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Judge Brady: Consent to Proceed Before a Magistrate Judge

Too often litigants are unaware of the efficiencies to be gained by having their cases tried before United States Magistrate Judges. When the parties consent to proceed before a Magistrate Judge, the same judge will preside over the entire case from discovery and pretrial matters through trial. Because the Magistrate Judges do not try criminal cases, and the Speedy Trial Act gives a District Judge's criminal trials priority over civil matters, a trial setting before a Magistrate Judge is much more likely to be a firm date certain. The Court strongly urges counsel to inform their clients of this option and to discuss it with opposing counsel. Pro se litigants are also urged to consider the time-saving advantages of consenting to a Magistrate Judge.