More ISBA tidbits

October 3, 2008
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From IL reporter Michael Hoskins:

Five newer faces on the federal bench (or at least, ones in relatively new roles) came together Thursday afternoon at the ISBA annual meeting. They were Magistrate Jane Magnus-Stinson, selected about two years ago to replace retired Magistrate V. Sue Shields; Judge William T. Lawrence, who's been recently elevated from magistrate in the Southern District; Magistrate Debra McVicker Lynch, who has been chosen by the Southern District to replace Lawrence and hopes that can happen by Dec. 1 following an ongoing FBI check; Judge Joe Van Bokkelen in the Northern District, who took his judicial seat last year; and Judge John D. Tinder, who's been promoted to the 7th Circuit from the Southern District. The group talked about their new roles and what they like and don't like to see from lawyers.

Judge Lawrence quoted one of his colleagues on a question he often receives: What's the best path to becoming a judge? He and Judge Sarah Evans Barker say, "The best path to a judicial career is the one you see in the rearview mirror."

Judge Tinder noted how transportation is the biggest challenge so far in his new role, since he's expected to be in Chicago for arguments roughly 35 days of the year. He’s tried different modes of transportation, and it all equates to time lost traveling. The 7th Circuit hears more arguments than any of its sister appellate Circuit Courts, and with all the other duties he has (such as reviewing rehearing petitions in about 25 percent of all cases), Judge Tinder says it's all a challenge he hadn't anticipated.

Judge Van Bokkelen shared that magistrates in his District handle all settlement matters, and judges don't even see most cases until the discovery process is complete. Judge Lawrence noted how common settlement negotiations are in the lower District, and also encouraged state appellate attorneys to cross over into the federal arena more often, especially since the federal courts use case management plans that state appellate level does not.
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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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