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

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues