Judge Punch announces he will retire July 29

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 May 2017 at 9:45 am

James Punch

ALBION – Orleans County Court Judge James Punch has announced he is retiring on July 29. Punch has served as County Court judge for nearly 27 years.

Prior to being elected judge, Punch served as the county’s district attorney for five years.

Punch issued this statement announcing his retirement:

“In the last 27 years of my 32 years in public office, I have been honored to serve in the County Court, Family Court, Surrogate Court, and Supreme Court of our county.  I also served as Drug Court and Domestic Violence Court Judge.

“I came in as the youngest county level judge in New York State, and I leave as the senior county court judge in Western New York.

“It is with some sadness that I leave, but I look forward to new challenges, as well as spending more time with my wife, Suzanne, and our children and grandchildren. I am also looking forward to exploring new ways in which to contribute to our community.

“I wish to thank my wonderful staff (both current and former), the many attorneys, case workers and law enforcement personnel I have worked with, and the people in this county who put their faith in me to help protect them and our community for these many years.”

Punch is a 1973 Medina graduate. He was inducted into Medina’s Alumni Hall of Fame in November 2014.

After graduating from Medina, Punch earned his bachelor’s degree from the University at Buffalo and then earned a law degree from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1980.

Punch has been active in the community, in addition to serving in a high-profile and demanding position.

He has served as legal advisor to Medina High School’s mock trial team. He also has been active with the Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus, YMCA Board, Boy Scout Executive Committee, and the Holy Trinity Parish.

Punch, during the Hall of Fame induction in November 2014, addressed high school students and encouraged them to always move forward. They shouldn’t sit back and dwell on either success or failure.

“Don’t define yourself as ‘having succeeded’ and decide nothing more needs to be done – ‘I’m perfect,’” Punch told students during the Nov. 7 Hall of Fame celebration. “Equally, don’t define yourself by your failure and decide nothing more can be done – ‘I’m hopeless.’”

Punch said during the Hall of Fame induction he is grateful for a career in Medina and Orleans County. He told the students he hopes many of them will be able to stay in the Medina area and contribute to the community.

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