Stephanie A. Gallagher, a former federal prosecutor and then criminal defense attorney, was sworn in as a magistrate judge in Baltimore last week and has begun considering cases.
Gallagher, who was nominated to the bench along with Timothy J. Sullivan in January but had to first pass a background check, filled the vacancy created by now-U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar’s elevation in December.
Sullivan must wait until U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles B. Day is confirmed as an Article III judge by the U.S. Senate before he becomes Gallagher’s peer in Greenbelt.
Magistrate judges, who are appointed to eight-year terms by the U.S. District judges, handle various preliminary and pretrial matters and can preside over certain kinds of civil and criminal trials.