U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Haikala Alabama

blog.al.com / The Birmingham News

A new federal judge will soon take the bench in Alabama.

New Orleans native Madeline Haikala will start her new job Monday as a U.S. magistrate judge hearing cases in a district composed of 31 counties in the northern part of Alabama. The Birmingham News reports (http://bit.ly/QpmFyA ) that Haikala is the first new magistrate judge in 14 years.

Magistrate judges hear federal misdemeanor cases and conduct pre-trial proceedings.