MURRAY S. ECKELL
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.