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Boal, Jennifer C.

 

Federal Judicial Service

Chief Magistrate Judge, U. S. District Court, District of Massachusetts,
2014-present

Magistrate Judge, U. S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

First appointed to the Court May 3, 2010.

Education
Haverford College, 1985
Cornell Law School, 1989


Staff
Clerk’s Office
Courtroom / Docket Clerk Steve York  617-748-9238  steve_york@mad.uscourts.gov

Courtroom Number
14, 5th Floor

Courtroom Technology
Contact the courtroom clerk regarding use of this equipment.

The courtroom is equipped with a 50" plasma monitor cart that contains a VCR/DVD combo unit for video playback. In addition, there is a document camera in each courtroom that can connect to the same monitor for displaying physical evidence. If the evidence is electronic, the computer can either be chained into the system through the document camera, or connected directly by removing the document camera. Portable video conferencing equipment can be brought in upon request for remote appearances.

Internet access is available upon request and with the consent of the presiding Judge. Click here for more information.

Chambers Procedures/Standing Orders/Sample Orders

N/A

USDC Judicial Forum Survey


Match word(s).

    Civil - Case Management

  • JCB Q1: Do you have any specific scheduling order or any particular topics that counsel must address in the joint statement in addition to/or in lieu of the topics required to be addressed under Local Rule 16.1(D) for the initial scheduling conference?
  • JCB A1: I have a scheduling order for cases that have been referred to me by a district judge for an initial scheduling conference and also one for cases in which the parties have consented to me for all purposes.
  • JCB Q2: If you have a specific scheduling order, please attach your order.
  • JCB A2: Scheduling Order for Referral Cases
                Scheduling Order for Consent Cases
  • JCB Q3: Do you have any additional requirement(s) as to the attorneys' obligation that they confer with their client(s) about case budget and ADR pursuant to Local Rule 16.1(D)(3)?
  • JCB A3: No
  • JCB Q4: What, if any, inquiries do you make about settlement prospects and/or interest in mediation at the initial scheduling conference?
  • JCB A4: I generally ask if the parties are interested in a referral to mediation at that time. If not, we will discuss the topic at the next scheduling conference.
  • JCB Q5: What, if any inquiries do you make about the liklihood of trial at the initial scheduling conference?
  • JCB A5: I don't ask about the likelihood of trial at the initial scheduling conference.
  • JCB Q6: What schedule do you set at the initial scheduling conference?
  • JCB A6: I typically set a schedule for at least the conclusion of fact discovery.
  • JCB Q7: After the initial scheduling conference, do you hold status conferences?
  • JCB A7: Yes.
  • JCB Q8: If so, when do you hold status conferences?
  • JCB A8: After the initial scheduling conference, I typically hold a status conference before the end of fact discovery.
  • JCB Q9: If so, what issues do you address at status conferences?
  • JCB A9: I discuss all the topics listed above.
  • Civil - Discovery

