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Judicial Practice Survey

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Raymond Billy Ray

Bankruptcy 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:

Assigned courtroom:


Email address (only for proposed orders):



Judicial Assistant/Secretary: Betty Robaina


Email address:

Courtroom Deputy: Lorraine Melendez


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? No

      regarding the status of pending matters?

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

      on procedural matters?

      on the status of pending matters?



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? Yes. Continuances for hearings on motion calendars may be requested by an agreed motion for continuances filed with a proposed order. If the parties do not agree, the motion for continuance will be set for hearing. Continuances for specially set matters will not be continued absent extraordinary circumstances, such continuances will not be granted ex parte without a hearing even if agreed. Pretrial conferences for adversary proceedings are permitted only one continuance, such continuance will not be granted ex parte without a hearing even if agreed. An agreed enlargement of time will be granted unless it interferes with a hearing or trial date. See Local Rule 5071-1.

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

      copies of published cases? Yes

      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 will sanction the attorney, continue the matter, and/or take appropriate steps to insure the opposing party is not prejudiced.

What do you consider to be an emergency matter? An emergency matter is one where the requested relief requires immediate action.

How does one request emergency relief? See Local Rule 9075-1. It is critical that the motion state clearly the nature of the emergency and when the hearing must be conducted to avoid irreparable harm.

What are your procedures concerning ex parte temporary restraining orders? See Federal Rule Civil Procedure 65.

When a dispute arises during a deposition, is it appropriate to call chambers to seek an immediate ruling? Yes

For which matters is the use of negative notice acceptable? See Local Rules 3007-1(C), 4001-1(C), 6004-1(B), 6007-1(B)(1), and 9013-1(D).

What is your preferred method for a party to request a hearing date? See Local Rule 9073-1.

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)? An evidentiary hearing is one in which there is a fact in dispute. Evidentiary hearings or motions that will take in excess of fifteen minutes must be specially set and will not be heard during motion calendar. It is the responsibility of the party setting the hearing to determine availability of the parties. The courtroom deputy will not act as a middleman to clear dates for parties who do not confer with each other. Failure of counsel to confer with one another before setting hearings may result in the hearing not going forward.

Under what circumstances do you allow telephonic hearings? Yes. Telephonic appearances are permitted for routine matters but are not permitted for evidentiary hearings or for matters on a Chapter 13 calendar. Requests to appear at a hearing by telephone should be made exclusively by calling the courtroom deputy at least two business days prior to the hearing. Permission to appear by telephone is granted on a case by case basis. If the courtroom deputy receives multiple requests for a telephone hearing in a particular matter, the first person who calls will receive precedence unless an "800" number conference call is arrancged so that more than one party can participate. Motion calendar conference call hearings generally must be reset and renoticed for a time certain during the motion calendar.

Under what circumstances do you require the debtor's attendance at a hearing? None, other than when the debtor is subpoenaed.

Do you grant pro hac vice admission on oral request at hearings? I will allow an attorney to appear pro hac vice at the attorney's first appearance before me, thereafter the attorney must file a written motion. See Local Rule 2090-1(B)(2).

What is your practice or policy when counsel fails to provide opposing counsel with copies of proposed exhibits prior to hearing or trial? I will sanction the attorney, continue the matter, and/or take appropriate steps to insure the opposing party is not prejudiced.

Will you entertain motions in limine prior to trial? Yes

      If YES, how far in advance should they be filed? Motions in limine should be filed as far in advance as possible and appropriate.

What is your preference regarding the use of alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration or mediation? See Local Rule9019-2. Mediation

Do you refer settlement conferences to another Bankruptcy Judge? Yes



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? Yes

What, if any, procedural requirements do you have regarding the use of videotapes, trial graphics, depositions, and demonstrations? I have no specific procedures for such use.

Do you prefer opening statements?

Do you require trial briefs? No

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”? I do not entertain any oral or ex parte communications. Do not write letters or call regarding cases. Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9003 prohibits ex parte communications with the judge by any party in interest regarding any matter affecting a particular case.

At the hearing on a motion, be prepared to present an order on the motion for entry by the Court should the Court grant the relief requested. The title of proposed orders should use the words granted or denied. Do not simply state order "on". Also, please refer to the date of the hearing in the first line of the order.

Do not contact chambers or the courtroom deputy for a hearing date/time if your motion has not been filed.

Make sure you confer with opposing counsel before you notice a matter for hearing.

You should be familiar with and follow the local rules and the information contained on the court's website.

Please proofread orders which you submit to the Court. Orders with the wrong judge's name or initials, grammatical mistakes or numerous typographical errors reflect poorly on your diligence and professionalism.

When submitting Orders, the date line should read "ORDERED in the Southern District of Florida on _____________," not "ORDERED in the Southern District of Florida


Remember that Local Rule 9019-1 adds certain requirements when you seek approval of settlements on negative notice. Specifically, you must either attach a copy of the settlement to the Certificate of No Response or describe the basic terms of the settlement in the Certificate.

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: 06-24-2013]