The Florida Bar

Judicial Practice Survey

Roberta Ann Colton

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:

Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Courthouse, 801 North Florida Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33602-3899

Assigned Courtroom:




Chamber Staff

Judicial Assistant/Secretary:

Timothy Fox, Law Clerk



Email address:

[email protected]

Courtroom Deputy:

Wendy Chatham



Email address:

[email protected]

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

Timothy Fox, 813-301-5299 and Leslie Wybiral, 813-301-5298

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?

Wendy Chatham, Courtroom Deputy.

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)?

Motion to Redact. Please refer to the court's external procedure manual, The Source (

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

Please refer to Local Rule 5005-4.

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

For formatting questions, please refer to the court's Style Guide (

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?

Please refer to Local Rule 9072-1.

How does one request emergency relief?

Submit an appropriate motion and certificate of necessity. See Local Rule 9013-1.

For which matters is the use of negative notice acceptable?

The list of matters that may be filed using negative notice is maintained on the court's website ( For procedures, see Local Rule 2002-4

Under what circumstances do you allow telephonic hearings?

Court Solutions is used in my courtroom. For details, please see my page on the court's website (

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

As far in advance as possible and as appropriate.

What is your preference regarding the use of alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration or mediation?

Mediation is encouraged. For guidance, see Local Rule 9019-2


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

See Local Rule 9070-1. Counsel should also contact the Courtroom Deputy no later than 48 hours prior to trial to coordinate.

Revised: 03-12-2020