  • JCB Q10: Other than the requirements under Local Rule 16.1(D) for addressing certain discovery topics in the parties' joint statement, what, if any, discovery issues do you like counsel to be prepared to address at the initial scheduling conference?
  • JCB A10: I would like counsel to be prepared to alert me to anything unusual about the discovery in their case.
  • JCB Q11: What, if any, issues related to electronically stored information should counsel be prepared to address at the initial scheduling conference?
  • JCB A11: I take this issue up on a case by case basis.
  • JCB Q12: If the parties intend to file a proposed protective order, do you require any particular format and/or a specific time for doing so?
  • JCB A12: I encourage the parties to file a proposed protective order as soon as practicable. I do not require any particular format but will not endorse orders that bind the court with respect to the information to be sealed on the court's docket.
  • JCB Q13: Under what circumstances would you consider a bifurcation of discovery ?
  • JCB A13: I take this issue up on a case by case basis.
  • JCB Q14: Given the new requirement under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1) regarding the proportionality of the scope of discovery, what, if any inquiry do you make about this issue at the initial scheduling conference?
  • JCB A14: I generally inquire about the scope of discovery in the case.
  • JCB Q15: Other than the requirement that the parties confer in good faith to narrow the issues before filing any discovery motion under Local Rule 37.1(A), what, if any, additional requirements do you make of counsel before considering discovery motions?
  • JCB A15: I do not have any other requirements that are applicable to every discovery motion.
  • JCB Q16: Do you typically hold hearing on discovery motions?
  • JCB A16: Yes.
  • JCB Q17: Please describe your general practice regarding the resolution of disovery motions.
  • JCB A17: It is helpful for the parties to give as many specifics as possible in terms of relevance, burden, etc.
  • JCB Q18: Under what circumstances will you consider emergency motions regarding discovery matters/
  • JCB A18: I will hear them when necessary but strongly encourage the parties to work the issues out or at a minimum to agree to a stay so that the issue may be handled in an orderly fashion.
  • JCB Q19: Do you have any particular practices or requirements about expert disclosures?
  • JCB A19: No.
  • JCB Q20: What, if any, expert discovery deadlines do you set at the initial scheduling conference? When do you typically set a schedule for the filing of Daubert motions?
  • JCB A20: Depending on the case, I may set the deadlines for expert discovery at the initial scheduling conference or I may set the deadlines after the conclusion of fact discovery.
  • JCB Q21: If the case involves a pro se litigant, do you typically have any different practices in regard to scheduling conferences, status conferences or discovery matters?
  • JCB A21: I do not typically have any different practices in cases involving pro se litigants.
  • Civil - Dispositive Motions

  • JCB Q22: Other than the presumptive pages limits for memoranda under Rule 7.1(b), do you have any other requirements or preferences about the filing of dispositive motions?
  • JCB A22: I issue an order regarding the filing of Rule 56.1 statements in conjunction with summary judgment motions and responses thereto.
  • JCB Q23: In connection with dispositive motions, do you require the filing of any courtesy copies of exhibits, depositions and/or other materials in addition to the electronic versions that are filed on ECF?
  • JCB A23: Yes, I typically ask for courtesy copies for documents that are over 50 pages long.
  • JCB Q24: Do you typically allow reply briefs and/or surreply briefs?
  • JCB A24: Yes.
  • JCB Q25: If you allow reply and/or surreply briefs, do you impose a page limit?
  • JCB A25: No.
  • JCB Q26: Do you typically hold a hearing on motions to dismiss?
  • JCB A26: Yes.
  • JCB Q27: Do you typically hold a hearing on summary judgment motions?
  • JCB A27: Yes.
  • JCB Q28: If you typically hold hearings on dispositive motions, what, if any, time limits do you impose on counsel for their arguments?
  • JCB A28: I do not impose time limits.
  • JCB Q29: Under what, if any, circumstances, would you allow the filing of post-argument briefs?
  • JCB A29: I allow the filing of post-argument briefs where, for example, I have a question for the parties that they have not yet addressed or where a change in the law or facts has occurred since the filing of the original briefs.
  • Civil - Patent Cases

  • JCB Q30: Do you have any standing order and/or any particular practice regarding the management of patent cases? If so, please describe them.
  • JCB A30: No.
  • JCB Q31: If applicable, please upload your standing order regarding the management of patent cases.
  • JCB A31: Respondent skipped this question
  • JCB Q32: Do you have particular practice about Markman hearings? If so, please describe them including but not limited to whether you allow tutorial(s).
  • JCB A32: No.

