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Scott J. Frankel Selected as United States Magistrate Judge

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

SOUTH BEND, Indiana (April 17, 2024): The Judges of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana are pleased to announce the selection of Scott J. Frankel for the position of United States Magistrate Judge in the Court’s South Bend Division. Mr. Frankel will succeed the Honorable Michael G. Gotsch, Sr. upon his retirement in August 2024.

Mr. Frankel was among 30 individuals who applied for the judgeship. A panel of lawyers and non-lawyers reviewed the applications and recommended 5 finalists for the position. The Court’s bench then interviewed the finalists and selected Mr. Frankel.

Mr. Frankel graduated from Oberlin College (1981) and The Ohio State University - Moritz College of Law (1985) with honors. He has substantial litigation experience involving both criminal and civil matters. Since 2018, Mr. Frankel has served as a staff attorney with the Northern District of Indiana’s Federal Community Defenders office. Mr. Frankel’s long career includes law clerking in the United States District Court for Ohio Southern (1985-1987), serving as a Cook County Public Defender (1989-1992), and working in the private sector first as an associate trial attorney at Mayer Brown (1987-1989) and then as a partner at Frankel & Cohen (1992-2018). Over the course of Mr. Frankel’s successful career, he has taught numerous trial practice seminars, mentored law students, and demonstrated a commitment to equal justice under the law.

Regarding the selection of Mr. Frankel, Chief Judge Holly A. Brady remarked, “The Merit Selection Panel did a tremendous job narrowing the 30 applicants to five highly qualified finalists. In addition to Mr. Frankel’s extensive litigation experience in both criminal and civil matters, his calm demeanor and the compassion he has shown for his clients will certainly transition to a sound judicial temperament. The Court appreciates Magistrate Judge Gotsch’s many years of service to the community and looks forward to welcoming Mr. Frankel as one of our colleagues.”

A magistrate judge’s duties are demanding and wide-ranging and include: conducting preliminary proceedings in criminal cases; hearing and determining any non-case-dispositive pretrial matter (such as procedural and discovery motions); hearing case-dispositive motions (such as motions for summary judgment or dismissal, or for suppression of evidence) and submitting findings and recommended dispositions of such court’s motions to a district judge; holding trial and disposing of misdemeanor cases and civil cases upon consent of the litigants; conducting settlement conferences and other alternative dispute resolution proceedings; and additional duties not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States. The basic authority of a United States Magistrate Judge is specified in 28 U.S.C. § 636.

Mr. Frankel’s appointment will be effective upon the completion of required IRS and FBI background investigations.

Press Release: Scott J. Frankel Selected as United States Magistrate Judge