New Castle News

Letters to the Editor

May 18, 2013

Recalling a judge with local links

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

Gary Lancaster, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, died recently.

He was the first black to be chief judge of the federal curt in Pittsburgh.

I remember once, years ago, when I had a hearing in a Social Security disability case before him.

Judge Lancaster started his education at Slippery Rock, although I think he may have transferred elsewhere later.

Seeing that I was from New Castle, he asked me if I knew Lennie Payne. I said sure and that I had been the basketball manager in junior high school.

We then spent a considerable amount of time discussing the relative merits of Jimmy and Lennie Payne.

I don’t remember who my client was, but I’m pretty sure that I won that case.

William G. Cohen

Windemere Drive

New Castle

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