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Last Modified 03/18/2005 01:04 PM
Kenneth L. Ryskamp
U.S. District Judge

The following information has been secured by voluntary questionnaire from the judiciary. This information is not binding on any judge or court official and may not be relied upon for precedential purposes.

Location of Chambers: Room 416, 701 Clematis
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Phone Number: 561) 803-3420
Assigned Courtroom: 1

    JA/Civil Scheduling: Sharon Hibbs
    Phone Number: (561) 803-3420

    Courtroom Deputy/Criminal Matters: Irene Rivera
    Phone Number: (561) 803-3422

    Court Reporter: Stephen Franklin
    Phone Number: (561) 651-3865

    Docket Clerk: Depends upon last digit of case number in West Palm Beach
    Phone Number: (561) 803-3400

      Law Clerks:

        (1) Kari Dahlin
        Term Ending: Permanent Clerk
        Law School: University of Minnesota

        (2) Rhoda Yen
        Term Ending: Permanent Clerk
        Law School: Georgetown

    Policy regarding communication with staff [i.e., Do you permit counsel to contact assigned law clerks?]:
    It is NOT CHAMBERS Policy for counsel to contact law clerks.

    A. Preliminary Pretrial Hearings:

      Do you conduct preliminary pretrial hearings?
      Yes___No_X_ (not normally)

      If YES, what matters do you typically discuss during preliminary pretrial hearings?
      On request a hearing will be set.

      If NO, do you refer preliminary pretrial hearings to a United States Magistrate Judge?
      Yes___No_X_ "Joint" pretrial stipulation is required.

    B. Motion Practice:

      Do you regularly set aside time for hearings on motions?

      If YES, when is your normal hearing time?

      8:30 A.M. Hearings are specially set – no motion calendar.

      What are your procedures concerning ex-parte temporary restraining orders?
      Review and make determinations; schedule hearing if granted.

      Do you hear preliminary injunction motions yourself?

      If NO, do you routinely refer preliminary injunctions for report and recommendation by a U.S. Magistrate Judge?


      If YES, do you limit the hearing to argument of counsel?
      Depends upon the case.

      If NO, what are your procedures for the receipt of evidence during a hearing on a preliminary injunction?
      I will take testimony in some cases.

      What is your practice concerning oral arguments of dispositive motions?
      I usually will have oral argument on dispositive motions.

    C. Settlement:

      What is your policy/practice regarding the use of alternative dispute resolution devices such as court-annexed, non-binding arbitration and mediation?
      Order mediation in most cases (certain cases exempt under rule).

      Do you personally conduct settlement discussions?

      If YES, under that circumstances?

    D. Discovery:

      Do you refer discovery matters to a U.S. Magistrate Judge?

    E. Pretrial Conference:

      Do you personally conduct pretrial conferences in your cases?
      X_ I will conduct a pretrial conference if requested.

      If YES, do you have a standing order regarding pretrial conference?
      X_ (If YES, please attach a copy.)
      A. Preliminary Pretrial Hearings:

        Do you personally conduct preliminary pretrial conferences in criminal cases?

        If YES, what matters do you typically discuss during a preliminary pretrial conference?

        If NO, do you refer preliminary pretrial conferences to U.S. Magistrate Judge?


        Do you have a policy regarding the timing of disclosure of Jencks Act material?


        If YES, what is your policy?

      B. Pleas:

        What is your policy concerning nolo contendere or Alford?

        What is your policy concerning plea arrangements that involve sentencing recommendations?

        Consider all motions at time of plea.
    4. TRIAL:
      A. Trial Dates:

        Do you grant trial dates certain?
        Yes_X_No___ But not all cases.

        If YES, under what circumstances will you grant trial date certain?
        Complex, multiple defendants, more than 10-day trial, involves a lot of witnesses and travel.

        If a case is not reached during the scheduled trial term, will the trial date be automatically rescheduled on your next trial docket?

        If NO, what is your practice or procedure regarding rescheduling trials which are not reached on a trial docket?

        What is your policy regarding notice of being called for trial during a trial docket? [e.g., 48 hours]

        24-hour notice after calendar call.

      B. Trial Briefs:

        Do you require trial briefs in jury trials?

        Do you require trial briefs in bench trials?


        What are your requirements for trial briefs?

        When are trial briefs due?

        Do you require proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law to be filed in bench trials?


        If YES, when do you require the proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law to be filed?
        One week prior to beginning of trial calendar.

        When do you require parties to file proposed jury instructions?
        (Criminal) No later than 1st day of trial. (Civil) One week prior to beginning of trial calendar.

      C. Voir Dire:

        Do you permit counsel to conduct voir dire?
        Yes_X_No___ Limited – after court's questions.

        If YES, what guidelines or restrictions must counsel follow when conducting voir dire?
        Do not repeat the questions I have asked; no "jury conditioning."

        If judge conducts voir dire, can parties submit proposed voir dire questions?

        If YES, when should such questions be submitted?

        At time of jury selection.

        What are your preemptory challenge procedures?
        Consider preemptory challenges prior to strikes – no juror knows that a preemptory challenge has been made.

        In multiple party cases, do you grant each party three preemptory challenges?

        If NO, do you limit each side [i.e., plaintiff/defense] a total of three preemptory challenges to be shared?


      D. Opening Statement:

        Do you have any standard time limits imposed upon counsel?

        If YES, what are the time limits?

        Can exhibits be used in opening statements?

        Yes_X_No___ If opposing counsel has seen it and has no objection.

      E. Use of Expert:

        Do you conduct Daubert hearings prior to trial?

      F. Procedure For Use Of Videotapes, Trial Graphics, Depositions and Demonstrations:

        Advise Court of plans prior to trial.

      G. Procedure For Objections:

      H. Jury Procedures:

        Do you permit jurors to take notes?

        Do you permit jurors to ask questions in (writing)?

        If YES, under what constraints and restrictions?
        In writing and shown to both counsel.
        Do you allow the submission of sentencing memoranda?

        If YES, under what circumstances do you allow such submission?

        Do you divulge the probation officer's sentencing recommendation?
        What are your “pet peeves,” for the information of the lawyers appearing before you?

        What, if any, other observations or suggestions do you have for members of the Bar appearing before you?

    Attachment 1.pdf Biographical Information

    © The Florida Bar - 2005 - Version 1.0.2