Judge Judith G. Dein

Federal Judicial Service

Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts. Chief Magistrate Judge, 2009 - 2012.

First appointed to the Court July 31, 2000.


Union College, B.A., 1976
Boston College Law School, J.D., 1979


Boston Courthouse

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


15, 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 Thomas Quinn 617-748-9040 thomas_quinn@mad.uscourts.gov
Chambers Procedures/Standing Orders/Sample Orders
USDC Judicial Forum Survey

Civil - Case Management

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

A4: I always ask about mediation. I ask about settlement in the context of scheduling discovery efficiently. For example, if certain discovery is needed as a prelude to settlement discussions, I work with the parties to schedule that discovery.

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

A5: I rarely inquire about the likelihood of trial at the initial scheduling conference.

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

A6: I usually schedule fact discovery and expert discovery. I often wait to schedule dispositive motions until the next status conference.

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

A8: I usually hold the first status conference towards the close of fact discovery.

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

A9: I address the status of discovery, whether adjustments to the schedule are needed, whether mediation is appropriate, and whether the case is likely to involve dispositive motions. If so, I often schedule dispositive motions when fact discovery is almost complete.

Civil - Discovery

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?

A10: I like to know about the substance of the case, and potential discovery problems. I also discuss the best form for presenting discovery issues, i.e. motions, letters, informal conferences or the like.

Q13: Under what circumstances would you consider a bifurcation of discovery ?

A13: It varies with the case. Factors I generally consider are if there is limited discovery needed before serious settlement discussions can be started, or if there are discrete issues that need to be decided by the court which will affect the need for significant amounts of discovery.

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?

A15: No specific requirements, but I have been working with counsel to determine the most efficient way of presenting a discovery issue. For example, are memoranda really needed, can the issue be decided in a telephone conference, and the like.

Q16: Do you typically hold hearing on discovery motions?

A16: Yes, I generally hold fairly significant hearings on discovery motions so the parties can understand how I am likely to rule, and so that they can help formulate resolutions, if possible.

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

A17: I generally hold hearings. If possible, I rule from the bench. I usually issue an order, but on occasion ask the parties to draft the order.

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

A18: I will consider an emergency motion if it is a real emergency. I rarely decide a motion without giving the opposing party an opportunity to address the issues in a substantive way.

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: I generally set schedules for expert discovery at the initial scheduling conference. I schedule the filing of Daubert motions closer to trial.

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?

A21: I try and make sure that the pro se litigant understands the procedure and is engaged in the process. I also discuss the possibility of pro bono counsel being appointed for mediation only.

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: I request that in connection with motions for summary judgment there be one document stating the undisputed facts and the opposing party's response thereto.

Q24: Do you typically allow reply briefs and/or surreply briefs?

A24: Yes, I generally allow reply briefs. Surreply briefs are not encouraged.

Q25: If you allow reply and/or surreply briefs, do you impose a page limit?

A25: Yes, Generally they must be very short and focused.

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

A29: I will request additional briefing if I feel it would help. New cases can be brought to the court's attention via postargument briefs.

Civil - Patent Cases

Civil Mediation

Q33: If you have any particular practices or preferences in regard to submissions before a mediation, please describe them.

A33: I require a written submission which is included in my order. See order below.

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

A34: An electronic order is entered in each case. Generally they provide: Counsel are directed to be present with their clients or representatives thereof with full settlement authority. No later than three business days before the conference, each party shall submit (by mail, hand delivery or email addressed to ______ ) a brief memorandum marked "Confidential - Not for Docketing" addressing the party's position on the merits of the case and on settlement. If you use a standard form settlement agreement, please bring a copy with you. If you believe the case is not ripe for mediation at this time, please notify opposing counsel and the court as soon as possible.

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

A35: I generally do not have opening statements. I meet with each counsel individually before hand without clients to review the dynamics of the case and significant issues. I meet with everyone to review the rules and to introduce myself. I then divide the parties into separate rooms and do shuttle diplomacy.

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

A36: Yes, a party with decision making authority must be present, with prior permission, on occasion I allow the decision maker to be available by phone.

Criminal Matters

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

A38: When discovery is complete or it appears that it will be completed without the need for my further involvement.

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

A39: I usually hold status conferences within 1 month, but there are exceptions.

General Trial Practice - Pretrial Matters

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

A40: Yes, In accordance with the local rules.

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

A46: It is expected that motions in limine will be heard at the final pretrial conference unless other arrangements have been made.

Q47: Do you typically resolve motions in limine at the final pretrial conference?

A47: I try and resolve them as early as possible. Depends on the complexity of the issue, and the importance of the motion to the scope of the trial.

Q48: Do you typically hear and/or resolve Daubert motions at the final pretrial conference?

A48: I prefer to address Daubert motions as early as possible.

Q50: If courtesy copies of trial exhibits are required, when do you require them?

A50: If they are disputed, they should be filed with the appropriate motion. Otherwise they can be provided at trial.

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

A51: I don't have any special requirements. I generally prefer at least one hard copy of exhibits.

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

A52: Yes, This varies with the case. I expect the parties to try and agree to the appropriate numbering scheme.

General Trial Practice - Scheduling Trials

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

A53: At the conclusion of discovery or after summary judgment, if appropriate. I can usually schedule a trial within a few months.

Q54: What is your typical trial schedule?

A54: For shorter trials 10-4. For longer trials 9:30 -1:00.

General Trial Practice - Jury Selection

Q56: Please describe your jury selection process.

A56: I generally ask all the questions to the venire. At the end, anyone who answered yes to any questions comes to side bar individually and is questioned further by me, with input from counsel.

Q59: Have you or would you consider allowing attorney voir dire?

A59: Yes, To date I have not allwed attorney voir dire, but would consider it if counsel asked.

General Trial Practice - Trial Practices

Q63: Under what, if any, circumstances, will you allow a rebuttal case?

A63: If it made sense legally, I would consider letting evidence go in through a rebuttal case.

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

A64: They are fine as long as they are pre-approved by opposing counsel.

Q66: Do you provide a written copy of your jury charge to the jury?

A66: If requested and after consultation with counsel.

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

A67: I appreciate proposals of special verdict forms. They do not need to be in any particular format.

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.

A68: I work with counsel to address the needs of each case, and am willing to consider alternative approaches.

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

A69: I appreciate an opening and a closing. Closings are sometimes deferred until after findings and rulings are submitted. Depending on the length of the trial, I may not require detailed proposed findings and rulings before trial.

Standing Orders & Miscellaneous Matters

Q71: Order #2

A71: Respondent skipped this question.

Q72: Order #3

A72: Respondent skipped this question.

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.

A73: Feel free to make suggestions/proposals to insure that cases run smoothly. I am also starting to work with counsel more to determine what form discovery motions should take - i.e. is full briefing needed, telephone conferences, etc. I also encourage less experienced attorneys to participate in court proceedings. This is particularly true in discovery hearings where associates generally have more knowledge of the relevant facts.