Judge Herndon was appointed United States District Judge for the Southern District of Illinois November 16, 1998 and designated Chief Judge October 1, 2007. He received a B.A. in 1974 from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and earned his Juris Doctorate from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 1977. Judge Herndon was in private practice from 1977 until 1991 when he became an Associate Judge in Madison County, Illinois. He served as Associate Judge until commissioned as a United States District Judge upon the nomination of President William J. Clinton and confirmation of the United States Senate.