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Friday, April 13, 2012

Ind. Courts - Determination and persistence evident in one judge's history

Last week I attended the afternoon session of the Indiana Law Review Symposium, "Reflecting on Forty Years of Merit Selection," particularly to watch the final panel, "Should Indiana Merit Selection be Trumpted, Tweaked, or Trashed? - The Governors' Counsels."

Sitting on the panel were:

Each of these Governors' counsels had played the central role in their governor's selections of trial judges, Court of Appeals judges, and Supreme Court justices.

As moderator, the Honorable Tim Oakes, Marion County Superior Court, posed the opening question to Judge Magnus-Stinson, noting that she had by far the most experience on both sides of the selection process, and in serving in both elected and appointed judgeships. He asked her to please relate her background.

With Judge Magnus-Stinson's permission, I am reproducing her answer here:

From 1983 until 1990, I worked as an associate for the law firm of Lewis, Bowman, St. Clair and Wagner (now Lewis Wagner). I was a civil litigator.

From 1991 until 1995, I worked for then-Gov. Evan Bayh first as an executive assistant in 1991 and then as Counsel to the Governor from 1991 until 1995. I also served as Bayh's Deputy Chief of Staff from 1994 until 1995.

From 1995 until 2007, I served as a Superior Court judge in Marion County in the Criminal Division I was initially appointed by Governor Bayh, and then stood for election in both 1996 and 2002.

While serving there, in 1998, I applied for a position on the Indiana Court of Appeals. I was nominated as one of the 3 finalists by the nominating commission, but Chief Judge Maggie Robb was the successful candidate.

In 2001, I applied for the position of magistrate judge in my current court. I was one of 5 finalists nominated by the merit selection commission, but not chosen. Magistrate Judge Tim Baker was the successful candidate.

I applied again for a magistrate vacancy in 2006, was selected by the district judges, and in January 2007, became a United States magistrate judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, where I served until becoming a district judge in 2010 following nomination and appointment by President Obama and confirmation by the United States Senate.

Jane Magnus-Stinson

Judge Magnus-Stinson's history, I believe, is an object lesson in the value of perseverance.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 13, 2012 10:41 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts | Vacancy on Supreme Court 2012