Appellate Jurisdiction over Magistrate Judge's Award of Attorney's Fees

One of the men convicted of the 1989 rape of a jogger in New York City's Central Park was exonerated after DNA testing and sued, among others, the City of New York. After the lawsuit had progressed, he switched to a new law firm and consented to have a magistrate judge conduct the proceedings under        28 U.S.C. § 636(c).  The case settled and the first law firm sought legal fees.  The magistrate judge awarded the first law firm fees but, not as much as they wanted, so the first law firm appealed.  The second law firm argued that that the Second Circuit did not have jurisdiction over the appeal because the first law firm did not consent to the magistrate judge.  The Second Circuit rejected this argument and held that the magistrate judge’s order on the fees was a final judgment and the appellate court had jurisdiction In re McCray, Richardson, Santana, Wise, and Salaam Litigation because the parties consented to the magistrate judge.  See, No. 15 Civ. 1887 (Aug. 3, 2016) (Kearse, J.).