TAMPA — The job market is loosening up if you aspire to be a federal judge.
Florida's two U.S. senators have expanded a search to fill two judicial vacancies and prepare for two anticipated vacancies in the state's Middle and Southern Districts.
"It is quite extraordinary to have four U.S. district judge vacancies in Florida at the same time," said John Fitzgibbons, chairman of the state's Federal Judicial Nominating Commission.
One spot affects the Tampa Bay area: U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr. is expected to attain senior status on March 14, according to a letter to the commission from U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio. Senior judges, partially retired, typically carry a reduced caseload.
With the addition of two jobs, the application deadline for all four judicial positions — including one in Orlando and two in the Southern District — has been extended to Aug. 19.
That's also the new deadline in the search for a permanent U.S. Attorney for the Middle District to replace Robert "Bobby" O'Neill, who left earlier this month to join a private firm.
Interviews will now take place in September instead of August.
For application materials, check the Florida Bar website (www.floridabar.org), the Middle District site (www.flmd.uscourts.gov), or contact Fitzgibbons' law office at (813) 221-8800.
Patty Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3382.