The Florida Bar
www.floridabar.org


Alan Stephen Gold
District Judge


The following information was provided in response to a survey prepared by the Federal Court Practice Committee of The Florida Bar. This information is not binding on any judge or court official and may not be relied upon for precedential purposes. Further information may be found in the attachments (sample orders, etc.) referenced at the end of this Guide entry or on the court's website noted below.

JUDGE

Court: Southern District of Florida
Location of chambers: 400 N. Miami Avenue, 11th Floor, Miami, FL 33128
Assigned courtroom: 11-1
Phone: (305) 523-5580
Email address (only for proposed orders or jury instructions): GOLD@FLSD.USCOURTS.GOV

CHAMBERS

Staff:
Judicial Assistant/Secretary: Lynn Surowiec
Phone: 305-523-5580
Email address: Lynn_Surowiec@flsd.uscourts.gov

Courtroom Deputy: Jacob Hasbun
Phone: (305) 523-5584
Email address:

Court Reporter: Joseph Millikan
Phone: (305) 523-5588
Email address:

Docket Clerk: No specific assignment
Phone: (305) 523-5200
Email address:

Law Clerk phone number(s), only if you permit law clerk(s) to receive calls:

Communication with chambers:

Do you permit contact with chambers

      regarding questions of procedure? Yes

      regarding the status of pending matters? Yes

May counsel contact chambers to speak with your law clerks(s)

      on procedural matters? No

      on the status of pending matters? No

Comments: Procedural inquiries can typically be answered by the Judicial Assistant Lynn Surowiec. Contact with the law clerk is permitted when there is counsel of record for each litigant on the line simultaneously.

USE OF CELL PHONES, LAPTOPS, AND OTHER ELECTRONICS IN COURT

Other than procedures adopted by the U.S. Marshal's Service relating to access to a federal courthouse, do you have any additional procedures to be followed for the use of cell phones, laptops, or other electronics? Cellular phones should be turned off or completely silenced while in the courtroom.

Is there a designated court staff person to contact relating to the use of electronic media or other audiovisual needs? Lynn Surowiec or Jacob Hasbun

*Always verify with the Clerk of Court or the U.S. Marshal's Service as to any procedures relating to the use of cell phones or other electronic devices at the courthouse.

CM/ECF PROCEDURES
(in addition to Local Rules or CM/ECF procedures applicable in the District)

Do you have a preferred method for counsel to correct an electronically filed document that inadvertently contains personal information (as prohibited by Fed.R.Civ.P. 5.2)?

Do you have a preferred method governing the filing of sealed documents?

Do you prefer that (non-trial) exhibits be filed as separate docket entries (instead of filing them as attachments to the document they support)?

When filing documents with multiple attachments, do you prefer that the document be filed such that it is displayed with bookmarks within the PDF image? (This question only applies if such filing is available as a format for filing attachments in your District.)

Do you prefer that (non-trial) exhibits and depositions be filed conventionally as well as on CM/ECF? Yes

      If YES, do you require more than one copy to be filed? Sometimes. The court will issue specific orders regarding this issue on a case by case basis.

Do you prefer to have proposed orders (other than those required to be filed in the case) submitted as an attachment to documents filed in CM/ECF, or do you prefer to receive them by email or another method? Attached to document when filed in CM/ECF. Also, when the motion is non-dispositive, the proposed order should be emailed as well.

Should proposed orders be submitted in a format which can be edited, or is a PDF version acceptable? YES. Wordperfect {or Word if WP is not available}

Comments:


Do you conduct preliminary pretrial conferences in criminal cases? Yes

      If YES, what matters do you typically discuss during a preliminary pretrial conference? I attempt to narrow legal and factual issues, limit number of witnesses and exhibits, and obtain an accurate estimate of trial time needed.

Do you require the defendant to be present at status conferences? Yes

      If YES, do you have the same policy for defendants in custody and for defendants on bond? YES

Do you conduct suppression hearings or do you refer them to a Magistrate Judge? Decided on a case by case basis.

Do you conduct hearings on pretrial motions to dismiss or to sever? Yes

Do you take the plea or do you regularly refer plea hearings to a Magistrate Judge? I typically schedule plea hearings on my docket.

If you regularly refer plea hearings to a Magistrate Judge, what circumstances would permit the parties to have a plea hearing before you?

Do you have a regular plea deadline? No

      If YES, when is that deadline?

      If NO, is a plea deadline set at pretrial conferences?

What is your policy concerning nolo contendere or Alford pleas?

Do you have any special procedures regarding plea agreements for individuals who are cooperating with the government, e.g., sealed plea agreements, etc.?

What is your policy as to plea agreements that involve sentencing recommendations? No policy.

Comments:

PRETRIAL PROCEDURE (CIVIL)

Do you issue a standard pretrial order? (Please attach a copy at the end of this survey.)

Do you conduct preliminary pretrial hearings, e.g., pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 16? Yes

      If YES, what matters do you typically discuss during preliminary pretrial hearings? Depends on Rule 16.1 response.

Do you have any requirements, beyond those found in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Local Rules, as to motions for extension of time or motions for continuance? No

      If YES, what do you require?

Other than as required by Local Rules, do you prefer that the moving parties submit proposed orders along with non-dispositive motions? Yes

Do you have any requirements, beyond those found in the Federal Rules and the Local Rules, as to ex parte temporary restraining orders? They will be received in accordance with the applicable rules of procedure

Do you generally hear preliminary injunction motions? Yes

      If YES, do you permit evidence to be introduced?

