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Committee OKs idea of new Indiana federal magistrate

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The state could be on its way to getting a new federal magistrate in the Southern District of Indiana, the first new magistrate in more than two decades.

At a meeting Friday, the 13-member Committee on the Administration of the Magistrate Judges System unanimously agreed that the court covering the southern third of Indiana should be one of six nationally to receive a new full-time magistrate position, according to Chief Judge Richard Young in the Southern District, who sits on the committee.

This committee action means the issue now moves on to the Judicial Conference of the United States, which will consider those recommendations when it meets in September.

This is the first request of its kind for the Southern District since the early 1980s, according to Chief Judge Young.

“I feel that it’s justified, because we have for a long time been one of the busiest District courts in the nation,” he said about the new position, noting that the Judicial Conference has previously approved an additional Article III judgeship here but Congress hasn’t yet authorized that. “With the budget and economy like it is, I don’t see Congress passing a judgeship bill in the near future. So, in order to acquire judicial help in our District, we decided to request an additional magistrate judge.”

Congress had previously authorized the Judicial Conference to create six new positions, according to the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts. Aside from this requested position, Chief Judge Young said the committee’s other recommendations also include the Central District of California, the District of Nevada, and the District of Minnesota. Committee Chair Judge George King in California could not be reached at IL daily deadline to confirm all six of the positions.

If approved later this year, the new magistrate would be based in Indianapolis and would join the ranks of full-time Magistrate Judges Tim Baker, Debra McVicker Lynch, William Hussman; as well as part-time Magistrates Craig McKee and Mike Naville who handle search warrant and criminal matters; and recalled Magistrate Kenneth Foster.

Magistrate Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson was confirmed last week by the U.S. Senate to become an Article III judge, and that transition is happening this week and will create a magistrate vacancy that the Southern District is now working to fill.

Finding someone to fill this potential new magistrate spot would happen the same way as is now occurring with the position held by Judge Magnus-Stinson: a merit selection panel is being formed to review applications and those members will choose a successor this year, Chief Judge Young said.
 

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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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