    Civil Mediation

  • JCB Q33: If you have any particular practices or preferences in regard to submissions before a mediation, please describe them.
  • JCB A33: See order below.
  • JCB Q34: Do you have a standard pre-mediation order for the parties? If so, please attach it here.
  • JCB A34: The Alternative Dispute Resolution Hearing is set for xxxx date at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 14 before Magistrate Judge Jennifer C. Boal. Counsel and principals are directed to be present and have full settlement authority. Each party must submit a brief (no more than 5 pages) mediation memorandum that includes a discussion of (1) the merits of the case (both strengths and weaknesses); (2) damages or other relief sought by the parties; (3) the status of discovery; and (4) the status of the parties' settlement discussions. The memoranda should be submitted BY HAND, E-MAIL to (steve_york@mad.uscourts.gov), OR MAIL WITH THE COURT no later than five (5) business days prior to the mediation and marked "Confidential - Not for Docketing." In the event that any party believes that the case is not ripe for mediation, or the date poses a serious conflict, counsel are to notify opposing counsel and call the deputy clerk at 617-748-9238 as soon as possible. Prior to the mediation, there will be a Telephone Conference set for xxxx date/time in Courtroom 14 before Magistrate Judge Jennifer C. Boal. The clerk will provide the call in information to all parties by email, one day prior to the upcoming telephone conference.
  • JCB Q35: If you have any particular practices or preferences in regard to conducting a mediation, please describe them here.
  • JCB A35: I typically hold a telephone conference before the mediation to go over procedures for the mediation and to be sure each party will have a representative in attendance at the mediation with full settlement authority.
  • JCB Q36: Do you require the party/parties to be present or available during a mediation?
  • JCB A36: Yes, a party representative, with full settlement authority must be present

    Criminal Matters

  • JCB Q37: Other than the requirements under Local Rule 116.5, what, if any, practices do you have in regard to status conferences in criminal cases?
  • JCB A37: none
  • JCB Q38: Typically, at what point, will you refer a criminal case back to the district judge?
  • JCB A38: I will refer the case back to the district judge when discovery is substantially complete.
  • JCB Q39: Do you have any particular practices as to scheduling in criminal cases? If so, please describe them.
  • JCB A39: I will schedule a conference in conjunction with the parties' counsel.
  • General Trial Practice - Pretrial Matters

  • JCB Q40: Do you require the filing of a trial brief?
  • JCB A40: Yes, Counsel should address/propose a neutral statement about the case to be read to the venire during empanelment, proposed questions for the voir dire examination of the jury and proposed interrogatories or special verdict form.
  • JCB Q41: If you do not require the filing of a trial brief, under what circumstances do you think it would be helpful to the Court?
  • JCB A41: Respondent skipped this question
  • JCB Q42: Do you typically hold an initial pretrial conference in civil cases?
  • JCB A42: Yes, I address motions in limine, the neutral statement to be read to the venire, questions for the voir dire examination, the requirements of the session during trial, and any other issue particular to that case that will promote an efficient thoughtful presentation of the case to the jury or the court.
  • JCB Q43: When do you set a deadline for the filing of proposed voir dire, proposed jury instructions and/or special verdict form, witness and exhibits lists, motions in limine? Typically, how far in advance of trial are these deadlines?
  • JCB A43: I typically set a trial date and other trial specific deadlines three months in advance of the trial date.
  • JCB Q44: Do you require that proposed voir dire, verdict forms and/or jury instructions be filed in any particular form (i.e., courtesy electronic copy to your deputy clerk in Word or WordPerfect format, etc.)? Describe your practice.,
  • JCB A44: No.
  • JCB Q45: Do you set a page limit for motions in limine? If so, what is it?
  • JCB A45: No.
  • JCB Q46: Do you typically hear motions in limine at the final pretrial conference?
  • JCB A46: Some are heard at the final pretrial conference; others are resolved at the initial pretrial conference.
  • JCB Q47: Do you typically resolve motions in limine at the final pretrial conference?
  • JCB A47: See answer above.
  • JCB Q48: Do you typically hear and/or resolve Daubert motions at the final pretrial conference?
  • JCB A48: Depends on the case.
  • JCB Q49: Do you require the parties to provide a courtesy copy of trial exhibits to the Court before trial?
  • JCB A49: Yes.
  • JCB Q50: If courtesy copies of trial exhibits are required, when do you require them?
  • JCB A50: Several weeks before trial.
  • JCB Q51: If courtesy copies of trial exhibits are required, what particular form is required?
  • JCB A51: I require the courtesy copies to be placed in a binder.
  • JCB Q52: Do you require trial exhibits to be pre-marked? If so, please describe your practice?
  • JCB A52: Yes, I require uncontested exhibits to be marked by a single sequence of numbers regardless of which party is the proponent.
  • General Trial Practice - Scheduling Trials

