Stephen Williams, an assistant federal public defender for the Southern District of Illinois has been chosen as the district's newest federal magistrate.

Williams, 41, replaces outgoing federal Magistrate Clifford Proud.

Williams' appointment was announced via press release Thursday.

Assuming Williams passes federal background checks, he will take up his post in January 2011.

Williams has worked in the East St. Louis office of the federal public defender's office.

He graduated from the Southern Illinois University Law School summa cum laude.

He has been with the federal public defender's office for six years and was a public defender in St. Louis prior to that.

Williams has also worked in civil law with the Swansea and Herrin firm of the Womick Law Firm.

Williams was one of five candidates considered for the post.

The names of those candidates are not made public by law.

A magistrate's duties consist of handling mainly civil law matters such as pre-trial and settlement conferences.

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