The Florida Bar

William M Hoeveler
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.


Court: Southern District of Florida
Location of chambers: 301 N. Miami Ave., 9th Floor, Miami, FL 33128
Assigned courtroom: 9th Floor
Phone: (305) 523-5570
Email address (only for proposed orders or jury instructions):


Judicial Assistant/Secretary: Janice Tinsman
Phone: (305) 523-5570
Email address:

Courtroom Deputy: None
Email address:

Court Reporter: None
Email address:

Docket Clerk:
Phone: 1-888-318-2260
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? Yes



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? Submit request to chambers in advance as to any special equipment and the name of the person bringing in the equipment.

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

*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)? no - follow local rules and Clerk's Office procedures

Do you have a preferred method governing the filing of sealed documents? no - follow local rules and Clerk's Office procedures

Do you prefer that (non-trial) exhibits be filed as separate docket entries (instead of filing them as attachments to the document they support)? No

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.) Yes

Do you prefer that (non-trial) exhibits and depositions be filed conventionally as well as on CM/ECF? No

      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? submit as attachment, counsel may be requested to submit proposed orders by email in wordperfect in certain circumstances

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


Do you conduct preliminary pretrial conferences in criminal cases? Yes

      If YES, what matters do you typically discuss during a preliminary pretrial conference? Depends on case.

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? for either type of defendant, they can waive their presence

Do you conduct suppression hearings or do you refer them to a Magistrate Judge? refer them

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 take the plea.

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? No

What is your policy concerning nolo contendere or Alford pleas? no special policy

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

What is your policy as to plea agreements that involve sentencing recommendations? No policy – treat each recommendation on its merits in light of entire case.



Do you issue a standard pretrial order? (Please attach a copy at the end of this survey.) No

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? Scheduling, discovery, settlement/mediation, and any other issue counsel wish to raise in order to advance the case.

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? Follow the rules & cases - Rarely given unless necessary to protect party or res.

Do you generally hear preliminary injunction motions? Yes

      If YES, do you permit evidence to be introduced? Yes

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

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

      copies of published cases? No

      copies of unpublished opinions? No

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? No

      If YES, when is your normal hearing date/time?

Under what circumstances do you allow telephonic hearings? When counsel/party is at a significant distance from the courthouse, or other special circumstances.

What is your practice concerning oral arguments on dispositive motions? Counsel may request, but Court does not always grant request.

Will you entertain motions in limine prior to trial? Yes

      If YES, how far in advance should they be filed? as much as advance as possible

Comments: We set hearings as needed. When hearings are set, we generally set in morning or after lunch, but try to work with counsel if they have a conflict at those times.

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?

Do you routinely refer discovery matters to a Magistrate Judge? No

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? Yes


What is your preference regarding the use of alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration or mediation? always encouraged, pursuant to applicable rules

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? Counsel should file a motion.

Do you have any special procedures for the settlement of FLSA cases? All parties/counsel should abide by Eleventh Circuit precedent and all applicable rules.



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? Counsel proposes

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

      If YES, under what circumstances will you grant trial dates certain? When necessary, otherwise cases are on a two week calendar.

      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? Every attempt will be made to try the case as soon as possible on the next trial docket, with allowance for counsel/parties' schedules.

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? Should make arrangements at least several days before trial begins.

Do you require trial briefs

      in jury trials? No

      in bench trials? Yes

If you require trial briefs, when are they due? Deliver no later than one week before trial begins.

Do you have any requirements for trial briefs? Depends on the case.

Do you permit counsel to perform voir dire? Yes

      If YES, what guidelines or restrictions must counsel follow when conducting voir dire? Court will limit questioning to a reasonable amount of time.

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

            If YES, when should such questions be submitted?

What are your peremptory challenge procedures? No back striking.

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? 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? Yes

Do you allow plaintiffs to make a rebuttal during opening statements? No

Do you permit jurors to

      take notes? No

      ask questions? No

      If YES, under what constraints and restrictions?

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

When do you require counsel to file proposed jury instructions? Preferably on the day trial begins, or at least as soon as possible after trial starts. And instructions should be submitted in wordperfect format, on a disk or electronically.

Should jury instructions also be submitted to chambers electronically? Yes

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? Order requires them by trial start, and supplements may be submitted after completion of trial.

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

Comments: Regarding trials: cases are assigned order at pre-trial and we discuss with parties how much notice they need for witnesses, etc. Once first case is set to begin on Monday following pre-trial other cases should keep in touch with chambers to see approximately when they will begin and monitor case ahead of them. Time problems are usually worked out. Also, as to jurors taking notes or asking questions - the Court will consider a request from jurors to take notes, with the consent of counsel, and the Court may consider allowing a question from jurors - again depending on counsel's consent..


Do you require sentencing memos from the parties? No

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

      If NO, may parties file a sentencing memo? Yes

If counsel anticipates a contested or extensive sentencing hearing, should counsel notify the court? Yes, for scheduling purposes, and please do so as far in advance as possible.

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

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? Generally, first handled by Magistrate Judge, and then I will address it.



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 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.

[Revised: 06-30-2010]