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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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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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