AABANY Co-Hosts Webinar on Becoming a Magistrate Judge

On May 20, 2020, the Judiciary Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) and the Public Interest Committee of the South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY) co-hosted a panel on how to become a Magistrate Judge. Recently, the Eastern District of New York announced vacancies for four US Magistrate Judge positions, the first time so many opportunities have been simultaneously available since the positions were created. The webinar provided important information and advice for individuals who might be considering a career as a Magistrate Judge.

The event featured panelists Hon. Sanket Bulsara, Hon. Peggy Kuo, and Linda Lin. Judge Bulsara was appointed as a Magistrate Judge of EDNY on August 28, 2017, and previously served as Acting General Counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Judge Kuo was appointed on October 9, 2015, and prior to her appointment, she served as the Acting Deputy Chief of the Civil Rights Division Criminal Section at the U.S. Department of Justice; litigation counsel at Wilmer Hale, LLP; Chief Hearing Officer at the New York Stock Exchange; and Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel of the New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings. Linda Lin is the General Counsel of Business Unit Support at QBE North America and a member of the EDNY Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel. Austin D’Souza, Principal Law Clerk to Hon. Faviola A. Soto at the New York Court of Claims and Vice President of Public Relations at SABANY, served as the moderator.

Judge Bulsara and Judge Kuo discussed their responsibilities as Magistrate Judges. They emphasized that though their docket is heavily civil, varying between 400-500 cases per judge, they also play an important role on the criminal side. Magistrate Judges are on criminal duty approximately once every ten weeks, during which they preside over arraignments, initial appearances, and bail hearings. They also conduct jury selection in felony cases. Judge Bulsara noted that his favorite part of being a Magistrate Judge is presiding over naturalization ceremonies and interacting with wonderful colleagues.

Linda Lin described the application process and how potential candidates are evaluated. Members of the Selection Panel independently review the applications and decide on which candidates to interview. Prior to the interview, the panel conducts due diligence and may reach out to references beyond those mentioned in the candidate’s application. The Selection Panel also requests writing samples, preferably those that demonstrate analysis and are centered around advocacy and litigation. Finally, five names are presented to the Board of Judges, who decide whom to appoint as a Magistrate Judge. While reviewing applications, members of the Selection Panel look for the following qualities: scholarship, from academic records to achievements; active practice of the law, including breadth and depth of experience, professional competence, and pro bono and public service activities; knowledge of the court system and recent experience in front of the federal bench; and personal attributes, or judicial temperament.

Judge Kuo advised individuals applying to become a Magistrate Judge to prepare for their interviews by going back and reading their application and writing samples, looking up the biographies of members of the Selection Panel, and reviewing the Rules of Civil Procedure. Judge Bulsara urged candidates to take advantage of the mock interviews offered by AABANY and sit in on proceedings in court.

We thank our panelists for speaking on the program and sharing insightful advice about the process of becoming a United States Magistrate Judge. Thanks also to Austin D’Souza for serving as an excellent moderator. For more information on AABANY’s Judiciary Committee, please see https://www.aabany.org/page/115.

Public Announcement: Four United States Magistrate Judge Vacancies to be Filled

From Douglas C. Palmer, Clerk of Court, United State District Court, Eastern District of New York:

The application period for any one of four vacancies being filled at this time has been extended to May 29th, 2020. I have attached a link to the public announcement seeking applicants for currently vacant positions and upcoming vacancies. This is perhaps a unique time in the history of the federal court in this, the Eastern District of New York; I do not have any record of this number of opportunities being available at the same time since the US Magistrate Judge positions were created.

Please view the Announcement.

The application can be found HERE.

Federal Magistrate Judge Vacancy – Eastern District of New York

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 28, 2015 
Shared By: Linda Lin, Co-Chair of the Judiciary Committee

PUBLIC NOTICE: FEDERAL MAGISTRATE JUDGE VACANCY

There is one (1) full-time United States Magistrate Judge position vacancy at the Brooklyn
Courthouse of the Eastern District of New York located at 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, NY
11201 effective October 1, 2015. 

