40+ year defense attorney for municipality in EPA suit for civil penalties and injunction:
California in-house counsel
for major insurance company
in a construction defect case:
I have been law for 40 years and have handled a wide variety of cases in both state and federal court system. Judge Mildred Methvin mediated a complex environmental matter in which I was involved. The issues were many, the parties were far apart, and a trial of the matter would have been long and expensive and would have resulted in a decision that would have been hard on all of the parties. A resolve of these complicated issues took several years. During that time, Judge Methvin kept track of all of the activities of all of the parties, assisted them in bringing other agencies to the table and finally getting the matter settled without the necessity of trial. Not only did Judge Methvin hold the parties to the scheduled progress, she did so with the proper amount of authority and tact. In any case, there is no substitute for preparation. In this case, Judge Methvin was always prepared and to the point. Her knowledge of the subject and her ability to communicate with the parties, was the key to success in this very difficult matter. This was truly a job well done.
"It was a pleasure to meet you and have you preside over the settlement conference this week. By all accounts, a difficult and emotional construction defect matter involving a couple's 'dream home' that had major issues and took years to restore. All parties were extremely pleased with your outstanding efforts, firm but diplomatic approach and creative problem-solving that brought about a win-win resolution for all involved. The fact that you stepped in at the last minute when the presiding magistrate conflicted out makes your efforts all the more impressive. Despite that, you were well-briefed and very knowledgeable about all of the issues.
I look forward to working with you again as a private mediator. Please feel free to use this as a recommendation."
17+ year trial attorney, following mediation in a complex,
multi-party maritime case:
"I would like to . . . commend Magistrate Judge Methvin for an outstanding job in handling the mediation in this case. I feel as though she was the driving force in preventing the prospects of settling this case from collapsing. She did an excellent job in containing the varied personalities of counsel in this matter.
I want you to know that during the 17 years I have been practicing, this is the first time I have sent a letter of this nature. However, in these days of constant criticism of the legal profession and judiciary, I felt compelled to make sure that her efforts did not go unnoticed."
30+ year trial attorney, with
offices in Houston, New Orleans,
Shreveport, and Lafayette:
"I have meant for some time to express my thanks, and the thanks of my client, for the very expert and highly energetic steps which were taken by the court to mediate the settlement of the referenced litigation.
This was a complex personal injury case, since it involved a vessel defendant, a LHWCA carrier, and a long term disability carrier. [Mr. X] - who I consider a gifted mediator - previously tried, and failed, to generate a consensus between these diverse constituencies.
The court ultimately succeeded in bringing the parties together because, I think, you went above and beyond, through most of a difficult pre-trial weekend, to get the job done."
20+ year trial attorney,
maritime personal injury case:
"Without your help, there is no question in my mind this case would not have settled. My clients felt at ease with your presentation and handling of the case and were comforted by your words throughout.
I want you to know that you are an invaluable resource in these matters, and I look forward to our next case together."
25+ year trial attorney,
medical malpractice case
of a family member:
"I know [family member's case] had to be settled, but getting there would have been impossible without your thoughtful and insightful input."
30+ year trial attorney in a
mineral rights dispute case:
"I want to personally thank you for the excellent manner in which you conducted the settlement conference which benefitted all parties who have been in constant litigation for approximately ten years.
Without your help, I assure you this matter would not have been resolved."
Senior adjustor for major
"I would do every settlement conference with you if I could. You are very firm, but don't make people angry."
25+ year trial attorney:
"[Y]ou are a skilled communicator who conveys your thoughts in a way understandable to both lawyers and pro se parties, but who also understands the necessity of listening."
25+ year trial attorney,
Jones Act Case:
"I feel that once again you have shown good insight in analyzing the case and furthermore in making the client feel comfortable with a reasonable recommendation. I really appreciate the effort and time you put into these settlement conferences, and I feel that you are providing an invaluable service to the federal judicial system."
15+ year trial attorney:
"The settlement conference was most helpful in settling a case where the parties were very far apart. Judge Methvin allowed us considerable time from her schedule and her intervention into the matter played a pivotal role in getting a deal done. Had she not taken so much time with my clients, I do not know if this case would have settled. My clients are most appreciative, as I am, of her efforts."
U. S. Circuit Judge, remarks
made at retirement ceremony
October 23, 2009:
"[Members of the bar have reported] she's very good at mediating and settling cases, particularly complex cases. She has an eye for detail, and is meticulous in dealing with complex facts and complex legal problems. She's smart, and she's intellectually honest. She's a quick study. And maybe the most important thing to say about a judge: she's unbiased, appears to have no agenda, and calls them like she sees them."
