Congratulations, Magistrate Judge Quraishi!

Stanardsville, VA-April 5, 2021

The Federal Magistrate Judges Association would like to be among the first to congratulate Hon. Zahid Quraishi on his nomination to be a United States District Judge.

Magistrate Judge Quraishi was first appointed to the federal bench on June 3, 2019, when he took the oath of office as a USMJ. United States Magistrate Judges are appointed to the federal bench by the District Judges in the districts where they serve. According to the White House, Magistrate Judge Quraishi is the first Muslim-American to be nominated to the federal bench by the President of the United States. Congratulations, Magistrate Judge Quraishi!

ABOUT THE FMJA: The Federal Magistrate Judges Association (FMJA) is a national association consisting of United States Magistrate Judges whose mission is to support the vital role of all Magistrate Judges as an integral part of our United States Judicial System: to promote appropriate utilization and understanding of the role magistrate judges play in the federal judiciary by advising and advancing policies that affect it members and the United States Courts as a whole; by actively participating in the review and modification of legislation, as well as substantive and procedural rules that affect the United States Courts and by promoting the independence of the federal judiciary.

Shari Bedker, Executive Director
Federal Magistrate Judges Association
P.O. Box 249, Stanardsville, VA 22973
(Phone) 434-939-6007 (Fax)- 434-939-6030

Retiring Judge Lawrence honored by Southern District Court

Federal and state judges, magistrate judges, former law clerks, court staff, Indiana Supreme Court justices, legal scholars and attorneys along with extended family crowded into the William E. Steckler Ceremonial Courtroom Tuesday afternoon to honor their friend and colleague, Senior Judge William Lawrence.

The celebration marked his retirement from U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, which he served for nearly 17 years. His judicial friends and other guests shared memories, praised his judicial temperament, and recalled the countless times they had enjoyed his kindness.

“Thank you for your friendship, wonderful personality and your sense of humor,” Judge Richard Young said to Lawrence. “Our lives and careers are so much richer because of your friendship.”

Lawrence, a 1973 graduate of Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, initially joined the federal bench in 2002 as a magistrate judge for the Southern District. In June 2008, he made history by becoming the first magistrate judge to become a judge in the Southern Indiana Disrict Court.

Prior to being a magistrate judge, Lawrence was an elected Judge of the Marion Circuit Court from 1996 to 2002, after serving as a part-time master commissioner there for more than 13 years. He served as a part-time public defender in Marion Superior Criminal Division 4 for nine years.

Chief Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson opened the event by explaining Lawrence was not retiring but rather taking inactive senior status. She said that status could be described in one word — “golf.”

Echoing many, Senior Judge Sarah Evans Barker noted Lawrence’s experience, leadership, work ethic, and unfailing warmth. But the “creme de la creme is his delightful self-effacing sense of humor and wry continuous smile.”

His federal colleagues, she said, had been hoping the day would never come when they had to say farewell to Lawrence. “Parting is not a sweet sorrow,” Baker said, “it is only a sorrow.”

Lawrence was presented with the Sagamore of the Wabash Award in recognition of his service. Also, the district court will hang Lawrence’s portrait, which Magnus-Stinson said captured the twinkle in his eye, in the Steckler Courtroom, where it will serve as a reminder of their friend.

Lawrence closed the celebration by telling his federal colleagues they created an atmosphere of civility and congeniality that is rare in courthouses across the country. “You have been my mentors,” he said, “and you are my heroes.”

Read more on Lawrence’s retirement ceremony in the July 10 edition of Indiana Lawyer.

Marilyn Odendahl / Indiana Lawyer

SABA North America’s conference features talk of advancement and diversity

The South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA) held its 16th Annual Conference, “Rise Up and Represent,” in Atlanta last month where members in the South Asian legal community including judges, law firm leaders, in-house counsel, and lawyers discussed the rights and liberties of the South Asian community and other minorities across North America, according to a news release from the association.

The conference, held June 20-23, featured, among other panel discussions and events, a fireside chat with and longtime friend and colleague Anil Mujumdar, during which the two talked about Jones’ work defending defender of civil rights, his future plans, and the benefits of diversity and inclusion, according to the association.

The conference’s opening reception, at National Center for Civil and Human Rights, featured remarks by Hon. Justin Anand, U.S. magistrate judge for Northern District of Georgia; BJay Pak, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia; and Darrell Sutton, president of the State Bar of Georgia. Anand told attendees, “my being [on the bench] today is a testament to this organization,” the release said.

SABA North America, formerly NASABA/North American South Asian Bar Association, is a voluntary bar organization that serves as an umbrella organization to 27 chapters in the United States and Canada.

The association announced its awards to members as follows:

  • Pioneer Award recipient Yasir Naqvi, CEO of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC), Canada’s leading voice on citizenship and inclusion, and former attorney general of Ontario;
  • Public Interest Achievement Award Recipients Manohar “Mano”
    Raju, public defender for the city of San Francisco, and Shalini
    Swaroop, general counsel and director of policy at Marin Clean Energy,
    California’s first local government agency focused on renewable energy
    and combating climate change;
  • Corporate Counsel Achievement Award recipient Sedesh “Sedi” Doobay, deputy general counsel for the Global ISC and Operation Group at Honeywell Performance Materials & Technologies;
  • Cornerstone Award winners, Amit Agarwal, solicitor general of Florida, Shalini Goel Agarwal of Southern Legal Poverty Center, Habib Ilahi, trial attorney at the Department of Justice, and Kirtan Patel, co-founder of KPPB Law;
  • Diversity Champions Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP and Nixon Peabody;
  • Rising Stars Preetha Chakrabarti, law clerk for the Hon. Ojetta Rogeriee Thompson
    at the First Circuit Court of Appeals; Rajiv Parikh, partner at Genova Burns; Viren Mascarenhas, partner at King & Spalding LLP; and Previn Warren, partner at Jenner Block; and
  • Program Award Recipient The South Asian Women’s Attorney Network for their 2019 Bootcamps.The SABA Foundation, which supports organizations that provide critical services to the most vulnerable members of the South Asian Community, honored actor and activist  Maulik Pancholy, with its Hero Award for his work on bullying prevention among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) youth through the non-profit Act to Change.
    This year’s Foundation Grantees were Sakhi for South Asian Women who received a 2019 “Skills to Succeed” Grant, sponsored by Accenture, to support their Economic Empowerment Program, as well as General Grants to the South Asian Legal Clinic Society of British Columbia (SALCBC); Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF); and the Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network (GAIN), the association said.

Conference panel topics included the past year for the U.S. Supreme Court.

The conference closed with the Annual Gala featuring keynote speaker Neal Katyal, who reflected on a history of injustices facing minorities in the United States, from Japanese internment during World War II to the current conditions of detention facilities holding migrants at the southern border.  Katyal also recounted his experience successfully defending a Guantanamo detainee in his first Supreme Court argument in 2006; he has since gone on to argue before the Court more than any minority attorney, breaking a record held by Thurgood Marshall. When discussing his recent work challenging the travel ban in Trump v. Hawaii, Katyal said, “I do think the fight is important, even if we lose sometimes.  We must fight for the constitution,” according to the association.

Ritu Jha / Indica News