When Indianapolis attorney Joe Hogsett received the news Wednesday that he’d been chosen by President Barack Obama
to be the next U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, he wasn’t in court or handling a client’s legal
The senior partner at Bingham McHale was walking out of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, where he’s
on vacation for his son’s weeklong baseball tournament.
“Walking out of the home of baseball when you get a call about the president giving you such an honor… You can’t
get any more American and patriotic than that,” Hogsett told Indiana Lawyer within an hour of the White House
announcement about 7:15 p.m. “What a uniquely American experience, and I’m so extremely honored to be thought
of for this.”
Limited in what he can publicly say about the job prior to getting Senate approval, Hogsett said he’s looking forward
to the confirmation process and is honored the president would tap him for such a critically important post that manages a
staff of about 80 people and includes roughly 30 lawyers.
Indiana’s Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh had recommended Hogsett, who’s been practicing since 1981 and had previously
served as chief of staff and senior advisor to Bayh during his governorship. Hogsett has long been expected to be the choice
for the post, given his experience in working with Bayh in the past and his time as the state Democratic Party chairman several
years ago and his service as Secretary of State during Bayh’s time as governor.
Bayh praised the nominee’s experience, intellect, and temperament and highlighted Hoggsett’s supervision of numerous
fraud prosecutions during his time as sectary of state.
Practicing since 1981, Hogsett now handles individual employment contracts, non-compete agreements, sexual harassment and
retaliation claims, and immigration compliance. He also 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. Hogsett graduated in 1981 from what is now the Indiana University Maurer School of Law –
If approved by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and confirmed by the full Senate, Hogsett would take the reigns from interim
U.S. Attorney Tim Morrison, who’s held the job since Susan Brooks left in October 2007 to become general counsel at
Ivy Tech Community College.
This announcement follows the May confirmation of David Capp for the U.S. Attorney post in the Northern District of Indiana,
which had been open since U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen took the bench in mid-2007.
Spokesman Brian Weiss in Bayh’s office in Washington, D.C., said no timetable is known for how the nomination may proceed,
but it could take longer with the pending confirmation hearings of Solicitor General Elena Kagan for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Read the July 21-Aug. 3, 2010, issue of Indiana Lawyer, for more on Hogsett's selection.