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Aditya Chinchure, Unsplash

As we've mentioned a time or three in the last few months, in the wake of Judge Stark's confirmation to the Federal Circuit, parties in his former cases were given the option to either consent to a magistrate judge of their choosing or await assignment to a sitting Article III judge - most likely a helpful visitor from another district.

On this slow news day, I thought it might be helpful to look back at the results of this novel procedure over the past few months and see how many litigants have chosen to consent, and to whom. I for one was a bit surprised at the results, to wit:

  • Not consenting: 48
  • Consenting: 12

Our resident math majors will note that exactly 20% (my personal guess was closer to 50%) of cases consented to having one of our magistrate judges conduct all proceedings. Interestingly, in every case the parties chose to select their magistrate, rather than allowing the Court to choose resuling in the following distribution:

  • Judge Burke - 7
  • Judge Hall - 3
  • Judge Thynge - 2

These numbers are quite preliminary as the majority of the VAC cases have yet to make their decision on a magistrate, but it will be interesting to see how these numbers change and what effect, if any, it will have on case management in the district.

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