25+ year trial attorney:
"I want to thank you for taking the time to mediate this settlement. Without your efforts, I don't believe we would have been able to successfully settle this case. Thank you for helping both parties in this matter."
20+ year trial attorney in a
letter to the district judge:
20+ year trial attorney:
"This case settled this afternoon for $90,000. Judge Methvin was very instrumental in bringing the parties together and I do not believe the case would have settled without her assistance."
I participated in the successful settlement conference as the attorney for [Mr. X] and his insurance company. I wish to commend you on a fine and thoroughly professional job of settling this most difficult case. You were able to bring everybody together in such a caring and fair manner. I appreciate your efforts and truly thank you on a job well done!
Witness who testified in a
"I want to thank you for assisting my daughter and me when we came to your court in Lafayette. It was the first time Kelly or I have ever been in a court room much less a federal courtroom. We were very nervous but you helped us to calm down and give truthful, honest testimonies. We both appreciated how you listened and maintained control of the lawyer who was a bit overbearing at times."
5+ year trial attorney
(letter to U. S. Representative,
in support of nomination to
"Both opposing counsel and I were extremely impressed by her demeanor, her capability and the efficiency with which the entire [maritime jury trial] was litigated.
Judge Methvin was required to make several significant evidentiary rulings both prior to, during, and following the courtroom trial. In each instance, her rulings were prompt, crisp and legally correct. There was not a complaint from either lawyer about any of these rulings having been legally inappropriate.
Most important was the fact that Judge Methvin treated the lawyers in the case with respect and courtesy. There was never any question concerning her role of leadership and direction insofar as the jury, witnesses and court personnel were concerned but at no time did she inappropriately give the appearance of usurping the roles of the advocates. In sum, her abilities as a trial judge were outstanding in every respect."
30+ year trial attorney
(letter to U. S. Representative,
in support of nomination to
"All [colleagues interviewed] agree that, during her tenure, Judge Methvin has been uniformly fair to every attorney, litigant and member of the general public who has entered her court. [She] is energetic. I have heard her referred to by Chief Judge Clark of the Fifth Circuit as the "hardest working Magistrate" in this Circuit.
Judge Methvin is knowledgeable. She is quite familiar with the Admiralty and Maritime litigation which forms the backbone of the caseload in the Western District.
She possesses every qualification of age, integrity and background . . . and possesses a distinguished record as a practicing jurist. . ."
Assistant U. S. Attorney
(letter in response to inquiry regarding qualifications
for higher office):
"After nine years as a federal prosecutor, I know judicial timber when I see it. A federal judge should at least be fearless, have judicial presence, control but not dominate the courtroom, and be predictable. . . I have seen Magistrate Judge Methvin in action. I have watched her evolve on the bench. . . The one overwhelming plus that Magistrate Methvin brings to the federal bench is that her judicial strike zone is steady, is proven, and can be relied upon."
20+ year trial attorney
(letter nominating Judge Methvin
for the 2007 Fifth Circuit Professionalism Award):
"Magistrate Judge Methvin's longstanding mission of planting the seeds of professionalism and civility on a daily basis - both by her word and deed - sets an example for all members of the legal profession to follow. In short, Magistrate Judge Methvin epitomizes the type of professionalism and sterling character for which the Fifth Circuit Professionalism Award was created to recognize."
20+ year criminal
"I have not had many opportunities to practice our profession outside of Florida, and I was impressed with the professionalism of your offices and the courtesies of your staff."
Misdemeanor game violator:
"I wish to express my sincere appreciation for amending the sentence that was imposed on me. . . for the game bird violation. I fully realize that your judgment was final and it was not necessary for you to take such action.
It is refreshing to know that there are people such as yourself in our judicial system who aren't afraid to admit to a mistake and are able to display so much integrity. Thank you."
Martial Arts Instructor, 5th Dan, American Shotokan Karate:
"I have known [Mimi] since 1996 as her martial arts instructor . . . and have trained her to 2nd Degree Black Belt. During her 11 years of martial arts training, she competed at the National Black Belt League World Championships [in Colorado Springs]. She has always set very high goals for herself and has always successfully completed and exceeded these personal goals. In order to obtain a 2nd Degree Black Belt . . . one must train consistently for a period of 8 years, demonstrate character of high moral code as well as high respect for oneself and others. In addition to being in the top 1% of our student body, all 2nd Degree Black belts are placed into a leadership position
. . . Mimi has performed and exceeded those goals.
Martial arts is a very diverse sport and brings together people of many different races, cultural and economical backgrounds. Mimi has trained with our students of diverse backgrounds in a leadership position which has given her greater experience to deal with conflict resolution. She has also been an excellent role model for our lower ranking students."