Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson has been named chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. She assumed the leadership position Nov. 23, when Judge Richard Young’s term as chief judge expired.
Magnus-Stinson joined the federal court as a magistrate in 2007 and became a district judge June 9, 2010, filling the vacancy created when Judge Larry McKinney took senior status. A graduate of Butler University and the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, she served as Marion Superior judge from 1995 to 2007.
She currently serves on several committees within the judiciary, including the Defender Services Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States, the 7th Circuit committees on Criminal Pattern Jury Instructions and on Supervised Release as well as the 7th Circuit Advisory Committee on Rules. Also, Magnus-Stinson has served as chair of the Facility/Court Security Committee for the Southern District of Indiana since 2010.
During Young’s seven-year tenure as chief, the Southern District underwent notable changes.
The court welcomed two new district judges (Mangus-Stinson and Tanya Walton Pratt) and four new magistrate judges (Mark Dinsmore, Denise LaRue, Matthew Brookman and Van Willis). Also, Judge Sarah Evans Barker assumed senior status, creating a vacancy that remains unfilled.
Also over this period of time, the court closed more than 24,500 civil and criminal cases. The Southern District is sixth in the nation in weighted caseload per judgeship and 18th in terminations per judgeship.
Under Young’s direction, the court moved to a paperless filing system, initiated a prisoner e-filing system, transitioned to a new financial management system and operated without interruption during a shutdown of the federal government. Additionally for a significant portion of Young’s term as chief judge, the Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse was under renovation necessitating courtroom sharing and multiple moves by the judges and their staff.
Read more about Magnus-Stinson and her transition to chief judge in the Dec. 14-27, 2016, edition of the Indiana Lawyer.