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Public defender appointed as U.S. magistrate judge

Western DistrictAssistant federal public defender Joel C. Hoppe of Charlottesville has been appointed as a U.S. magistrate judge by the district judges of the Western District of Virginia.

Hoppe will sit in Harrisonburg, according to information from the court.

Hoppe was among five people recommended to the district court judges by a selection panel chaired by Phillip C. Stone Sr. of Harrisonburg. The panel interviewed 20 candidates for the judgeship, Stone said.

The names of the other recommended candidates were not disclosed by either Stone or Chief U.S. District Judge Glen E. Conrad. The guidelines for the selection of magistrate judges suggest that the court not disclose those names, Conrad’s office said.

Hoppe has an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and received his JD in 2002 from the University of Richmond. He has clerked for U.S. magistrate judges in the Western and Eastern Districts.

He worked for the state attorney general’s office and at a Richmond law firm before appointment as an assistant federal public defender in 2007.

“I’m grateful and excited for the opportunity,” Hoppe said of the appointment.

Hoppe is expected to take the bench in early 2014. The appointment is for a term of eight years, with the possibility of reappointment, the court said.

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