The duties of the position are demanding and wide-ranging, and will
include: 

  1. conduct of preliminary proceedings in criminal cases; 
  2. trial and disposition of
    misdemeanor cases; 
  3. conduct of various pretrial matters and evidentiary proceedings on delegation
    from the judges of the district court; 
  4. trial and disposition of civil cases upon consent of the litigants;
    and 
  5. assignment of additional duties not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United
    States.

The basic jurisdiction of a United States Magistrate Judge is specified in 28 U.S.C., section 636. 

To be qualified for appointment, an applicant must: 

  1. be a member in good standing of the bar of the
    highest court of a state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin
    Islands for at least five years;
  2. have been engaged in the active practice of law for a period of at least
    five years (with some substitutions authorized); 
  3. be competent to perform all the duties of the office,
    of good moral character, emotionally stable and mature, committed to equal justice under the law, in
    good health, patient and courteous, and capable of deliberation and decisiveness; 
  4. be less than 70
    years old; and 
  5. not be related to a judge of the district court. An applicant should have federal court
    experience and be knowledgeable in federal civil and criminal practices and procedures.

A Merit Selection Panel composed of attorneys and other residents of the district will review all
applications and recommend in confidence to the judges of the district court the five persons whom it
considers best qualified. The Court will make the appointment following an FBI and IRS investigation
of the appointees. An affirmative effort will be made to give due consideration to all qualified
candidates, including women and members of minority groups. The salary of each position is now
$185,012 per annum. The term of office is eight years.

Please note that the application form can be accessed on-line at the district’s website:
www.nyed.uscourts.gov. Application forms also may be obtained from the Clerk of Court at 225
Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York 11201, (718) 613-2270. Applications must be personally
prepared by potential nominees and must be received no later than SEPTEMBER 11, 2015. An email
with a copy in Word or PDF sent to NYED-APPLICATIONS@nyed.uscourts.gov and eight (8) paper
copies of the completed application must be mailed or delivered to the office of the Clerk of Court at the
above address.

SDNY NOTICE: SDNY Accepting Applications for Magistrate Judge

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has announced a vacancy for a full-time U.S. Magistrate Judge position in the White Plains courthouse.  The SDNY’s public notice, which contains additional information about the position and the application, is available on the court’s website at www.nysd.uscourts.gov.  AABANY encourages all qualified attorneys with an interest in serving in the federal judiciary to submit an application, which is due no later than September 30, 2013.  If you have any questions about the position or would like assistance in connection with your application, please contact any of the Co-chairs of AABANY’s Judiciary Committee: 

Public Notice for Reappointment of Incumbent Magistrate Judge

The current term of the office of United States Magistrate Judge Kevin N. Fox is due to expire on October 1, 2013. The United States District Court is required by law to establish a panel of citizens to consider the reappointment of a magistrate judge to a new eight year term.

The duties of a magistrate judge position include the following: (1) conduct of most preliminary proceedings in criminal cases; (2) trial and disposition of misdemeanor cases; (3) conduct of various pretrial matters and evidentiary proceedings on delegation from the judges of the district court; and (4) trial and disposition of civil cases upon consent of the litigants.

Comments from members of the bar and the public are invited as to whether the incumbent magistrate judge should be recommended by the panel for reappointment by the court, and should be directed to:

Edward Friedland
District Court Executive
U.S. Courthouse
500 Pearl Street, Room 820
New York, NY 10007-1312
Comments must be received by March 8, 2013.

Special Announcement from the Judiciary Committee

For those interested in applying to become a United States Magistrate Judge, here is an announcement from Theo Cheng, co-chair of the Judiciary Committee:

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York has announced a vacancy for a full-time U.S. Magistrate Judge position in Brooklyn. The EDNY’s public notice, which contains additional information about the position is available on the court’s website at http://www.nyed.uscourts.gov/pub/docs/notices/ALC_Vacancy_Public_Notice_PR-10-18-2011.pdf, and the application itself is available on the court’s homepage. AABANY encourages all qualified attorneys with an interest in serving in the federal judiciary to submit an application, which is due no later than January 13, 2012. If you have any questions about the position or would like assistance in connection with your application, please contact AABANY’s Judiciary Committee at judiciary@aabany.org, or any of the co-chairs Vince Chang (vince.chang@aabany.org), Theo Cheng (theo.cheng@aabany.org) or James Chou (james.chou@aabany.org.)