EAST ST. LOUIS - The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois is seeking comments from the public and the bar regarding the reappointment of U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald G. Wilkerson, whose term is due to expire on Jan. 3, 2013.

Wilkerson was first appointed magistrate judge in January 2005.

"The United States District Court is required by law to establish
a panel of citizens to consider the reappointment of the magistrate judge to a new eight year term," states a release from the district court.

The duties of a magistrate judge in this court include conducting:

- most preliminary proceedings in criminal cases;

- trials and disposition of misdemeanor cases;

- various pretrial matters and evidentiary proceedings on delegation from a district judge;

- trials and disposition of civil cases upon consent of the litigants.

Wilkerson, a native of East St. Louis, is the first African-American appointed to the bench in the Southern District of Illinois. He received his bachelor of science degree from Illinois State University in 1973. He received a masters degree in Education from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville in 1978 and graduated from the evening program of St. Louis University School of Law (cum laude) in 1993.

Comments whether Wilkerson should be recommended by a panel for reappointment by the court and should be directed to: Nancy J. Rosenstengel, Clerk of Court, "CONFIDENTIAL," 750 Missouri Ave., East St. Louis, Illinois 62201

Comments must be received no later than Friday, May 25, 2012, and they will be kept confidential, according to the release.

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