Brooklyn Boro

Merit Selection Panel appointed to consider candidates for U.S. Magistrate Judge vacancy

April 6, 2023 Robert Abruzzese
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BROOKLYN — Chief Judge Margo K. Brodie announced the appointment of a Merit Selection Panel by the Judges of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

The panel, composed of attorneys and district residents, will consider candidates for an eight-year term U.S. Magistrate Judge vacancy in Brooklyn. This vacancy is anticipated due to the elevation of Magistrate Judge Ramon Reyes to the position of District Judge.

The Merit Selection Panel must receive all applications for the magistrate judge vacancy by May 5, 2023. Interested candidates can access the application form online at the district’s website, or obtain it from the Clerk of Court in the Public Announcements.

The Panel is required to report its recommended slate of candidates for the Magistrate Judge vacancy to the Court within ninety days from its appointment on April 4.

The Board of Judges for the EDNY has appointed Loretta Lynch, former U.S. Attorney in the same district under President Barack Obama, as the chair. Attorney Michael Hueston and Joan Wexler, Dean and President Emerita of Brooklyn Law School, will be among the 17 on the Merit Selection Panel.

Judge Reyes, who graduated from Cornell University, and has degrees from both Brooklyn Law School and the NYU School of Law, has been a Magistrate Judge of the Eastern District since 2006.

Prior to joining the federal bench, Reyes served in various roles, including as a legislative attorney for the NYC Council, law clerk to Judge David Trager, and Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York.

Currently, he serves as an evaluative mediator in the largest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. history. Reyes has also worked on high-profile cases such as the Hurricane Sandy Cases. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Brooklyn Law School and the Board of Directors of the Federal Bar Association, Eastern District Chapter.

Reyes has received several awards for his contributions, including the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service and the inaugural Jack B. Weinstein Mediation Settlement Award.

A magistrate judge is a judicial officer in the United States federal court system who assists district judges in carrying out their responsibilities. Magistrate judges are appointed for a renewable term of eight years and are not Article III judges, meaning they do not have the lifetime tenure and salary protection guaranteed by the Constitution.

Magistrate judges perform a wide range of duties, including overseeing pretrial proceedings, conducting preliminary hearings, hearing misdemeanor cases, and managing discovery in civil cases. They may also be assigned to conduct settlement conferences, mediate disputes, and, with the consent of the parties, preside over civil trials.

The primary difference between a magistrate judge and a typical federal district judge is the scope of their authority and the manner of their appointment. District judges are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, with lifetime tenure, while magistrate judges are appointed by the district judges of their respective courts for limited terms. District judges have broader jurisdiction, handling more complex civil and criminal cases, while magistrate judges generally handle matters delegated to them by district judges.

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