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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. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

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