Lynch retiring from Southern Indiana District Court

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Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana will retire on Oct. 31 after more than 13 years of service to the federal judiciary, the court announced Monday.

Lynch, a former high school English teacher and summa cum laude graduate of Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, was appointed to the federal bench in Oct. 24, 2008 and reappointed in 2016. She has been an active member of the Local Rules Advisory Committee for the Southern District of Indiana since its inception.

“On behalf of my fellow judicial officers, I offer warm congratulations and deep gratitude to Magistrate Judge Lynch for her long service to the Southern District of Indiana,” Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt said in a press release. “She has served our court tirelessly and with immense wisdom, dedication, and compassion. Judge Lynch will be greatly missed, and she departs the bench with our hope that this next chapter of her life is as rich and fulfilling as she deserves.”

Prior to her appointment, Lynch had practiced for 20 years at Taft Stettinius & Hollister (formerly Sommer Barnard). Her practice included litigation of contract disputes, business dissolutions, antitrust matters, securities fraud cases, professional malpractice actions and non-competition and trade secret matters.

However, Lynch was familiar with the federal courts before she became a magistrate judge. Lynch served as a law clerk for Southern Indiana District Court Senior Judge Sarah Evans Barker from 1986 to 1988 and she returned as special master for Barker in the Bridgestone/Firestone Tire Products Liability Multidistrict Litigation from 2000 to 2004.

Lynch was formerly an adjunct professor at IU McKinney where she taught the complex litigation course. She is a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association and the 7th Circuit Bar Association. Also, she was a master member of the Indianapolis American Inn of Court for many years.

The Southern Indiana District Court has posted a public notice seeking applicants to fill the vacancy that will be created by Lynch’s departure.

In conjunction with the magistrate judge appointment process, Southern Indiana District Court Magistrate Judge Mario Garcia and Clerk of Court Roger A. G. Sharpe will host a webinar, “Understanding the Position of a U.S. Magistrate Judge,” on Feb. 11 at noon. This virtual event will provide an overview of the day-to-day responsibilities of a magistrate judge as well as information and insights on the process to become a magistrate judge.

Sign up for the webinar by sending an email to [email protected]. You will be asked to provide your name, email address, and a phone number to receive access to the webinar link (which will be held via Zoom). The webinar will also be recorded and posted to the Court’s website. Questions can be directed to Sharpe at (317) 229-3700.

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