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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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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