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ABA: Judge Tinder 'well qualified' for 7th Circuit

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The American Bar Association has given its highest ranking to U.S. District Judge John D. Tinder in his nomination for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The federal judge in Indianapolis received word from the White House in July that President George W. Bush nominated him for the job. If confirmed, Judge Tinder would be the first Hoosier jurist appointed to the federal appellate court in 20 years.

Judge Tinder faced an evaluation process from the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, which happens before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing takes place. The 15-member group evaluates all nominees for the nation's federal courts.

The ABA has conducted such reviews for more than 50 years. Its ratings are designed to help brief lawmakers and the public by offering what the group says is an unbiased look at a nominee's "integrity, professional competence and judicial temperament."

However, in 2001 President Bush ended the ABA's preferential role in vetting prospective nominees and refused to give the group advance word on names under consideration. The Senate Judiciary Committee maintained the ABA's role in its own process, however, and a confirmation hearing generally won't take place until after the rating is complete.

In a letter dated Sept. 5, committee chair C. Timothy Hopkins with Hansen & Hoopes in Idaho wrote to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., about Judge Tinder's evaluation.

The ABA committee defines the highest "well qualified" rating as one where the nominee is at the top of the legal profession in his or her legal community, has outstanding legal ability, breadth of experience, and the highest reputation for integrity, as well as demonstrates the capacity for sound judicial temperament.

Short of that ranking, nominees can receive "qualified" or "not qualified" rankings. The 15-member committee unanimously decided Judge Tinder's qualification level, according to the letter.

A lifelong Indianapolis resident and a graduate of Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington, Judge Tinder was appointed District Court judge for the Southern District of Indiana in September 1987 at the age of 37. He'd previously served as a U.S. Attorney, chief trial deputy for the Marion County Prosecutor's Office, and a public defender in Marion County. He had also practiced privately for seven years.

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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