Marcia G. Cooke
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: ||301 North Miami Avenue|
Miami, Florida 33128
|Assigned Courtroom:||6th Floor Courtroom|
Scheduling Assistant/Secretary: Tamara "Tammy" McIntyre
2. PRETRIAL PROCEDURE (CIVIL):
Courtroom Deputy: Ivan Marchena
Court Reporter: Robin Dispenzieri
Docket Clerk: Lorraine Sandelin
(1) Edrei G. Swanson (even numbered)
Term Ending: July, 2006
Law School: Howard University School of Law
(2) Martin W. Sybblis (odd numbered)
Term Ending: August, 2005
Law School: University of Michigan School of Law
Policy regarding communication with staff [i.e., Do you permit counsel to contact assigned law clerks?]:
Yes_X_No___ Regarding procedural matters.
Is it appropriate to telephone Chambers regarding questions of procedure on pending matters?
Yes_X_No___ Counsel may generally communicate with the law clerks, however, no inquiries regarding the status of pending motions may be made, unless the motion has been pending for longer than 90 days.
Is it appropriate to telephone, (your assigned docketing clerk or deputy clerk at the Clerk’s office), Chambers regarding the status of pending matters?
A. Preliminary Pretrial Hearings:
3. PRETRIAL PROCEDURE (CRIMINAL)
Do you conduct preliminary pretrial hearings?
If YES, what matters do you typically discuss during preliminary pretrial hearings?
Daubert hearings, Markman hearings and motions in limine, when appropriate.
If NO, do you refer preliminary pretrial hearings to a United States Magistrate Judge?
B. Motion Practice:
Should courtesy copies of pleadings and motions be forwarded to Chambers?
Yes___ No_X_ The courtesy copy should be filed with the Clerk's Office, along with the original pleading.
Should copies of cases cited in motions and memoranda be forwarded to Chambers?
If so, do you object to cases printed in "Westlaw" or CD-ROM format rather than copied from a reporter?
Is it appropriate to cite unpublished opinions in motions or memoranda?
If so, should copies be attached to the motions or memoranda?
If copies of cases are submitted, do you accept copies which have portions highlighted by counsel?
Do you allow telephonic hearings?
Yes_X_No___ Although rarely.
What can an attorney do to call attention to a pending motion of particular importance to expedite ruling?
Will you entertain motions in limine prior to trial?
If you will consider motions in limine prior to trial, how far in advance should they be filed?
Five (5 weeks prior to the Friday before the trial period.)
Do you regularly set aside time during a given week/month for hearings on motions?
If YES, when is your normal hearing date/time?
If motion hearings are scheduled, they are normally held on Wednesday.
What are your procedures concerning ex-parte temporary restraining orders?
Do you hear preliminary injunction motions yourself?
If YES, do you limit the hearing to argument of counsel?
Yes___ No___ (As a rule, the complexity of the issues determines the time allocated for argument)
If NO, do you routinely refer preliminary injunctions for report and recommendation by a U.S. Magistrate Judge?
If NO, what are your procedures for the receipt of evidence during a hearing on a preliminary injunction?
What is your practice concerning oral arguments of dispositive motions?
Oral argument may be granted on the motions of the parties.
What is your policy/practice regarding the use of alternative dispute resolution devices such as court-annexed, non-binding arbitration and mediation?
Do you personally conduct settlement discussions?
Yes___ No_X_ Generally, Judge Cooke will not personally conduct settlement discussions. However, a joint request by the parties for the Court to conduct settlement discussions, will be taken under advisement.
If YES, under that circumstances?
Do you refer discovery matters to a U.S. Magistrate Judge?
When a dispute arises during a deposition, is it appropriate to call the Magistrate Judge's Chambers to seek an immediate ruling?
E. Pretrial Conference:
Do you personally conduct pretrial conferences in your cases?
Yes___ No_X_ As a matter of course, Judge Cooke will not hold a pre-trial conference, unless deemed necessary.
If YES, do you have a standing order regarding pretrial conference?
Yes___ No_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?
Matters related to trial preparedness.
If NO, do you refer preliminary pretrial conferences to U.S. Magistrate Judges?
Do you have a policy regarding the timing of disclosure of Jencks Act material?
If YES, what is your policy?
Encourage early disclosure. Prefer to avoid any requests for continuance raised because lengthy material has not been made available in a timely fashion.
What is your policy concerning nolo contendere or Alford?
What is your policy concerning plea arrangements that involve sentencing recommendations?
Will allow, not bound by recommendations.
A. Trial dates:
Do you grant trial dates certain?
If YES, under what circumstances will you grant trial date certain?
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]
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?
Friday prior to trial
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?
No later than the calendar call.
Should findings of fact and conclusions of law filed in connection with a bench trial also be submitted to Chambers on a disk?
When do you require parties to file proposed jury instructions?
At the time of calendar call.
Where standard jury instructions are available, do you prefer that attorneys submit condensed versions of the standard instructions?
Should jury instructions also be submitted to Chambers on a computer disk?
Yes_X_No___ Word Perfect 10 format
C. Voir Dire:
Do you permit counsel to perform voir dire?
If YES, what guidelines or restrictions must counsel follow when conducting voir dire?
15 minutes, on general areas of inquiry.
If judge conducts voir dire, can parties submit proposed voir dire questions?
If YES, when should such questions be submitted?
What are your preemptory challenge procedures?
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?
Do you allow back striking during jury selection?
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?
Do you allow plaintiffs to make a rebuttal during opening statements?
E. Use of Expert:
Do you conduct Daubert hearings prior to trial?
F. Procedure for Use of Videotapes, Trial Graphics, Depositions and Demonstrations:
What, if any, procedural requirements do you have relative to the use of videotapes, trial graphics, depositions and demonstrations?
Determined on a case-by-case basis. In general, trial graphics, demonstrative aids are permitted. Counsel should also be aware of, and follow the security procedures in place at the courthouse with regard to bringing in equipment which may be necessary with regard to materials being presented. In many cases, advance clearance must be arranged with chambers and the United States Marshal.
G. Procedure for Objections:
What, if any, procedures do you have concerning objections at trial?
State grounds. Discussion at side bar, outside the presence of jury.
H. Jury Procedures:
Do you permit jurors to take notes?
Do you permit jurors to ask questions either orally (writing)?
If YES, under what constraints and restrictions?
6. OTHER QUESTIONS:
Do you allow the submission of sentencing memoranda?
If YES, under what circumstances do you allow such submission?
Complex issues and/or unresolved objections to the Presentence Investigation Report.
Do you divulge the probation officer's sentencing recommendation?
What are your "pet peeves" for the information of the lawyers appearing before you?
Inappropriate communication with the law clerks and chambers staff.
What, if any, other observations or suggestions do you have for members of the Bar appearing before you?
Please keep abreast with the Local Rules as they are updated (they can be found on the Court's website), and visit the Court's website at www.flsd.uscourts.gov, for other information which may answer questions that are often directed to chambers.