Southern District Court announces selection of new magistrate judge

An Arkansas-born attorney with long ties to the Hoosier legal community has been selected to become the newest magistrate judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

The court announced Friday that Doris L. Pryor will join the court as a magistrate judge. Though the announcement has already been made, Pryor’s appointment to the court will not become official until the FBI completes a background check, a process that can take several months.

Pryor will fill the vacancy left when Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue died in August.

Pryor, a native of Hope, Arkansas who earned her law degree from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2003, currently serves as the national security chief for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana. She began her legal career in her home state working as a clerk and deputy public defender before beginning her Indiana career as assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District in August 2006.

As magistrate judge, Pryor will be tasked with conducting pretrial matters, evidentiary proceedings, trials and dispositions of civil cases. Further, after a period of recusal, she also will conduct preliminary proceedings in criminal cases and trials and dispositions in misdemeanor cases.

“The court eagerly anticipates welcoming Ms. Pryor to the bench,” Chief Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson said in a Friday statement. “She has demonstrated ability to handle complex cases in her varying assignments as an Assistant United States Attorney. She has also demonstrated her commitment to the principle of equal justice under the law during her laudable career with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and, before that, as a deputy public defender.”

Pryor currently lives in Carmel and is a member of various bar associations, including the Federal Bar Association and Indianapolis Bar Association, where she has held leadership positions. Within the Southern District, she has worked to grow the Re-entry And Community Help (REACH) federal re-entry courts.

Pryor is also involved with the Just The Beginning Foundation, an organization that seeks to develop an interest in the law among young people from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the legal profession.

Once appointed, Pryor will serve an eight-year term and will then be eligible for reappointment to successive terms.

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