Articles Posted in INND News

South Bend, Indiana – On behalf of the judges of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Chief Judge Jon E. DeGuilio announced that Chanda J. Berta has been selected as the next Clerk of Court effective May 8, 2023.

Ms. Berta joined the Northern District of Indiana in January of 2007 as a law clerk to the late Judge Allen Sharp. Ms. Berta’s long tenure with the court has included serving in the capacities of acting clerk of court, chief deputy, divisional manager, and career law clerk. Before joining the federal judiciary, Ms. Berta worked as an Associate at Hunt Suedhoff Kalamaros LLP, now known as Hunt Suedhoff Kearney LLP. Ms. Berta graduated summa cum laude from DePauw University and received her Juris Doctorate from Valparaiso University School of Law. She is a first-generation college graduate and native to South Bend.

Chief Judge DeGuilio stated, “Chanda is uniquely qualified to serve our district by virtue of her diverse experience as a law clerk to several judges, a practicing attorney, and having held several leadership positions within the Clerk’s Office. She possesses the intellect, work ethic and professional commitment to assist in the effective administration of justice through the critical resources of her office. I know I speak for all our judges when I express my appreciation for her service and welcome her to her new role.”

Chief Judge Theresa Lazar Springmann has announced that she will take senior status starting in January 2021.Springmann-BlogPhoto-300x190  She presently presides in the Hammond, Indiana Division.

Judge Springmann was appointed to the bench as a District Judge in June 2003. Prior to then she served as a magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Indiana since 1995.  As of September 2019, she has completed 111 trials during her tenure, which are reported here.

As a result of her announcement,  U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) are seeking applications for qualified individuals to fill the vacancy.  Individuals can access the applicant questionnaire here. Two physical copies of the application must be submitted by December 9, 2019, to Senator Young’s Indianapolis office located at 251 North Illinois Street, Suite 120, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

HBrady-BlogPhoto-300x297Fort Wayne, Indiana – Former Attorney Holly Brady has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as judge in the Northern District of Indiana. Brady is only the second woman to serve as judge in the Northern District and the first judge to join the court in nine years. Brady will take the seat vacated in September 2017 by Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen.

Brady, a native Hoosier, received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University and went on to attend Valparaiso University School of Law. After graduating, Brady has worked in multiple Fort Wayne law firms in the fields of labor and employment law. Brady’s history of a strong federal practice made her a good candidate for the vacancy and she is expected to have a formal swearing-in ceremony in August.

Hammond, Indiana – Previous United States Assistant Attorney Joshua P. Kolar will fill the vacancy made by Magistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry as Northern District of Indiana Magistrate Judge. Kolar has been an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Hammond since 2007 and was among forty-three applicants for the judgeship. The judges on the court selected Kolar from the five finalists that made it through the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Committee.

Kolar received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and attended law school at the Northwestern University School of Law. As a magistrate judge, his main duties will include conducting preliminary proceedings in criminal cases and presiding over hearings and trials for civil cases and misdemeanor cases. He may also be requested to handle pretrial motions and attempts to resolve civil matters without trial by the district judges.

South Bend, Indiana – Damon R. Leichty, a partner of Barnes & Thornburg LLC has been nominated to serve as a judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. The vacancy to be filled was previously held by Judge Robert L. Miller, Jr. LeichtyLeichty-BlogPhoto is the fourth Indiana attorney to be nominated by President Trump to fill vacancies in both Indiana’s Northern and Southern District Courts.

Leichty graduated from Indiana University Maurer School of Law and went on to serve as a law clerk for Miller for two years. He also served on the Federal Local Rules Advisory Committee for the Northern District of Indiana. During his career as a private practice attorney, he has represented clients in complex civil litigation throughout the United States. Leichty also counsels manufacturers on product liability, contracts warranties, and various product development and marketing strategies.

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Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Patent Office (“USPTO”) and federal courts may be affected by a government shutdown, which will begin tomorrow if Congress does not enact a continuing resolution to fund government operations today. 

The federal court system will not be affected immediately.  During the first 10 business days of a lapse in appropriations, the judiciary will use available fee and no-year balances to pay judges and court employees, and to maintain court operations.  Courts will continue to operate, but court personnel have been instructed to conserve funding as much as possible by delaying or deferring expenses that are not critical to the performance of their constitutional responsibilities.

After the 10-day period, if there is still no appropriation, the judiciary will operate under the terms of the Anti-Deficiency Act, which allows “essential work” to continue during a lapse in appropriations. Among the definitions of “essential work” are powers exercised under the Constitution, which include activities to support the exercise of Article III judicial powers, specifically the resolution of cases.

Local Rules for the Northern District of Indiana have been revised and are effective January 1, 2013. The rules which have been amended areThumbnail image for NDPic.JPG L.R. 1-1, L.R. 5-3, L.R. 6-1, L.R. 16-1, L.R. 83-6.7, L.Cr.R. 47-2, L.Cr.R. 47-3 and Local Patent Rules LPR 1-1 through 6-1.

A complete copy of the newly adopted Local Rules can be viewed by following the link provided below.

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John E. Martin will replace Magistrate Judge Andrew P. Rodovich in the Northern District of Indiana’s Hammond Division.  Rodovich is retiring from the bench.

Mr. Martin is a deputy federal community defender in Hammond, representing indigent clients. Prior to working as a federal defender, Martin worked in private practice and was a deputy prosecutor in Porter County. He has also worked as a part-time public defender in Porter Superior Court.

Forty-two people applied for the judgeship.


Fort Wayne, IN – The Northern District of Indiana has published proposed changes to the local rules. The proposed changes would affect many rules, however, are not intended to change the substance of the local rules. Rather, the changes are proposed in order to simplify and clarify the language of the rules. The court has released “Guiding Principles” to the revisions, stating the goals of the revisions include: conforming to the style, organization, format and terminology of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and to follow generally accepted American-English sentence construction. The numbering system of the local rules will also be changed slightly under new proposal.

The public and bar are invited to comment on the proposed local rule changes through a link provided on the Court’s website.

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