A partner at Indianapolis law firm Barnes & Thornburg has been chosen as the newest federal magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
The court announced Aug. 27 that the merit selection panel had chosen Mark J. Dinsmore to succeed Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson, who was elevated to an Article III judgeship in June. Dinsmore was one of 52 people to apply for the post and one of the five individuals recommended by the panel to the District judges, who made the final decision. The selection panel was chaired by retired federal magistrate V. Sue Shields.
U.S. District Chief Judge Richard Young said in a statement, “The Merit Selection Panel forwarded to the court an array of very outstanding candidates, and it was a difficult decision for the court to select only one of them.”
A Valparaiso native, Dinsmore is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Toledo College of Law who graduated first in his class. He was admitted to the Indiana bar in October 1994 and has been at Barnes & Thornburg since 1996. He chairs the firm’s Litigation Department’s technology committee, and his practice involves complex commercial disputes and construction litigation matters, as well as media law issues. Dinsmore has focused on using technology to manage those complex litigation matters
Prior to joining the firm, Dinsmore clerked for then-U.S. District Judge John D. Tinder in the Southern District of Indiana. Dinsmore was a captain in the U.S. Army before attending law school.
Aside from his law firm work, Dinsmore also serves as treasurer of the Indiana Legal Services board of directors and is a member of the Heartland Pro Bono Council board of directors.
The court said that Dinsmore’s appointment depends on required FBI and Internal Revenue Service background checks, and so an expected start date isn’t yet known. That could take several months, and that will also impact when the court schedules an investiture ceremony. The position pays an annual salary of $160,080 and runs for an eight-year term, after which that person is eligible for reappointment.•