Tanya Walton Pratt, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, on Tuesday announced the selection of Kellie M. Barr for the position of federal magistrate judge.
Barr will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch, which begins in October.
A merit selection committee chaired by Sara J. Varner, first assistant federal defender for the Indiana Federal Community Defenders, and consisting of 10 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 Barr.
Born in Milwaukee, Barr is a 2003 graduate of Indiana University-Bloomington, where she received bachelor's degrees in psychology and speech and hearing sciences and a minor in Spanish. She earned her law degree from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2006.
Barr served as a law clerk to then-Chief Judge John G. Baker of the Indiana Court of Appeals from 2006 to 2008. She then spent the next two years in private practice as an associate at Bose McKinney & Evans LLP. Barr then clerked for U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson, leaving the court in 2017 to join the legal department of Indiana University Health Inc. Since 2020, she has served IU Health as assistant general counsel and lead attorney for IU Health Physicians.
Judge Pratt said, "My fellow district judges and I are delighted to welcome Kellie to the bench as our newest magistrate judge. During her nearly seven years as a law clerk to Judge Magnus-Stinson, our judges came to regard her as intelligent, thoughtful, and dedicated to the important work of the court. Kellie's past experience in the federal judiciary, combined with her time in private practice and at IU Health, provide her with all the tools necessary to be an excellent magistrate judge."
U.S. magistrate judges are appointed by the judges of the district court for a term of eight years and are eligible for reappointment to successive terms. They preside over many pretrial proceedings in both civil and criminal cases. A critical component of the position is conducting mediation and settlement proceedings in civil cases.
Barr's appointment will be effective upon the completion of required IRS and FBI background investigations and Judge Lynch's retirement.