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. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.