November 07, 2013
Senior District Judge James Hughes Hancock administers the oath of office to new U.S. District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala (L ’89) for the Northern District of Alabama on Oct. 21, 2013.
(Photo courtesy of Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala)
A little more than a year after going on the bench as a federal magistrate judge, Tulane Law School alumna Madeline Hughes Haikala has moved up to U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.
Judge Haikala (L ’89), whom President Barack Obama nominated for the lifetime appointment in May, won Senate confirmation Oct. 14 on a 90-0 roll call vote. She had been supported by both Alabama Sens. Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby.
Haikala is well-known and highly regarded in the state. Before being chosen as a magistrate judge, she had worked 22 years at the Birmingham-based firm of Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC.
At her Senate Judiciary Committee hearings in June, she was praised for her appellate practice and dedication to pro bono work. She told senators that judges should be even-tempered, listen to both sides and “have a sense of humor.”
Haikala was sworn in Oct. 21. The district covers 31 Alabama counties and includes Huntsville and Tuscaloosa.