|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.|
|Court: Middle District of Florida |
|Location of chambers: Fairwinds Credit Union Bldg., 135 W. Central Blvd., Suite 950, Orlando, FL 32801|
|Assigned courtroom: Courtroom B|
|Email address (only for proposed orders): |
|Judicial Assistant/Secretary: Cindy Courtney|
|Email address: |
|Courtroom Deputy: Kathy Deetz|
|Email address: |
|Court Reporter: |
|Email address: |
|Docket Clerk: |
|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? |
|      on the status of pending matters? |
|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. |
(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 (e.g., the petition and schedules), 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? |
|When other parties have consented to a motion, do you prefer that the consent is stated in the motion or do you prefer a separately filed notice of consent? |
|Do you have any requirements, beyond those found in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, or any Local Rules, as to motions for enlargement of time or motions for continuance? |
If YES, what do you require? A written motion is required for any continuance or enlargement of time. A hearing may or may not be set, depending on the circumstances surrounding the request.
|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|
|What is your practice or policy when counsel fails to serve opposing parties with motions within the times set forth in the rules or your orders? I have no set policy, but will take whatever action is appropriate on a case-by-case basis.|
|What do you consider to be an emergency matter? Few true emergencies exist, and all emergency motions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The one exception is that "first day" hearings in Chapter 11 cases involving an operating debtor automatically are scheduled within three days of the petition date.|
|How does one request emergency relief? Follow the procedures set forth in Local Rule 9004-2.|
|What are your procedures concerning ex parte temporary restraining orders? They are treated as emergency motions and evaluated on a case-by-case basis.|
|When a dispute arises during a deposition, is it appropriate to call chambers to seek an immediate ruling? No|
|For which matters is the use of negative notice acceptable? Please refer to the Court's website, www.flmb.uscourts.gov, and look under the heading "Procedures" to obtain a table that consolidates the appropriate use of negative notice by practitioners as permitted by Local Rule 2002-4. All practitioners are encouraged to use negative notice wherever appropriate but are also reminded of the Court's discretionary authority to set any matter for hearing even if no objection was filed as stated in L.R. 2002-4(e).|
|What is your preferred method for a party to request a hearing date? Call the Courtroom Administrator, Kathy Deetz, at 407-648-6906.|
|When you schedule a hearing, do you state whether the hearing will be evidentiary (if Fed.R.B.P. 9014(e) has not been implemented)? Court notice will provide whether hearing is evidentiary or non-evidentiary.|
|Under what circumstances do you allow telephonic hearings? Telephonic hearings are sometimes allowed. The following procedures shall apply:|
a. Telephonic hearings are considered a privilege, not a right.
b. Telephonic hearings are granted at the discretion of the assigned judge.
c. Any party may request to appear by telephone; however, unless special circumstances are demonstrated, generally only those parties or their counsel who are not located in the Orlando Division of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida will be allowed to appear by telephone.
d. Unless an emergency arises, all requests for telephonic hearings must be made at least seven days prior to the scheduled hearing date.
e. All requests shall be made to the Courtroom Administrators, Kathy Deetz, for Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 cases, and to Vicki Conrad, for Chapter 13 cases, at 407-648-6906. The requesting party must supply an appropriate telephone number at the time the initial request for the telephonic hearing is made.
f. If a request for a telephonic hearing is granted, the requesting party must be available at least five minutes prior to the scheduled hearing and for one hour following the scheduled hearing time, unless the hearing concludes earlier. If the requesting party is not immediately available at the designated time, the hearing will proceed without the requesting party. If an attorney cannot be located by a receptionist or if the Courtroom Administrator accesses an attorney's voicemail, the requesting party will lose the right to participate in future telephonic hearings.
g. Telephonic hearings are not permitted for preliminary hearings on motions for relief from stay, evidentiary hearings or hearings conducted in connection with a Chapter 13 case. As such, telephonic hearings generally only will be held in connection with Chapter 7 hearings, Chapter 11 hearings, and adversary proceeding hearings. No evidentiary hearing will be conducted by telephone.
|Under what circumstances do you require the debtor's attendance at a hearing? Debtors generally should attend all hearings.|
|Do you grant pro hac vice admission on oral request at hearings? Yes.|
|What is your practice or policy when counsel fails to provide opposing counsel with copies of proposed exhibits prior to hearing or trial? I have no set policy, but will take whatever action is appropriate on a case-by-case basis.|
|Will you entertain motions in limine prior to trial? |
|      If YES, how far in advance should they be filed? As early as possible.|
|What is your preference regarding the use of alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration or mediation? I encourage and sometimes require mediation.|
|Do you refer settlement conferences to another Bankruptcy Judge? No|
|Do you grant specially set trial dates (dates certain)? Yes|
|      If YES, under what circumstances will you grant trial dates certain? |
|      If NO, what is your policy regarding notice for trial during a trial docket (e.g., will you give at least 48 hours' notice)? |
|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)? |
|Do you conduct Daubert hearings prior to trial? No|
|What, if any, procedural requirements do you have regarding the use of videotapes, trial graphics, depositions, and demonstrations? I encourage use of any aid to help the court and witnesses understand the facts. Any demonstrative aid must be easily viewed by everyone in attendance. Large blow-ups of balance sheets and financial calculations rarely are helpful and usually are better presented as paper exhibits. As to depositions, I require parties to submit segments they would like to include on the record, which I will independently read. Any objections will be resolved at trial. I do no allow parties to read deposition transcripts during a trial.|
|Do you prefer opening statements? No|
|Do you require trial briefs? |
|If you require trial briefs, when are they due? |
|Do you have any requirements for trial briefs? |
|Do you require proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law to be filed? |
|      If YES, when do you require the proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law to be filed? |
|Should the proposed findings and conclusions also be submitted to chambers electronically? |
|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”? Court time is very precious. If you know you will need more time or if a matter settles and you need no time, please call my courtroom administrator as soon as possible.|
Pre-mark exhibits before evidentiary hearings, and make sure you bring sufficient copies.
|Do you have any other practice pointers, advice, observations, or suggestions for members of the Bar appearing before you? |
|Links to your court's webpage with information about your practices or other links you recommend for practitioners: |
Sample orders (please include a sample of any scheduling orders), biography, etc.