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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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