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Dozens apply for new federal magistrate spot

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More than 40 attorneys have applied for a new magistrate spot in the Southern District of Indiana, the first new position since the 1980s.

Attorneys had until the end of Wednesday to apply for the full-time position based in Indianapolis, which the U.S. Judicial Conference had approved during its annual meeting in September. District Court Clerk Laura Briggs said she’s received 41 applications, though more might arrive in the coming days and would be accepted as long as they were postmarked by the deadline.

A merit-selection panel is being formed to review the applications, and the panel will recommend the most qualified applicants for the District judges to make the final choice. The same process happened earlier in the year when 52 applied for a magistrate vacancy created when Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson was elevated to an Article III judgeship. In August, the court selected Indianapolis attorney Mark Dinsmore to take that position.

The current annual salary for the position is $160,080 and it has a term of eight years.

Congress had previously authorized the Judicial Conference to create these new positions, and the funding for the magistrate begins April 1, 2011. The conference’s Committee on the Administration of the Magistrate Judges System had agreed in June that the Southern District of Indiana should receive one of the new magistrates since it’s one of the busiest courts nationally. Chief Judge Richard Young sat on that committee and the Judicial Conference.

Chief Judge Young said this process is different only in that the court will be operating at full judge and magistrate capability and not trying to fill a vacancy. The new magistrate will join the current full-time Magistrate Judges Tim Baker, Debra McVicker Lynch, William Hussman, and Dinsmore; part-time Magistrates Craig McKee and Mike Naville, who handle search warrant and criminal matters; and recalled Magistrate Kennard Foster.

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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.

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

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