The judges of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama have selected Kelly Fitzgerald Pate to fill the United States Magistrate Judge vacancy to be created in the Middle District of Alabama due to the retirement of Magistrate Judge Wallace Capel on July 31, 2020. Ms. Pate was selected from a large group of highly qualified applicants, all of whom were screened by a Merit Selection Panel made up of both attorneys and non-attorneys from the Middle District. After a full background investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ms. Pate will be appointed by the Court to fill the vacancy.
A native of Montgomery, Alabama, Ms. Pate has been a civil litigator with the law firm of Balch and Bingham LLP since 2005. Prior to entering private practice, she served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Joel F. Dubina, United States Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
“The Court received a high number of outstanding applicants for the position,” said Chief District Judge Emily Marks. “Among the highly qualified applicants, Ms. Pate was found to be exceptionally qualified, in both experience and temperament, to serve as Magistrate Judge.” Ms. Pate graduated cum laude from The University of Alabama and magna cum laude from Cumberland School of Law, where she was the Symposium Editor for the Cumberland Law Review. Ms. Pate was selected by Best Lawyers in America as the 2018 Montgomery Lawyer of the Year for Employment Law – Management, and the 2019 Montgomery Lawyer of the Year for Litigation – Labor and Employment.
Ms. Pate is very involved in the community, serving on the Board of Directors for the Federal Defenders, the Board of Directors for the Family Sunshine Center, the Board of Directors for the Britton YMCA, and serving as Director of the Middle District of Alabama Pro Se Assistance Program. Ms. Pate is a member and past president of the Montgomery Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and is a member of the Hugh Maddox American Inn of Court. She is married to Jason Pate and they have three children.