Eastern District of Texas judges today selected Roy S. Payne, a partner in Shreveport, La.’s Gregorio, Gregory & Payne, to fill the Marshall U.S. magistrate judge bench being vacated by Chad Everingham on Friday Sept. 30. The judges chose Payne out of 55 lawyers who applied for the position, says David Maland, the clerk for the Eastern District. Payne served as a U.S. magistrate judge in the Western District of Louisiana from 1987 until 2005 but returned to private practice when his children entered college, Maland says. “And now they are all through with school and Roy saw fit to apply for our position and the court selected him," Maland says. Everingham has not yet announced his future plans. Payne did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment. U.S. District Judge T. John Ward will retire from the bench, also on Friday. President Barack Obama has nominated Rodney Gilstrap of Marshall’s Smith & Gilstrap to replace Ward and the U.S. Senate recently approved Gilstrap's nomination. It’s a relief to have two judges named considering they will soon be dealing with one of the nation’s largest patent dockets, Maland says. And the Marshall Division is one of the district’s busiest. “It’s a blessing for this to happen pretty close to the time that other judges are leaving,” Maland says.
-- John Council