Iowa Alumni Magazine | October 2002 | People

Please Rise: Patrick Reinert

He's one of an elite few.

Last May, Patrick Reinert, 86JD, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, was sworn in as a military judge—one of only 14 Army reserve trial judges in the world.

The appointment takes him to a new level in his military and law career, one that lets him pass down what he has learned to upcoming generations of attorneys.

"I thought it was an interesting opportunity not only to see the courtroom from a different perspective, but also to help teach young trial attorneys their craft," Reinert says. "I hope to pass on some trial skills and teach these new lawyers how to be comfortable, confident, and enjoy their jobs."

As a civilian, Reinert is a full-time assistant U.S. attorney in Cedar Rapids. In his Army reserve capacity, he has served as a prosecutor in military courtrooms. Between these roles, he has logged many hours of trial experience, a factor that put him ahead of other candidates for military judge.

The criminal cases he's tried as a civilian and soldier are similar, including drug cases, assaults, shootings, domestic abuse, even murder. On the bench, he will hear a little bit of everything—mostly less serious felonies such as AWOL (Absence Without Leave) cases, assaults, minor drug distribution, and bad checks.

This past June, he presided over his first court martial.

"The courtroom looks a lot different when you're sitting up on the bench," Reinert says. "I enjoy it."