Durbin recommends 5 attorneys for federal judge position

News-DemocratJuly 11, 2013 

Five attorneys have been recommended by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin to fill a federal judge seat that will be vacated in December in East St. Louis.

The list of names was forwarded to the White House for consideration when filling the judicial vacancy that will be left when U.S. District Judge G. Patrick Murphy retires on Dec. 1. Murphy, 64, was appointed to the federal bench in 1997 by President Bill Clinton. He was recommended by U.S. Sens. Carol Moseley Braun and Dick Durbin.

Durbin has recommended the following individuals: George A. Norwood, Nancy J. Rosenstengel, Stephen Stone, Lisa M. Wood and Staci M. Yandle.

"Each of these well-qualified individuals would make an outstanding nominee for federal district court judge if selected by the president," Durbin said in a news release. "The bipartisan team I assembled to evaluate and recommend applicants did an incredible job. After meeting personally with the recommended applicants, I am honored to forward these five names to President Obama."

Durbin's screening committee was comprised six distinguished Illinoisans drawn from various aspects of the legal profession. The committee was co-chaired by Lois Wood, executive director of the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, and the Honorable George W. Timberlake, retired chief judge of the Illinois Second Judicial Circuit.

The screening committee reviewed the applications, interviewed applicants and references, and recommended the names of several individuals to Durbin. Durbin reviewed the screening committee's recommendations, conducted interviews of the finalists, and submitted his recommendations to Obama, who will make the final decisions on nominees.

Once Obama submits a nomination to the U.S. Senate, the nominee will be reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Durbin is a member, and will ultimately receive a vote in the committee. If a nomination is approved by the Judiciary Committee, the nominee will receive a vote by the full Senate.

Norwood is an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Illinois serving in the U.S. Attorney's Benton office.

Rosenstangel is the Clerk of Court for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

Stone is a partner at Howerton, Dorris & Stone in Marion.

Wood, a Belleville resident, is the assistant vice chancellor and associate general counsel at Washington University in St. Louis.

Yandle is a private practice attorney in O'Fallon. She previously worked at The Rex Carr Law Firm and at Carr, Korein, Tillery, both in East St. Louis.

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