ILNews

President chooses magistrate for judgeship

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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President George W. Bush has nominated an Indianapolis federal magistrate to replace Judge John D. Tinder who recently took a seat on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The president on Thursday sent a nomination to the Senate for Magistrate Judge William T. Lawrence, who's been on the federal bench since November 2002. Magistrate Judge Lawrence was one of seven nominations sent, including nominations for the U.S. Tax Court. Republican Sen. Richard Lugar recommended the Indianapolis magistrate for the position.

"I have known Billy Lawrence for a number of years, and I am impressed with his high energy, resolute integrity, and dedication to public service," Lugar wrote in an e-mail to Indiana Lawyer this morning. "Perhaps more importantly, I am impressed by his temperament which is critical for this important role. He has an impeccable reputation and is well respected in the legal community and on both sides of the political aisle."

Prior to the federal bench, Magistrate Judge Lawrence served as Marion Circuit judge since 1996 after working as a part-time master commissioner for more than 13 years. He had been a part-time public defender in the county for nine years.

The 1973 graduate of Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis has served in multiple leadership positions since being admitted to the bar that year. Lugar previously appointed him as executive director of Indiana's first Merit Selection Commission on Federal Judicial Appointments. Magistrate Judge Lawrence has also been elected to the Indiana Judicial Conference's board of directors three times.

If confirmed for the judgeship, Magistrate Judge Lawrence would succeed Judge Tinder, who the president nominated for the federal appeals court last summer. He took that seat late last year after being confirmed by the Senate.

Magistrate Judge Lawrence will have to go before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate in order to be appointed as judge. No deadline is set for when that must happen, and spokesman Andy Fisher in Lugar's office said he didn't yet know a timeline for Senate consideration.
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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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