponsored by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and offered in five locations throughout Pennsylvania in 1981

Moot Court Judge – Widener Law School 1981

American University thesis entitled “Voting in the Security Council of the United States and Its Possible Revision” 1955

April 22, 1955 – Testified before the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations subcommittee on United Nations Charter Review – subject of the testimony was revision of the United Nations Charter concerning voting procedures.

Authored the concept of and organized the first trial school for newly admitted lawyers to the Delaware County Bar. The trial school project of the Delaware County Bar Association received the 1981 Award of Merit from the American Bar Association.

Course planner for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute – formulated curriculum and selection of faculty and participated in the presentation of course study in five cities 1981

Community/Social Organizations

1976

Appointed Independent Arbitrator for the Borough of Darby and the Borough of Sharon Hill regarding police arbitration

1980

Appointed Chairman Borough of Darby Police Arbitration Panel

1980-1986

Board of Managers General Alumni Society University of Pennsylvania Law School

1985

Chairman of the Nominating Committee

1961-1981

Member of the Board of Directors of the Delaware County Chapter of the National Foundation March of Dimes (1975-1980 elected Second Vice President)

1961-1963

Brookhaven Borough Zoning Board of Adjustment – served as Chairman in 1963

1973-1976

Elected Secretary/Treasurer of Dickinson College Alumni Club of Southeastern Pennsylvania New Jersey. Automatic move up to Vice President in 1974 and to President in 1975

1986

Delaware County Drug and Alcohol Commission

1987-1991

Member Board of Directors of Suburban Music School

2001-2002

Director Advisory Board of Founders Bank

Professional/Political Organizations

1980

Recipient of the Orlowski Award given annually by the Delaware County Bar Association and the Board of Judges to the lawyer who does most to improve bench bar relations

1980-1983

Appointed by Governor Thornberg of Pennsylvania to the Trial Court Nominating Commission of Delaware County

1981-1987

Appointed by the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to a Discipline Hearing Committee – Chairman 1986

1988

Recipient of the E. Wallace Chadwick Memorial Award. Presented by the Delaware County Bar Association in recognition of services to the legal profession in the furtherance of interprofessional development, communications and education

1988-1991

Appointed by the Supreme Court to the Disciplinary Board

1989-1990

Chairman of the Rules Committee of the Disciplinary Board

1991

Recipient of the Paul R. Sand Presidents Award presented by the Delaware County Bar Association in recognition of service to the legal profession

1991-1992

Appointed by the Pennsylvania Bar Association as delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates

1991-1994

Reappointed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to the Disciplinary Board – Vice President 1992-1993. Appointed Chairman of the Board by the Supreme Court 1993-1994.

1994-1997

Appointed Zone 9 Governor to the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania Bar Association

2001

Appointed instructor by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for “Bride the Gap” program

2002

Appointed by the Delaware County Courts to the Commission to Redistrict Nether Providence Township

2005

Recipient of the Elizabeth C. Price Award presented by the Delaware County Bar Association at Law Day

READ MORE
SHOW LESS