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Southern District bankruptcy judge seeks reappointment

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After 14 years on the federal bankruptcy bench, U.S. Judge Anthony J. Metz III in the Southern District of Indiana is seeking another term.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is considering Judge Metz’s reappointment once his current term expires Nov. 14, 2011. He has applied for reappointment and it’s up to the federal appellate court to make those appointments, rather than the president and the Senate who appoint federal Article III judges. The 7th Circuit is accepting comment from the public and legal community until March 1.

Comments from the public and the bar as to whether Judge Metz should be reappointed should be sent to 7th Circuit Executive Collins T. Fitzpatrick, 219 S. Dearborn St., Room 2780, Chicago, IL 60604.

A graduate of Indiana University Maurer School of Law and admitted to practice in 1972, Judge Metz has been on the bankruptcy bench since Nov. 14, 1997, and in May 2010 was elevated to the chief judge position. He is one of four judges on the bankruptcy bench here that includes Judges James K. Coachys, Basil H. Lorch, and Frank J. Otte.

His reappointment comes at a time when bankruptcy filings are up nationally by almost 14 percent in the past year, as well as in Indiana and the Southern District. Overall, the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts reports that Indiana ranked fourth with 7.49 new filings per 1,000 people and the specific Chapter 7 and 13 filings also increased during the past year. Statistics show the Southern District had about 28,000 new filings during 2010, up from the previous year.

Just in the past five years, the clerk’s office reports that Judge Metz has been assigned to handle approximately 34,762 cases.

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