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Senate votes on federal magistrate's nomination

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By now, Indiana may have its newest federal judge in the Southern District of Indiana.

The U.S. Senate was scheduled to vote on the confirmation of U.S. Magistrate Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson at 5:30 p.m. June 7, which came after the deadline for this story. Confirmation approval meant that a woman who’s been on the federal bench for more than three years as a magistrate would be promoted to a constitutionally created Article III judgeship.

This news came almost five months after President Barack Obama nominated her for the federal post, following last summer’s change when U.S. Judge Larry McKinney took senior status. She had notified Indiana’s Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh about her interest in the spot last November, and her nomination in January came at the same time the president chose Marion Superior Judge Tanya Walton Pratt for a Southern District vacancy and Jon DeGuilio for a judgeship in the Northern District of Indiana.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved all three nominations in March. Following the recent legislative action, only Judge Pratt awaits a potential date for a confirmation vote. Senators unanimously confirmed DeGuilio May 11 to fill the seat occupied by U.S. Judge Allen Sharp until his death last summer.
Spokesman Brian Weiss in Bayh’s office in Washington, D.C., said at IL deadline that there was no indication when senators might turn to the nomination of Judge Pratt, who would fill an opening left by Judge David F. Hamilton when he was elevated to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

With a possible green light for Magistrate Magnus-Stinson, the Southern District would have to fill the magistrate spot left open by her elevation. She left the Marion Superior bench in early 2007 following the retirement of U.S. Magistrate Judge V. Sue Shields, and a new vacancy would mean a merit-selection committee would be named to choose a new magistrate.

Prior to the senators’ final vote on Magistrate Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge Richard Young said that if she received confirmation he hoped the process to find a new magistrate would begin quickly and that a successor could be chosen by the fall.

The most current coverage on this nomination process and confirmation vote can be found online at the Indiana Lawyer website, www.theindianalawyer.com.•
 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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