Chief Judge Catherine D. Perry announced today that the district judges of the United States District Court have selected Judge Patricia L. Cohen to fill the upcoming vacancy for United States Magistrate Judge. The selection was made from nominees submitted by a Merit Selection Panel consisting of attorneys and lay persons residing within the district. Judge Cohen will fill a vacancy created when Judge Thomas C. Mummert retires in January, 2016.
According to Judge Perry, the selection process generated an excellent pool of highly qualified applicants, from which Judge Cohen emerged as the top candidate. “For the judges of this court, it was so gratifying to see the caliber of attorneys who sought this appointment. The job of magistrate judge is both demanding and very important to our system of justice. We know that Judge Cohen’s experience and exceptional qualifications will make her an asset to our court,” stated Judge Perry.
Judge Cohen currently serves as a judge on the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District of Missouri. She has held that position since her appointment in 2003, and served as Chief Judge of that Court from 2007 to 2008. Before her current position, Judge Cohen was a circuit judge of the 22nd Judicial Circuit in St. Louis from 1997 to 2003. Earlier in her legal career, Judge Cohen worked in private practice focusing on labor, employment and civil rights litigation. Judge Cohen received her Bachelor of Arts with High Honors from the University of Michigan and Juris Doctorate from Cornell Law School.
The term of office of a magistrate judge is eight years, with the opportunity to renew the appointment for additional terms. Judge Cohen’s term will begin upon the retirement of Judge Mummert and after clearance by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service.