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Monday, March 03, 2014

Ind. Courts - Hoosier and 7th Circuit Judge John Tinder retiring in 2015

Above the Law has the scoop (congratulations!), alerted by a letter sent by Judge Tinder to a clerkship applicant, telling him or her that he had "recently decided that I will be leaving the court in 2015."

David Lat of ATL spoke with Judge Tinder this afternoon by phone and writes:

Judge Tinder plans to continue hearing cases through February 2015, which is when he’ll turn 65 and become eligible for retirement pursuant to the so-called “Rule of 80.” Under this policy, a federal judge who’s at least 65 years old and has at least 15 years of active service as an Article III judge can leave active status and still receive full pay, whether as a completely retired judge or a judge on senior status (a semi-retirement typically involving a somewhat reduced caseload). Judge Tinder, who has served as an Article III judge for a total of more than 25 years — first on the District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, then on the Seventh Circuit — easily satisfies the rule’s requirements.

So around February 2015, Judge Tinder will stop picking up new appeals and turn to finishing up work on his still-pending opinions. He hopes to retire completely from the Seventh Circuit sometime in the spring of 2015. He does not plan to take senior status; rather, he will step down from the bench completely. What does he plan to do after departing from the court?

“I’ve got some hazy concepts in my mind, but no definite project,” he said. “I’ve been a judge since 1987 and U.S. Attorney prior to that, so it has been a while since I’ve been in the private sector. I don’t aspire to build a clientele or start a practice at this point in my career, but I can think of things I’d enjoy doing in public interest, advocacy, or arbitration. But I don’t have a particular target, just some vague notions that I will explore closer to the time.”

Serving as a federal appellate judge is many a lawyer’s dream job. Why would Judge Tinder want to step down from the bench?

“We have a wonderful court, full of really smart and collegial people, tackling the most interesting issues,” he said. “It will be hard to leave. But I just got to a point where I thought about whether I’d like to target what Bill Bauer [Judge William Bauer] is doing at 88, handling a full caseload, and I thought I’d like to try something different. It has been fascinating to serve on this court and on the district court before that.”

Thank you, Judge Tinder, for your many years of judicial service, and best of luck in your next endeavor, whatever it might be!

(h/t AppellateDaily)

ILB: This is NEWS. As most know, Judge Tinder hails from Indianapolis.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 3, 2014 06:45 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions