December 30, 2021
The United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan is pleased to announce the appointment of the Honorable Jane M. Beckering as United States District Judge for the Western District of Michigan. Judge Beckering will occupy the seat formerly held by Janet T. Neff, who now serves as a Senior District Judge.
President Biden nominated Judge Beckering on July 13, 2021. The United States Senate confirmed the nomination on December 17, 2021. Chief United States District Judge Robert J. Jonker swore Judge Beckering into office on December 24, 2021, making her the 23rd person—and only the third woman– to serve as District Judge since President Abraham Lincoln appointed the District’s first Judge in 1863.
Judge Beckering has served as a Judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals since September 2007 and as Chief Judge Pro Tempore of that Court since April 2018. Before that, she was a successful trial attorney for 17 years, first at a national law firm based in Chicago, and later as a founding partner of Buchanan & Beckering PLLC in Grand Rapids, focusing on cases involving medical malpractice, catastrophic personal injury, and wrongful death.
Judge Beckering has a longstanding record of service to the legal community. She has been a leader in the Grand Rapids Bar Association since joining in 1992. For over 25 years, she has contributed to the Institute of Continuing Legal Education, including service as Co-Consulting Editor, Michigan Civil Procedure, since 2012. For the past 20 years, she also has served on the Steering Committee for the Hillman Advocacy Program, a learn-by-doing trial advocacy program sponsored by the Western District of Michigan Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and held annually in the facilities of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan.
Chief Judge Robert J. Jonker welcomed the appointment of Judge Beckering, “We are indebted to the President and the United States Senate for sending us such a distinguished jurist. Judge Beckering knows, loves, and understands the trial process. She will serve with distinction as she has in every other undertaking throughout her career.”
Judge Beckering grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and followed in her grandfather’s and father’s footsteps by becoming a lawyer. She received her undergraduate degree, with distinction, from the University of Michigan and her law degree, cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin Law School. She is married and has three children.
Melanie Vugteveen, Personnel Specialist
United States District Court, Western District of Michigan
110 Michigan Street, NW, Room 399
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503