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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