The Florida Bar
www.floridabar.org


Edwin G Torres
Magistrate 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: James Lawrence King Federal Justice Building, 99 N.E. 4th Street, 10th Floor, Miami, Florida, 33132
Assigned courtroom:Courtroom 5
Phone: 305-523-5750
Email address (only for proposed orders or jury instructions):

CHAMBERS

Staff:

Judicial Assistant/Secretary: Andrea England (law clerk)
Phone: 305-523-5750
Email address:

Courtroom Deputy: Maedon Clark
Phone: 305-523-5297
Email address:

Court Reporter:
Phone:
Email address:

Docket Clerk:
Phone:
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? No

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

      on procedural matters? Yes

      on the status of pending matters?

Comments:

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?

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

*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?

      If YES, do you require more than one copy to be filed?

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?

Should proposed orders be submitted in a format which can be edited, or is a PDF version acceptable?

Comments:


At bond hearings, do you permit the government to proceed by proffer or do you require a government agent to be present to testify?

If a proffer is permitted, can the defendant’s counsel call the government case agent and cross-examine him/her? Yes

If a proffer is permitted, do you prefer that defense counsel present the family of the defendant as witnesses by proffer instead of calling individual witnesses? Yes

What criteria do you apply in determining whether to impose a financial assessment on a defendant for the services of appointed counsel?

Do you conduct preliminary pretrial conferences in criminal cases? Yes

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

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

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

Do you have a regular plea deadline?

      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?

Comments:

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? Upon referral or request

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?

      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? Expedited consideration with good cause

Do you hear preliminary injunction motions? Yes

      If YES, do you permit evidence to be introduced?

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

      copies of published cases? Yes

      copies of unpublished opinions?

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? Discovery Calendar scheduled every Friday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. See Discovery Practices Order (attached).

Under what circumstances do you allow telephonic hearings? Only for Scheduling Purposes

What is your practice concerning oral arguments on referred dispositive motions? Usually granted if requested

Will you entertain motions in limine prior to trial? Yes

      If YES, how far in advance should they be filed? See Court's Scheduling Order (attached)

Comments: As attachments filed on docketing system


Do you receive referrals on discovery matters from a District Judge? Yes

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.)? No

      If YES, what types of cases and what are the deadlines or procedures?

When a dispute arises during a deposition, is it appropriate to call your chambers (if the case has been referred for discovery) to seek an immediate ruling? No

Comments:
SETTLEMENT

What is your preference regarding the use of alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration or mediation? Court orders mediation; open to alternative methods by agreement.

Do you require counsel to submit a proposed order referring the case to mediation?

Do you have any special procedures for the settlement of FLSA cases?

Comments:

TRIAL

Do you automatically set consent cases for trial or do you wait for counsel to propose a time period in which a case should be scheduled for trial? Approve parties' joint scheduling report and agreed upon dates

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

      If YES, under what circumstances will you grant trial dates certain? Agreement of parties

      If NO, what is your policy regarding notice for trial during a trial docket (e.g., will you give at least 48 hours' notice)? Not required for special settings

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? Agreement of parties

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? As agreed by parties. Disputes should be raised before trial. Never use an exhibit or demonstrative without opposing counsel's review.

Do you require trial briefs

      in jury trials? No

      in bench trials? No

If you require trial briefs, when are they due?

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? Open to agreement of parties. Otherwise, no more than 15 minutes per side. No arguing.

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

            If YES, when should such questions be submitted? See Scheduling and Trial Instruction Orders (attached)

What are your peremptory challenge procedures? Agreement of parties. Usually alternate between parties. Allow backstriking absent agreement.

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

      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? Yes

Do you impose any standard time limits on counsel's opening statements? Yes

      If YES, what are the time limits? Typically no more than 30 minutes per side

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? No speaking objections. Limit objections to evidentiary category. Waived if not contemporaneous with the question.

When do you require counsel to file proposed jury instructions? First day of trial

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? Yes

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? First day of trial

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

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”? Attorneys must consult and comply with Orders and Court Rules. Do NOT wait until one month before discovery cutoff before commencing discovery. Lack of diligence does not constitute good cause for extension of discovery cutoff. In discovery matters, attorneys' failure to communicate usually causes the most problems. Do not certify attempt at conferring with opposing counsel without personally talking with counsel. Emailed requests for conference, with no response, usually are not enough to certify compliance with the Rule. If you take the time to file motions or brief matters for the Court, make sure you reasonably research the issues and cite the relevant cases.

Do you have any other practice pointers, advice, observations, or suggestions for members of the Bar appearing before you? In discovery matters, I usually follow Discovery Practices Handbook, included as Appendix to Court's Local Rules. In consent cases, I usually try to accommodate agreement of parties in scheduling and procedures for trial.

LINKS

Links to your court's webpage with information about your practices or other links you recommend for practitioners:

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

COMPLETE DISCOVERY ORDERS.pdf
FINAL SCHEDULING ORDER.pdf
FINAL TRIAL INSTRUCTIONS.pdf

Survey last modified on 05/15/2009

[Revised: 06-30-2010]