PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island's first female magistrate judge has taken office.
The Providence Journal reports that state and congressional leaders, judges, friends and family packed a courtroom on Monday to watch Patricia A. Sullivan put on her robes.
Sullivan, who is a former antitrust lawyer with 34 years in practice, took her oath to officially become federal magistrate judge.
She succeeds U.S. Magistrate Judge David L. Martin after his retirement on Sept. 30. Her previous investiture ceremony in U.S. District Court was postponed by Superstorm Sandy.
The 61-year-old Sullivan said she is humbled by the responsibility.
A magistrate conducts motion hearings and other preliminary criminal and civil proceedings, trials and dispositions of misdemeanors and trials and resolution of civil cases upon the consent of the parties involved.
Magistrates are up for reappointment every eight years.
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