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Banking attorney confirmed as federal judge

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The Hoosier legal community has its newest federal judge in the Northern District of Indiana, and now two others up for judgeships in the state’s Southern District await their votes before the full U.S. Senate.

Senators turned away briefly from financial reform Tuesday evening to unanimously confirm by a voice vote the nomination of Jon E. DeGuilio for an Article III judgeship. Spokespersons for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Indiana’s Sen. Evan Bayh both confirmed the vote came just after 5 p.m.

DeGuilio succeeds the late U.S. Judge Allen Sharp, who’d served as a senior judge from November 2007 until his death last summer.

“I’m very honored, and this has been a very exciting process,” DeGuilio told Indiana Lawyer by phone today.

He said he watched his confirmation on C-Span 2 after receiving a call earlier that day from Bayh’s office about a nearing vote.

President Barack Obama chose DeGuilio for the judicial post in January, and his nomination got the green light from the Senate Judiciary Committee in March. With his confirmation, DeGuilio will step down as legal counsel of Peoples Bank in Munster. Prior to his current position, DeGuilio had served as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana from 1993 to 1999 and had previously served as a prosecuting attorney and a public defender in Lake County. He also had served as former president of the Hammond City Council and the sheriff’s office legal advisor in the 1980s. He graduated from the Valparaiso University School of Law in 1981.

During the initial confirmation hearing, Bayh praised the man he had jointly recommended for the judge post with Republican Sen. Richard Lugar last year.

“Jon DeGuilio is a dedicated public servant with a firm commitment to applying our country’s laws fairly and faithfully,” Bayh said. “He possesses the highest ethical standards and has extensive experience in federal court. I am confident he will serve the people of Indiana with distinction and help ensure the speedy and efficient administration of justice for all our citizens.”

DeGuilio planned to speak with Chief Judge Philip Simon and Judge Robert Miller today about logistics, but generally he expects the president’s signing of his commission to happen pretty quickly.

Chief Judge Simon said the court was excited to finally have a new judge for the federal bench there. The court hasn’t yet analyzed the existing caseloads to determine what DeGuilio will receive once he starts on the bench, but the chief judge said the new jurist will be assigned to the South Bend division where Judge Sharp had presided. He added he wants to give DeGuilio about a month to get his feet wet before filling his docket.

“We’re all just very happy and delighted to get him on board,” Chief Judge Simon said, noting that he once worked for DeGuilio in the ’90s in the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “He’s very pleasant to work with and a good man, and he’s going to be a terrific addition.”

Meanwhile, the legal community awaits the full votes on Indiana’s two other pending judicial nominations – announced at the same time as DeGuilio ­– U.S. Magistrate Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson and Marion Superior Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, who are nominated for spots in the Southern District of Indiana.

Some within the legal community had speculated that Monday’s nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court of the United States might slow the state’s pending judicial picks. That turned out to not be the case for DeGuilio, though. Bayh’s spokesman Brian Weiss said Tuesday evening he wasn’t sure when the full Senate might schedule votes on Judges Magnus-Stinson or Walton Pratt, but he said it could come quickly if senators reach an agreement for an up or down vote.

 

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  1. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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