  • JCB Q53: Typically, when do you set a trial date in civil cases?
  • JCB A53: I typically set a trial date three months before the date.
  • JCB Q54: What is your typical trial schedule?
  • JCB A54: I sit all day the first day of trial and then from 9:00 to 1:00 until the case goes to the jury.
  • JCB Q55: In civil cases, do you set time limits for counsel for opening statements, the presentation of evidence and/or closing arguments? If so, please describe your practice?
  • JCB A55: Depends on the case.
  • General Trial Practice - Jury Selection

  • JCB Q56: Please describe your jury selection process.
  • JCB A56: I ask the voir dire questions and then ask jurors to come to side bar with counsel. I will then inquire further with each juror to determine whether that person should be excused for cause. Once we get to a sufficient number of jurors for the case, jurors are seated in the jury box and counsel may exercise their peremptories.
  • JCB Q57: Under what circumstances, if any, have you or would you consider using a juror questionnaire?
  • JCB A57: I have not had occasion to use a jury questionnaire.
  • JCB Q58: If you would consider the use of a jury questionnaire, when and in what form should it be proposed?
  • JCB A58: N/A
  • JCB Q59: Have you or would you consider allowing attorney voir dire?
  • JCB A59: No.
  • JCB Q60: In civil trials, typically what number of jurors do you seat?
  • JCB A60: 8
  • General Trial Practice - Trial Practices

  • JCB Q61: Do you require counsel to use the podium during openings, examination of witnesses and/or closings?
  • JCB A61: No.
  • JCB Q62: How many rounds of examination do you typically allow?
  • JCB A62: Recross
  • JCB Q63: Under what, if any, circumstances, will you allow a rebuttal case?
  • JCB A63: Depends on the case.
  • JCB Q64: Do you have any preferences about the use of chalks during openings and closings?
  • JCB A64: I have no objection to the use of chalks during openings and closings provided counsel has provided a copy to opposing counsel in advance and opposing counsel has no meritorious objections.
  • JCB Q65: Do you have any particular practice in regard to jury charge conferences? If so, please describe it.
  • JCB A65: I will docket a draft jury charge and then discuss the draft with counsel.
  • JCB Q66: Do you provide a written copy of your jury charge to the jury?
  • JCB A66: Yes.
  • JCB Q67: Will you consider counsel's proposals of a special verdict form? If so, should it be in any particular format?
  • JCB A67: Yes I will consider counsel's proposals. The proposals do not have to be in any particular format.
  • JCB Q68: If you have any preferences or practices about pretrial or trial matters that has not been solicited by the prior questions, please describe them here.
  • JCB A68: I typically allow jurors to have notebooks.
  • JCB Q69: If you have any particular practices as to bench trials, please describe them.
  • JCB A69: Depending on the case, I am more likely than in jury trials to conduct full day sessions.
  • Standing Orders & Miscellaneous Matters

  • JCB Q70: If your session has any standing orders, please attach them here.
  • JCB A70: Initial Pretrial Order
  • JCB Q71: Order #2
  • JCB A71: Respondent skipped this question.
  • JCB Q72: Order #3
  • JCB A72: Respondent skipped this question.
  • JCB Q73: If there is any other guidance about your court practices and preferences that you would like to share with counsel that has not been solicited by any of the prior questions, please provide it here.
  • JCB A73: Respondent skipped this question.


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