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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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues