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  • By Pacific Island Times News Saff

Bordallo named federal court magistrate judge

Judge Michel Bordallo

U.S. District Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood today announced the appointment of Michael J. Bordallo to the position of U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District Court of Guam.

Bordallo is replacing Joaquin Manibusan, who retired on Jan. 31.

Bordallo received a B.B.A. in 1983 and a J.D. in 1987 from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He brings to the Court 22 years of judicial experience, having sat as a trial court judge for the Superior Court of Guam since March of 1998.

As a Guam jurist, he chaired the Guam judiciary's Juvenile Justice Reform Focus Area on Court Language and served as co-chairperson of the Guam judiciary's subcommittees on Civil Jury Instructions and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

He co-chaired the Judiciary's 2016- 2019 Strategic Plan Focus Area on Access to Courts and Delivery of Services which focused on improving pro se litigants’ access to the courts and served on the Guam Board of Law Examiners Drafting and Grading Committee. An advocate of alternative dispute resolution, he began a program referring civil cases to mediation. He previously served as President of the Board of Trustees for the Guam Law Library.

Prior to joining the Guam judiciary, Bordallo was a private practitioner for nine years and served as an assistant attorney general for Guam. Bordallo believes in remaining a part of the community and has been actively involved in the local soccer organization, having served as its president, vice president and general secretary. He currently serves as chairman of its Disciplinary Committee and as a Match Commissioner for the American Football Conference and Fédération Internationale de Football Association.

Bordallo is married to Carla Benito Bordallo and they have three children. The duties of a Magistrate Judge are demanding and wide-ranging in both civil and criminal cases. As the sole Magistrate Judge in a district with only one District Judge, the Magistrate Judge plays a crucial role in the management of our court’s caseload.

He is assigned a broad range of both civil and criminal case duties. He handles all felony proceedings and pretrial management of felony cases, including all felony guilty plea proceedings.

He issues reports and recommendations in supervised release and probation revocation proceedings. Our Magistrate Judge is assigned all the district’s prisoner civil rights and other pro se cases for pretrial management and the preparation of reports, and reports and recommendations. He is responsible for full civil case pretrial management, including settlement conferences and some case dispositive motions.

The magistrate judge also handles the petty offense and misdemeanor caseload arising in our district and may dispose of civil consent cases.

U.S. magistrate judges are appointed for a term of eight years and are eligible for reappointment to successive terms. A Merit Selection Panel made up of attorneys and community members were appointed to review all applications and recommend to the court the candidates best qualified to serve as magistrate judge.


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