Two attorneys with extensive experience representing clients in criminal cases will join the federal trial bench in Chicago.
Mary M. Rowland of Hughes, Socol, Piers, Resnick & Dym Ltd. and Daniel G. Martin, a supervising attorney with the Federal Defender Program for the Northern District of Illinois, were chosen to serve as U.S. magistrate judges.
Martin said he told the committee that screened applicants that sitting on the bench would be a way to continue his service within the justice system.
"I told the committee that I believe strongly that the role of a judge is that of a peacemaker," Martin said. "And I look forward to doing the best I can in the role of a peacemaker, in civil or criminal cases."
Rowland, who worked in the Federal Defender Program for 10 years before entering private practice, indicated that she would take the same approach to her duties.
"I hope I have skills that will assist parties in resolving their disputes," Rowland said. "I know that the magistrate judges take an active role in mediating cases."
Rowland and Martin will begin their eight-year terms on Oct. 1. They will fill vacancies that will be created when U.S. Magistrate Judges Morton Denlow and Nan R. Nolan retire.
Rowland and Martin were among about 65 people who applied for the judgeships.
A panel that included both lawyers and non-lawyers reviewed the applications and then recommended finalists for the positions.
The judges on the court who have lifetime tenure under Article III of the U.S. Constitution interviewed the finalists and made the final selections.
Chief Judge James F. Holderman said he was pleased with the choice to select Rowland and Martin.
"We look forward to welcoming each of these outstanding attorneys as United States magistrate judges on our court," Holderman said in a written statement.
Holderman said the district judges chose Rowland and Martin from a group of highly qualified candidates.
"Our 2012 Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel did an excellent job of screening applicants," Holderman said.
Attorney Aurora A. Austriaco of Austriaco & Associates Ltd., who practices under the name Aurora N. Abella-Austriaco, chaired the panel. Attorney Karen McNulty Enright of Winters, Enright, Salzetta & O'Brien LLC served as the deputy chairwoman.
A magistrate judge's duties include conducting most preliminary proceedings in criminal cases and presiding over the trial of civil cases and misdemeanor cases with the consent of all parties.
Magistrate judges also handle certain matters — including pretrial motions, evidentiary proceedings and attempts to help parties resolve civil cases short of trial — at the request of district judges.
Rowland, 50, earned her law degree at the University of Chicago Law School in 1988.
She served as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Julian Abele Cook Jr. of the Eastern District of Michigan before joining the Federal Defender Program and then going into private practice.
Martin, 57, earned his law degree at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1984.
Martin has represented clients beginning in the investigative stage of a criminal case through arguments before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Rowland and Martin will be among 12 magistrate judges serving in Chicago. Another magistrate judge sits in Rockford.