Champaign, Illinois – Hon. David G. Bernthal, (Ret.) discussed his experience presiding over naturalization ceremonies as a judge in the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette titled, “Fond memories of naturalization ceremonies.”
In November’s “Off the Bench” column, Judge Bernthal reminisced about his judicial career and the emotions associated with welcoming new citizens to the United States. The former federal judge is now a senior mediator and arbitrator at ADR Systems.
“The new citizens come from many different countries,” he explained. “They may have come from countries that were involved in conflict with each other, but they left as fellow Americans.”
New practices were implemented during Judge Bernthal’s time on the bench. This included recognizing attendees who served or are serving in the US Armed Forces, which often included several of the new citizens being sworn in. However, Judge Bernthal said he will always remember the first naturalization ceremony he conducted.
“I was expecting a nice ceremony with happy people, but I was completely taken by surprise at the level of emotion as I looked out at the newly sworn-in US citizens,” he said. “I saw many happy tears. The emotions did not dwindle over the 20 years I conducted these ceremonies.
Judge Bernthal has presided over more than 125 ceremonies for thousands of people, noting that each one had an impact on him.
To read the entire article published November 12th, click here.
Judge Bernthal served 21 years as a federal magistrate judge in the US District Court for the Central District of Illinois. Those who practiced before him have praised his skills as a jurist, describing him as both a learned scholar and efficient administrator. Judge Bernthal’s proven legal knowledge and keen understanding of negotiation are critical assets in both mediation and arbitration. In addition to Judge Bernthal’s work as a mediator and arbitrator, he also publishes a monthly column in the News-Gazette.
For Judge Bernthal’s full bio, click here.
For Judge Bernthal’s availability, click here.
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