The Florida Bar

Judicial Practice Survey

Catherine Peek McEwen

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.


Name of Court:

Middle District of Florida

Location of Chambers:

Chambers 8B, 801 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, FL 33602

Assigned Courtroom:



(813) 301-5082

Chamber Staff

Judicial Assistant/Secretary:

Dedra Gann (non case-related matters)



Email address:

[email protected]

Courtroom Deputy:

Pamella Arciola (calendaring matters)



Email address:

[email protected]

Court Reporter:

Johnson Transcripts



Email Address:

[email protected]

Law Clerk phone number(s), only if you permit law clerk(s) to receive calls:

Lisa Scotten 813-301-5088

Communication with Chambers

Do you permit contact with chambers regarding questions of procedure?


Do you permit contact with chambers regarding the status of pending matters?


May counsel contact chambers to speak with your law clerks(s) on procedural matters?


May counsel contact chambers to speak with your law clerks(s) on the status of pending matters?



Please do not call to ask about orders until you have checked with the case manager first. For routine issues (e.g., rejected orders, docketing issues) contact the appropriate case manager based on the last two digits of the case number. Case manager assignments can be found on the Court’s website at:

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?

Specific information about my courtroom’s videoconference capabilities can be found at:

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

Pamella Arciola

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)?

The procedure for redacting personal information inadvertently included in a filed document, together with a sample motion for such redaction, can be found on the Court's website at:

Do you have a preferred method governing the filing of sealed documents?

Filing of sealed documents is governed by Bankr.M.D.Fla.R. 5005-4 and 11 U.S.C. § 107. If you need to know in advance whether a document will be permitted to remain under seal, you may request an in camera review of the document before filing it.

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?


Do you prefer that (non-trial) exhibits and depositions be filed conventionally as well as on CM/ECF?


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?

For information on submission of proposed orders. please refer to instructions provided in the Court’s Procedure Manual at See also The Style Guide at and Bankr.M.D.Fla.R. 9072-1.

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

Yes. See comments below.


All orders and all other papers submitted or filed electronically must be submitted in a PDF format that permits text searches and should be in a form that allows for editing (i.e., not scanned). However, if only a paper copy is available, it may be converted to PDF by scanning.

Pretrial Practice

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?

Either way is acceptable. See also Bankr.M.D.Fla.R. 9072-1(c) governing "agreed orders."

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?

Do not assume that a motion for continuance filed at the last minute will be granted absent consent of all parties. Refer to Bankr.M.D.Fla.R. 5071-1 prior to filing your motion for continuance. A motion for continuance must recite that you have discussed the proposed continuance with opposing counsel and whether there is any objection to the continuance. Remember to submit a proposed order along with your request for a continuance. Also, if it is a last-minute request, call and let the Courtroom Deputy know as soon as you have filed a motion for a continuance.

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


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


If copies of cases are submitted, do you accept copies that have portions highlighted by counsel?


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?

Deadlines for filing and responding to summary judgment motions will generally be treated as firm. Otherwise, I take whatever action is appropriate under the circumstance. If a proposed order is not submitted in compliance with an order or published policy, relief may be denied for noncompliance.

What do you consider to be an emergency matter?

Situations involving an imminent loss of rights. The motion or application should state what harm will occur, and by what date, if the hearing is not scheduled on an emergency basis.

What are your procedures concerning ex parte temporary restraining orders?

Follow Rule 7065, Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. For guidance, refer to Rules 6.01 and 6.02 of the Local Rules of the Middle District of Florida. A good "how to" resource is retired Judge Corcoran's article "Preliminary Injunctions and Temporary Restraining Orders: How to Get Them Effectively and Efficiently," The Cramdown, Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association, Winter 2003, pp.4-5. A copy of this paper is available on my page on the Court’s website at:

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


For which matters is the use of negative notice acceptable?

See Bankr.M.D.Fla.R. 2002-4 and the Negative Notice List available on the Court’s website at: Upon request, I will consider applying negative notice to other matters.

What is your preferred method for a party to request a hearing date?

In most instances, upon filing of a motion, parties will be notified by a court-generated notice or order setting a hearing. In the case of an emergency hearing, the Courtroom Deputy will contact movant's counsel; counsel is typically instructed to provide notice telephonically and/or electronically.

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)?


Under what circumstances do you allow telephonic hearings?

The Court’s policy on telephonic appearance can be found in the Procedure Manual available at:

Under what circumstances do you require the debtor's attendance at a hearing?

All hearings when the debtor is pro se; hearings on reaffirmation agreements when debtor's counsel has not signed the agreement; all evidentiary hearings involving an interest of the debtor; initial status conference in Chapter 11 cases. I may add others as I develop this policy.

Do you grant pro hac vice admission on oral request at hearings?

No. The admission of attorneys to practice before this Court is governed by Bankr.M.D.Fla.R. 2090-1.

What is your practice or policy when counsel fails to provide opposing counsel with copies of proposed exhibits prior to hearing or trial?

It depends on potential prejudice, which may result in a continuance or possible imposition of sanctions, such as exclusion of those exhibits.

Will you entertain motions in limine prior to trial?


If YES, how far in advance should they 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?

I encourage mediation (but not non-binding arbitration). In appropriate cases and proceedings, I will require mediation.

Do you refer settlement conferences to another Bankruptcy Judge?



Sometimes. But only under limited circumstances will I agree to serve as a mediator for another judge’s case. There are very good private mediators who make their living mediating.


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


Do you conduct Daubert hearings prior to trial?


What, if any, procedural requirements do you have regarding the use of videotapes, trial graphics, depositions, and demonstrations?

Call the Courtroom Deputy no later than 48 hours prior to trial or final evidentiary hearing to coordinate electronic presentations. Stand-alone trial graphics (posters) are not helpful unless the print is VERY large; a paper version that I can view at the bench is more helpful. I prefer that deposition testimony be read into the record during trial.

Do you prefer opening statements?


Do you require trial briefs?


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"?

Practice pointers (not peeves): Help me by coming prepared with legal arguments in support of your position and cases you want considered. Submitting case citations in advance is most helpful. Call the Courtroom Deputy when a matter is settled so that Chambers staff and I can work on preparing for something else. Mark your exhibits in advance in compliance with Bankr.M.D.Fla.R. 9070-1. It makes the trial run more smoothly and aids the Courtroom Deputy tremendously. Speak clearly and slowly when making your appearance so that we record your name correctly on proceeding memos. Settlement and social conversations in the courtroom's well and gallery areas may be distracting to all seated at the bench, which may cause one of us to miss something. Also, digital recording equipment may sometimes pick up remote conversations, which can cause problems in generating accurate transcripts. Therefore, while the Court is in session and you are waiting for your case to be called, please hold your settlement discussions outside the courtroom so as not to interfere with a colleague's hearing.

Do you have any other practice pointers, advice, observations, or suggestions for members of the Bar appearing before you?

See Judge McEwen’s webpage at: for additional guidance on the topics listed below.


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

See Judge McEwen’s webpage at: for additional guidance on the


Negative Notice Procedures.pdf

View From Bench.pdf

Practice Tips.pdf

Memo Re Language to Abbreviate Orders.pdf

Memo re Amended and Agreed orders.pdf



Revised: 01-08-2021