IU Health attorney, former career law clerk named Southern District magistrate

Editor’s note: This article has been corrected.

A former federal law clerk and recent in-house attorney has been selected as the newest magistrate judge of the Indiana Southern District Court.

Kellie M. Barr will fill the magistrate judge vacancy that will open this fall when Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch retires, the federal court announced Tuesday.

“My fellow district judges and I are delighted to welcome Kellie to the bench as our newest magistrate judge,” Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt said in a news release. “During her nearly seven years as a law clerk to Judge (Jane) Magnus-Stinson, our judges came to regard her as intelligent, thoughtful, and dedicated to the important work of the court.”

Barr was a career clerk for Magnus-Stinson, working in her chambers from 2010-2017. In 2017, she moved to the legal department at IU Health, where she rose to her most recent positions of assistant general counsel for IU Health and lead attorney for IU Health Physicians.

Barr has also clerked for then-Chief Judge John Baker of the Court of Appeals of Indiana and worked for two years as an associate in the Litigation & Appellate Services Group at Bose McKinney & Evans LLP in Indianapolis.

She is a graduate of Indiana University-Bloomington and IU Maurer School of Law.

“Kellie’s past experience in the federal judiciary, combined with her time in private practice and at IU Health, provide her with the tools necessary to be an excellent magistrate judge,” Pratt said.

Barr is admitted to practice in Indiana, the state’s two federal district courts and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

She is active in the Indianapolis Bar Association, including service on the Professionalism Committee and Women and the Law Division Executive Committee and the completion of the Bar Leader Series program. She is also a Distinguished Fellow of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation and was a barrister member of the Indianapolis American Inn of Court.

Outside of her primary practice of law, Barr has participated in the Southern District of Indiana’s Recruited Counsel Program, where she recently represented an indigent litigant in a prisoner civil rights case. Additionally, she has completed the Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum’s Civil Mediation Training Program.

She is a current member of the board of the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies Global Foundation, a former Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana and is a past board member Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health Center.

Barr was selected for the magistrate judge position by a 13-member Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Committee chaired by Sara J. Varner of Indiana Federal Community Defenders Inc. The committee reviewed applications and recommended finalists, who were interviewed by the district court judges.

District judges appoint magistrate judges for eight-year terms and can reappoint them to successive terms. Magistrate judges preside over many civil and criminal pretrial proceedings and, critically, conduct mediation and settlement proceedings in civil cases.

Barr will take the bench after the completion of required IRS and FBI background investigations and after Lynch officially retires on Oct. 31.

“While we certainly will miss Judge Lynch,” Pratt said, “we are excited to know that Kellie will take up the position with earnestness and a commitment to enhancing justice in the Southern District of Indiana.”

The Indiana Southern District Court has also collected applications for a second magistrate judge vacancy that may open this fall if Magistrate Judge Doris Pryor is confirmed to the 7th Circuit bench. 

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