“A United States Magistrate Judge may ‘hear and determine any [non-dispositive] pretrial matter pending before the court.’ “ Cardona v. General Motors Corp., 942 F.Supp. 968, 970 (D.N.J.1996) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A)); see also Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a). A magistrate judge's ruling concerning discovery is non-dispositive. See, e.g.,
Cunningham v. Hamilton County, 527 U .S. 198, 201 (1999); Bowen v. Parking Auth., 214 F.R.D. 188 (D.N.J.2003); Tarlon v. Cumberland Co. Corr. Facility, 192 F.R.D. 165 (D.N.J.2000). On appeal from such an order, the scope of this Court's review is narrow. Local Rule 72. 1(c)(1)(A) governs appeals from non-dispositive orders of the magistrate judge. The district court will only reverse a magistrate judge's decision on these matters if it is “clearly erroneous or contrary to law.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a); L. Civ. R. 72.1(c)(1)(A). Under this standard, a finding is clearly erroneous when “although there is evidence to support it, the reviewing court on the entire evidence is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed.” Anderson v. Bessemer City, 470 U.S. 564, 573 (1985) (citing United States v. U.S. Gypsum Co., 333 U.S. 364, 395, reh'g denied,
333 U.S. 869 (1948)). The district court will not reverse the magistrate judge's determination, even in circumstances where the court might have decided the matter differently. Bowen v. Parking Auth. of City of Camden, 2002 WL 1754493, *3 (D.N.J. Jul. 30, 2002). “A district judge's simple disagreement with the magistrate judge's findings is insufficient to meet the clearly erroneous standard of review.” Andrews v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Inc., 191 F.R.D. 59, 68 (D.N.J.2000). A magistrate judge's legal conclusions, however, are subject to de novo
review. Haines v. Liggett Group, Inc., 975 F.2d 81, 91 (3d Cir.1992); Campbell v. Int'l Business Machines, 912 F.Supp. 116, 119 (D.N.J.1996); Lo Bosco v. Kure Eng'g Ltd., 891 F.Supp. 1035, 1037 (D.N.J.1995). “A ruling is contrary to law if the magistrate judge has misinterpreted or misapplied applicable law.” Bobian v. CSA Czech Airlines, 222 F.Supp.2d 598, 601 (D.N.J.2002) (citing Gunter v. Ridgewood Energy Corp., 32 F.Supp.2d 162, 164 (D.N.J.1998)).