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

Should copies of cases cited in motions and memoranda be forwarded to chambers?

      copies of published cases? No

      copies of unpublished opinions? Yes

If copies of cases are submitted, do you accept copies that have portions highlighted by counsel? Yes

Do you regularly set aside time during a given week/month for hearings on motions? Yes

      If YES, when is your normal hearing date/time? Fridays and/or 4:30 or 5:00 each day.

Under what circumstances do you allow telephonic hearings?

What is your practice concerning oral arguments on dispositive motions? Set at the Court's discretion depending on the case.

Will you entertain motions in limine prior to trial? Yes

      If YES, how far in advance should they be filed? Deadline is set forth in the court's trial order.

Comments:

Other than those discovery schedules contained in Local Rules, do you have special discovery deadlines or procedures for certain types of cases (ERISA, FLSA, etc.)? Yes

      If YES, what types of cases and what are the deadlines or procedures? Initial orders are issued in the FLSA cases.

Do you routinely refer discovery matters to a Magistrate Judge? Yes

When a dispute arises during a deposition, is it appropriate to call your chambers or the Magistrate Judge's chambers (depending on whether the case has been referred for discovery) to seek an immediate ruling? No

Comments:


What is your preference regarding the use of alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration or mediation? I encourage good faith mediation.

Do you require counsel to submit a proposed order referring the case to mediation? No

Do you have a procedure for counsel to request referral to a Magistrate Judge for settlement conferences? A simple motion requesting the referral is sufficient.

Do you have any special procedures for the settlement of FLSA cases? Yes, if the parties do not wish to file the settlement of record, the settlement agreement should be forwarded to my office by U.S. Mail and/or email.

Comments:

TRIAL

Do you automatically set civil cases for trial or do you wait for counsel to propose a time period in which a case should be scheduled for trial? Automatic

Do you grant specially set trial dates (dates certain)? Yes

      If YES, under what circumstances will you grant trial dates certain? Mostly for long criminal trials where witnesses are from out of state.

      IF NO, what is your policy regarding notice for trial during a trial docket (e.g., will you give at least 48 hours' notice)? At least 48 hours, but I work closely with attorneys to address their problems.

What is your practice or procedure regarding rescheduling trials that are not reached on a trial docket, e.g., will the trial date be automatically rescheduled on your next trial docket? Determined at calendar call

Do you conduct pretrial conferences? Yes

      If YES, and you have a standing order regarding pretrial conferences, please attach a copy at the end of this survey.

Do you conduct Daubert hearings prior to trial? Yes

What, if any, procedural requirements do you have regarding the use of videotapes, trial graphics, depositions, and demonstrations? Will be resolved at pretrial conference.

Do you require trial briefs

      in jury trials?

      in bench trials? Yes

If you require trial briefs, when are they due? To be determined and conveyed in a court order

Do you have any requirements for trial briefs?

Do you permit counsel to perform voir dire? Yes

      If YES, what guidelines or restrictions must counsel follow when conducting voir dire? I will impose a time limit. Questions must not be repetitive or factually specific.

      If NO, can counsel submit proposed voir dire questions? Yes

            If YES, when should such questions be submitted? Per my pretrial Order.

What are your peremptory challenge procedures? No backstrikes.

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

      If NO, do you limit each side (i.e., plaintiff/defense) to a total of three peremptory challenges to be shared?

Do you allow back striking during jury selection? No

Do you impose any standard time limits on counsel's opening statements? No

      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?

Do you permit jurors to

      take notes? Yes

      ask questions? No

      If YES, under what constraints and restrictions?

What, if any, procedures do you have concerning objections at trial? Usually at pretrial conference.

When do you require counsel to file proposed jury instructions? Immediately before trial except if I order otherwise at the pretrial conference.

Should jury instructions also be submitted to chambers electronically?

When standard jury instructions are available, do you prefer that attorneys submit condensed versions of the standard instructions?

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

      If YES, when do you require the proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law to be filed? Before trial and perhaps after to supplement based on the evidence.

      Should the proposed findings and conclusions also be submitted to chambers electronically? Yes

Comments:

SENTENCING

Do you require sentencing memos from the parties?

      If YES, what is the deadline for filing a sentencing memo?

      If NO, may parties file a sentencing memo?

If counsel anticipates a contested or extensive sentencing hearing, should counsel notify the court? YES

If you are considering an upward departure under the United States Sentencing Guidelines, do you provide notice orally or in writing? YES

In a proceeding for a violation of supervised release conditions, do you personally conduct the admissions/findings of fact hearing or do you refer this to a Magistrate Judge?

Comments:

GENERAL ADVICE

What should lawyers avoid at all costs when appearing before you (other than the obvious: don't be late, do be courteous, etc.), i.e., do you have any “pet peeves”?

Do you have any other practice pointers, advice, observations, or suggestions for members of the Bar appearing before you?

LINKS

Links to your court's webpage with information about your practices or other links you recommend for practitioners:
WWW.FLSD.USCOURTS.GOV

ATTACHMENTS
Sample orders (please include a sample of any scheduling orders), biography, etc.


CONSENT TO JURISDICTION BY U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE FOR FINAL DISPOSITION.pdf

ORDER DIRECTING PARTIES TO MEDIATION.pdf

ORDER REFERRING DISCOVERY MOTIONS TO MAGISTRATE JUDGE.pdf

ORDER REQUIRING FORM CONSENTING TO JURISDICTION BY MAGISTRATE FOR FINAL DISPOSITION.pdf

ORDER SETTING PRETRIAL AND TRIAL DATES.pdf

Survey last modified on 05/23/2011

[Revised: 06-30-2010]