Judge Jennifer C. Boal

Federal Judicial Service

Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts. Chief Magistrate Judge, 2014-2017.

First appointed to the Court May 3, 2010.


Haverford College, 1985
Cornell Law School, 1989


Boston Courthouse

John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse
1 Courthouse Way, Suite 2300
Boston, Massachusetts 02210


14, 5th floor

John J. Moakley Federal Courthouse - Boston, MA
John J. Moakley Federal Courthouse - Boston, MA

Courtroom Technology

Contact the courtroom clerk regarding the use of technology in the courtroom. View our courtroom technology page for more information on the technology that is available.

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

Courtroom / Docket Clerk Aaron Hutchins 617-748-9238 aaron_hutchins@mad.uscourts.gov
USDC Judicial Forum Survey

Civil - Case Management

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?

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.

Q4: What, if any, inquiries do you make about settlement prospects and/or interest in mediation at the initial scheduling conference?

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.

Q5: What, if any inquiries do you make about the liklihood of trial at the initial scheduling conference?

A5: I don't ask about the likelihood of trial at the initial scheduling conference.

Q6: What schedule do you set at the initial scheduling conference?

A6: I typically set a schedule for at least the conclusion of fact discovery.

Q8: If so, when do you hold status conferences?

A8: After the initial scheduling conference, I typically hold a status conference before the end of fact discovery.

Q9: If so, what issues do you address at status conferences?

A9: I discuss all the topics listed above.

Civil - Discovery

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?

A12: I encourage the parties to file a proposed protective order as soon as practicable. The parties should comply with my Standing Order Re: Motions for Stipulated Protective Orders dated September 20, 2021.

Q17: Please describe your general practice regarding the resolution of disovery motions.

A17: It is helpful for the parties to give as many specifics as possible in terms of relevance, burden, etc.

Q18: Under what circumstances will you consider emergency motions regarding discovery matters/

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.

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?

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.

Civil - Dispositive Motions

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?

A22: The parties should comply with my Standing Order re: Briefing of Summary Judgment Motions dated December 15, 2021.

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?

A23: Yes, I require courtesy copies for documents that are over 100 pages long. The parties should comply with my Standing Order Re: Courtesy Copies dated October 7, 2022.

Q29: Under what, if any, circumstances, would you allow the filing of post-argument briefs?

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

Civil Mediation

Q34: Do you have a standard pre-mediation order for the parties? If so, please attach it here.

A34: The The Alternative Dispute Resolution Hearing is set for _______ at _____ in [Courtroom 14] or [by remote proceedings] before Magistrate Judge Jennifer C. Boal.

In the event this date poses a serious conflict, or any party believes that the case is not ripe for mediation, please do NOT contact the Courtroom Deputy directly regarding mediation scheduling; instead, the parties are to confer and file on CM/ECF a motion to cancel the mediation or to continue the mediation, as appropriate. In the case of motions to continue the mediation, the parties should include therein several proposed dates for which all counsel and principals are available.

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 BY E-MAIL to (steve_york@mad.uscourts.gov) no later than fourteen (14) days prior to the mediation and marked "Confidential - Not for Docketing."

Prior to the Mediation hearing, there will be a Preliminary Conference set for _____ at _____ by remote proceedings before Magistrate Judge Jennifer C. Boal.

The Preliminary Conference will be conducted by video, the clerk will provide the relative information for this conference to all parties at the email registered in CM/ECF, prior to the upcoming hearing.

If you have technical or compatibility issues with video technology, please notify the session's courtroom deputy as soon as possible.

It shall be understood (a) that all parties and counsel will participate in this court-sponsored mediation in good faith and with the interest of settling the matter on mutually acceptable terms, (b) that the entire mediation process, including all communications during any in-person, video or audio part thereof, is confidential, (c) that all statements made during the course of mediation are privileged settlement discussions, made without prejudice to any party's legal position, and inadmissible for any purpose in any legal proceeding, (d) that no party, participant, or representative shall seek in any proceeding to hereafter compel the mediator to testify and/or produce any document with respect to the mediation, and (e) that all parties, counsel and other participants agree that, by participating in this court-sponsored mediation, they are bound by these conditions and shall keep confidential all communications exchanged during the mediation process.

Q35: If you have any particular practices or preferences in regard to conducting a mediation, please describe them here.

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.

Q36: Do you require the party/parties to be present or available during a mediation?

A36: Yes, a party representative, with full settlement authority must be present

Criminal Matters

Q38: Typically, at what point, will you refer a criminal case back to the district judge?

A38: I will refer the case back to the district judge when discovery is substantially complete.

Q39: Do you have any particular practices as to scheduling in criminal cases? If so, please describe them.

A39: I will schedule a conference in conjunction with the parties' counsel.

General Trial Practice - Pretrial Matters

Q40: Do you require the filing of a trial brief?

A40: Yes. I typically issue an order setting the case for trial, which sets forth the requirements for such a brief.

Q42: Do you typically hold an initial pretrial conference in civil cases?

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.

Q46: Do you typically hear motions in limine at the final pretrial conference?

A46: Some are heard at the final pretrial conference; others are resolved at the initial pretrial conference.

Q51: If courtesy copies of trial exhibits are required, what particular form is required?

A51: I require the courtesy copies to be placed in a binder.

Q52: Do you require trial exhibits to be pre-marked? If so, please describe your practice?

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

Q53: Typically, when do you set a trial date in civil cases?

A53: I typically set a trial date three months before the date.

Q54: What is your typical trial schedule?

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.

General Trial Practice - Jury Selection

Q56: Please describe your jury selection process.

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.

General Trial Practice - Trial Practices

Q64: Do you have any preferences about the use of chalks during openings and closings?

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.

Q65: Do you have any particular practice in regard to jury charge conferences? If so, please describe it.

A65: I will docket a draft jury charge and then discuss the draft with counsel.

Q67: Will you consider counsel's proposals of a special verdict form? If so, should it be in any particular format?

A67: Yes I will consider counsel's proposals. The proposals do not have to be in any particular format.

Q69: If you have any particular practices as to bench trials, please describe them.

A69: Depending on the case, I am more likely than in jury trials to conduct full day sessions.

Standing Orders & Miscellaneous Matters

Q71: Order #2

A71: Respondent skipped this question.

Q72: Order #3

A72: Respondent skipped this question.

Post-Pandemic Practices