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Senate confirms Indy lawyer as new U.S. Attorney

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An Indianapolis lawyer has gotten approval to become the next U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, ending a three-year gap since last time a U.S. Senate confirmed leader held that post.

After a full day of business Wednesday, the Senate at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday unanimously confirmed the nomination of Joseph H. Hogsett, who is a senior partner at law firm Bingham McHale. The president had chosen him for the top prosecutor spot back in July. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved his nomination Sept. 16 and Hogsett was one of six U.S. Attorneys confirmed by the full Senate just before it left for a midterm election break.

Hogsett Joe Hogsett

The last confirmed leader was Susan Brooks, who left in October 2007 to take a general counsel spot at Ivy Tech Community College. Longtime second-in-command and previous interim leader Tim Morrison took over that role until a new nominee could be found.

Indiana’s Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh had recommended Hogsett, who’s previously served as chief of staff and senior advisor to Bayh during his governorship in the 1990s. Hogsett also had been the Secretary of State and the state Democratic Party chairman for several years.

Practicing law since 1981, the Indiana University Maurer School of Law – Bloomington graduate has been with Bingham McHale since leaving public service work in the late '90s. He now handles individual employment contracts, non-compete agreements, sexual harassment and retaliation claims, and immigration compliance, and he defends businesses in employment discrimination and civil rights litigation at the state and federal levels. He also assists the firm’s government department in advising Hoosier cities, towns, and counties on various issues.

Attending a retirement ceremony this morning for Indiana Supreme Court Justice Theodore R. Boehm, the newly confirmed Hogsett received congratulations from those in the legal community and was acknowledged during remarks from the bench. Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard introduced those in the audience and included Morrison as the acting U.S. Attorney, but pointed out the “good news is that help is on the way” with Hogsett’s recent confirmation.

After hearing the news today, Hogsett confined most of his remarks to a release sent out this morning from Bingham McHale. But he told Indiana Lawyer that he hopes the president will sign his commission soon so that he can be sworn in by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Richard Young in the next week or so.

In the release, Hogsett vowed that the Southern District will approach legal issues with a “renewed sense of commitment and priority, with vigilance and timeliness.”

“Criminal wrongdoing will be sought out wherever it is to be found - whether in our neighborhoods or in corporate boardrooms, whether perpetrated by the famous or unknown - and these individuals will be identified, investigated, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.

This is the second new U.S. Attorney the state has had confirmed recently, with senators late last year confirming second-in-command David Capp to lead the office in the Northern District that he’d been filling on an interim basis since 2007 when Joseph Van Bokkelen was named to the federal bench.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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