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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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  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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