INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – The Honorable Tanya Walton Pratt, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, is pleased to announce the selection of Crystal S. Wildeman for the position of United States Magistrate Judge in the Evansville Division. Ms. Wildeman will fill the vacancy created by the recent elevation of the Honorable Matthew P. Brookman from Magistrate Judge to District Judge of the Southern District of Indiana.
A Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Committee, chaired by James D. Johnson of Jackson Kelly PLLC, and consisting of six other attorneys and two community members, reviewed numerous applications and recommended finalists for the position. The District Judges of the court interviewed the finalists and selected Ms. Wildeman.
Born in Evansville, Indiana, Ms. Wildeman is a 2003 graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, where she received Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees after double majoring in Psychology and Criminal Justice with a minor in Biology. In May 2006, Ms. Wildeman earned her law degree from DePaul College of Law in Chicago, Illinois. While in law school, Ms. Wildeman earned the Best Brief Award in DePaul’s Moot Court Competition and then was elected to serve as the Chief Justice of the Moot Court Society. She also served as the Case Notes Editor for the DePaul College of Law Health Care Law Journal and worked as a Summer Associate/711 Licensed Student-Attorney with the Chicago Transit Authority.
Following law school, Ms. Wildeman worked as an associate at Kahn Dees Donovan & Kahn, LLP, from 2006 through 2014. From 2014 through 2022, Ms. Wildeman held a partner position with Wooden McLaughlin LLP (merged into Dinsmore & Shohl LLP). In 2022, Ms. Wildeman joined Barber & Bauer, LLP, as partner, where she currently works as a general civil practitioner representing businesses and individuals in litigation in a variety of areas including employment, contract, personal injury, and insurance. Ms. Wildeman also has extensive mediation experience and is a certified, trained mediator.
Ms. Wildeman is admitted to practice law in the states of Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky, and in the United States District Courts for the Southern District of Indiana, Southern District of Illinois, and Western District of Kentucky.
An active participant in the legal profession and wider community, Ms. Wildeman is a member of the Indiana and Kentucky State Bar Associations and the Evansville Bar Association, where over her career, she volunteered as the Women’s Section Committee Chair, Commercial Law Section Co-Chair, Employment Law Section Member, and Young Lawyers Section Member. She is a board member and Secretary of the Rotary Club of Evansville, where in 2021, she received the 20 Under 40 Award. She is also an advisory board member of Youth First, Inc., where she has served as the chair of the organization and on many committees.
Regarding the selection, Chief Judge Pratt remarked, “I am very pleased to announce that Ms. Wildeman was selected by the District Judges to be the court’s newest Magistrate Judge. Throughout the selection process, she demonstrated that she is a person of great intelligence, an extremely hard worker, and has a deep commitment to equal justice under the law. These traits, combined with her extensive and diverse law practice, ensure that she will be an excellent Magistrate Judge. On behalf of the entire bench, I enthusiastically welcome her to the court family.”
United States Magistrate Judges are appointed by the Judges of the United States District Court for a term of eight years and are eligible for reappointment to successive terms. Magistrate Judges preside over many pretrial proceedings in both civil and criminal cases in federal court. A critical component of the position is conducting mediation and settlement proceedings in civil cases, helping parties settle their disputes by agreement. Ms. Wildeman’s appointment will be effective upon the completion of required IRS and FBI background investigations.