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Merit-selection panel formed to select new federal magistrate

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Anyone interested in being a federal magistrate for the southern part of Indiana has until Wednesday to apply for that position.

Attorneys face the Wednesday deadline for the magistrate opening in the U.S. District Court’s Southern District of Indiana, following last month’s elevation of Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson to an Article III judgeship.

An 18-person panel of attorneys and community members has the task of interviewing and selecting the next federal magistrate. Chairing the panel is former Magistrate Judge V. Sue Shields, who retired in 2007 and paved the way for Judge Magnus-Stinson to take the spot.

Attorneys on the panel are: Barry Bitzegaio, Robert L. Burkart, Amanda C. Couture, William W. Drummy, Angela M. Espada, Matthew R. Gutwein, Richard D. Hailey, Lacy M. Johnson, Bart A. Karwath, John F. Kautzman, Michael S. Miller, Doris Pryor, James H. Voyles Jr., William E. Winingham Jr., and Sally Zweig. Two other community members also sit on the panel: Larry Griggers, owner of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse; and Dr. Paul R. Helft, director of the Charles Warren Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics.

Once all the applications are submitted, the merit-selection panel will review them and interview prospects, said U.S. District Court Clerk Laura Briggs, who is the panel’s liaison. No timeline exists for making a decision, but Chief Judge Richard Young had previously said he hopes to have a new magistrate as soon as possible this summer or early fall. The process is confidential to protect applicants’ privacy, and the names of the five most qualified candidates will be forwarded to the District judges for consideration and final approval.

The position pays an annual salary of $160,080 and runs for an eight-year term before that person is eligible for reappointment. Applicants are required to have practiced for at least five years and be no more than 70 years old.

Those interested in applying can find an application online at the District Court’s website. Applications must be received or postmarked by July 14, 2010.

 

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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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