The Florida Bar
www.floridabar.org


John James O'Sullivan
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: U.S. District Court
C. Clyde Atkins Courthouse
301 N. Miami Ave., 5th Floor
Miami, FL 33128
Assigned courtroom:Fifth Floor
Phone: 305-523-5920
Email address (only for proposed orders or jury instructions):

CHAMBERS

Staff:

Judicial Assistant/Secretary:
Phone: 305-523-5920 (all matters other than duty/bond)
Email address:

Courtroom Deputy: Cherle Griffin (duty/bond matters)
Phone: 305-523-5816
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? Yes

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? The government may proceed by proffer.

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? No

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

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? None.

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? None.

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? Trial dates and scheduling matters.

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? None.

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? Informal Discovery hearings are generally held on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Under what circumstances do you allow telephonic hearings? Upon request of the parties.

What is your practice concerning oral arguments on referred dispositive motions? Dispositive motions are generally set for oral argument, upon request of a party.

Will you entertain motions in limine prior to trial? Yes

      If YES, how far in advance should they be filed? 20 days.

Comments: In Wordperfect format.


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? Yes

Comments:
SETTLEMENT

What is your preference regarding the use of alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration or mediation? It should be used when appropriate.

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? Counsel is consulted at a Status Conference.

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

      If YES, under what circumstances will you grant trial dates certain? Usually always.

      If NO, what is your policy regarding notice for trial during a trial docket (e.g., will you give at least 48 hours' notice)? I generally only have one trial scheduled at a time.

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? It will be set again for a date certain.

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? They may be used and should be disclosed to opposing counsel before the pretrial conference.

Do you require trial briefs

      in jury trials? No

      in bench trials? Yes

If you require trial briefs, when are they due? Generally not required.

Do you have any requirements for trial briefs? To outline the issues.

Do you permit counsel to perform voir dire?

      If YES, what guidelines or restrictions must counsel follow when conducting voir dire? Counsel is provided a limited time period to conduct voir dire after the Court questions each juror.

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

            If YES, when should such questions be submitted? Approximately 1 week before trial.

What are your peremptory challenge procedures? Procedures will be discussed with counsel at the pretrial conference.

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? Occassionally, depending on the case.

Do you allow back striking during jury selection? No

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

      If YES, what are the time limits? Depends on the case.

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?

      ask questions? No

      If YES, under what constraints and restrictions?

What, if any, procedures do you have concerning objections at trial? Standard.

When do you require counsel to file proposed jury instructions? Approximately 1 month before 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? Approximately 1 month before 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”? Lawyers that do not follow the Federal and Local Rules.

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:

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


Survey last modified on 02/05/2010

[Revised: 06-30-2010]