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Middle District Magistrate Judge Direct Assignment Pilot Project

On March 4, 2024, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana will begin a one-year pilot program wherein certain civil case types will be randomly assigned directly to a United States magistrate judge in accordance with General Orders 2024-2 and 2024-3.

The primary purpose of the pilot is to encourage consent to the Court’s three exceptionally qualified magistrate judges.  By consenting to a magistrate judge, your clients will gain greater access to a just, speedy and inexpensive determination of their federal civil cases. Unlike district judges, magistrate judges are not required by law to give priority to a large criminal case docket.  Thus, your client’s cases can get to trial sooner and with less expense. The public, the parties to civil litigation, and the Court are all well served by assignment of all appropriate cases to magistrate judges. While consent to trial in a civil case by a magistrate judge has and always will be voluntary, the Court is hopeful you will encourage your clients to take advantage of the opportunity to get their cases to trial more efficiently before an experienced magistrate judge.

The one-year pilot study will conclude with a review of case distribution during the pilot program and a final determination will be made by the judges en banc as to the benefits to the bench and the bar of magistrate judge direct assignment.