In recognition of Judge William Lee’s 40 years of service on the federal bench, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana has named a courtroom in his honor.
The second-floor courtroom of the E. Ross Adair Federal Building and the United States Courthouse at 1300 South Harrison Street in Fort Wayne, where Lee presides, will now carry his name. A resolution signed by the District judges was presented to Lee on July 9.
“Judge Lee has had a remarkable career of public service,” said Chief Judge Jon DeGuilio. “During his 40 years on the bench he has served with distinction. I know I speak for all of my colleagues when I say it has been an honor to serve with someone of such high character and ability, and so it is wholly appropriate that he receive this recognition.”
President Ronald Reagan appointed Lee to the federal bench in 1981, where he continues to serve after having assumed senior status in February 2003.
Prior to his appointment, Lee was nominated at age 31 to serve as United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, where he held that position from 1970 until 1973.
Lee was appointed as deputy prosecuting attorney for Allen County in 1963 and served as chief deputy prosecuting attorney from 1967 until 1969. Before that, Lee practiced law in Allen County as a trial attorney.
The long-time legal practitioner remains active with organizations involved in providing legal services to the indigent and continuing legal education for practicing lawyers.
During his 60 years in the legal profession, Lee has received honors including Indiana Trial Judge of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Allen County Bar Association and the Volunteer Lawyer Program, among others.
He was also active in community affairs involving the arts, education, and several other areas of public interest.
“The courtroom dedication will be a constant reminder of his legacy and an inspiration to all who are respectful of the rule of law,” DeGuilio said.
An event celebrating the naming of Judge Lee’s courtroom will be held at a later date not yet disclosed by the court, at which the resolution will be formally presented to Lee.
A portrait and plaque have already been placed outside the courtroom in Lee’s honor.