Laurel Myerson Isicoff
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:
Southern District of Florida
Location of Chambers:
305 714 1752
Email address (only for proposed orders or jury instructions):
Emily Maza 305 714 1752
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?
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?
Except in the case of emergency motions and orders, you may not call chambers regarding status until you have waited two weeks and checked the docket. Attorneys need to review the local rules and the court's procedures rather than call the judge's chambers "to save time".
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?
The procedures are listed on our court website and on all notices of hearing.
Is there a designated court staff person to contact relating to the use of electronic media or other audiovisual needs?
If you need to bring in a laptop, contact chambers for a letter of authority.
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)?
Counsel must immediately call to have the document put on restricted access, then file a motion, and upload an unredacted version of the document.
Do you have a preferred method governing the filing of sealed documents?
Review our local rules.
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?
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?
All proposed orders must be submitted through eorders unless directed otherwise by the court.
Should proposed orders be submitted in a format which can be edited, or is a PDF version acceptable?
E orders are submitted in pdf format. Orders submitted to chambers should be in word format.
Our local rules require that orders be submitted no later than seven days after any hearing.
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?
The consent may be stated in the motion.
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?
Refer to my Guidelines. In general, agreed continuances will be granted ex parte.
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?
At my discretion I will continue the hearing or refuse to consider the pleading filed. In rare instances I will grant the relief but require a bulletin in bold caps advising all parties of the time to seek rehearing on the relief entered.
What do you consider to be an emergency matter?
Refer to my Guidelines.
How does one request emergency relief?
Refer to my Guidelines and the Local Rules.
What are your procedures concerning ex parte temporary restraining orders?
I follow the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 65 and Bankr.R.Civ.P. 7065.
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?
Attorneys should refer to the Local Rules for the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida.
What is your preferred method for a party to request a hearing date?
Refer to my Guidelines.
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?
Refer to my Guidelines.
Under what circumstances do you require the debtor's attendance at a hearing?
A debtor must attend any hearing at which I am making a factual determination that requires the debtor's testimony, e.g. motions to extend the stay or to reimpose the stay. However, if no one objects I will accept a proffer at the time of the hearing. The debtor is also expected to appear at any reaffirmation hearing that is set by the court although the debtor may appear by phone by prior arrangement.
Do you grant pro hac vice admission on oral request at hearings?
What is your practice or policy when counsel fails to provide opposing counsel with copies of proposed exhibits prior to hearing or trial?
At my discretion, when counsel is required to provide the copies prior to trial (refer to the applicable order for requirements) I may strike the exhibits. I will in all instances apply the Federal Rules of Evidence and our Local Rules regarding discovery and discovery abuses.
Will you entertain motions in limine prior to trial?
If YES, how far in advance should they be filed?
When the issues are ripe.
What is your preference regarding the use of alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration or mediation?
I encourage the use of mediation or judicial settlement conferences and when appropriate, I require it.
Do you refer settlement conferences to another Bankruptcy Judge?
Do you grant specially set trial dates (dates certain)?
If YES, under what circumstances will you grant trial dates certain?
I have a trial week every month and my CRD will provide alternative trial dates when they are available.
If NO, what is your policy regarding notice for trial during a trial docket (e.g., will you give at least 48 hour's 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?
What, if any, procedural requirements do you have regarding the use of videotapes, trial graphics, depositions, and demonstrations?
Attorneys wishing to bring any electronic device into court must advise my chambers so that an order may be prepared authorizing the equipment to be brought into the building. My courtroom does has advanced technology. Any other procedure for use is in accordance with the applicable rules of procedure and evidence.
Do you prefer opening statements?
Do you require trial briefs?
If you require trial briefs, when are they due?
If I wish to have a trial brief I will prepare a scheduling order.
Do you have any requirements for trial briefs?
Concise and well written
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?
If I do require proposed findings and conclusions I will advise the parties of the deadlines.
Should the proposed findings and conclusions also be submitted to chambers electronically?
At my direction the proposed findings should be submitted to the chambers mailbox described above.
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 would like attorneys to read my Guidelines, to read the Local Rules, to read orders and notices, to be prepared, and to be professional at all times.Professionalism includes the way they dress, and the manner in which the attorneys address each other, their clients, and the court.
Do you have any other practice pointers, advice, observations, or suggestions for members of the Bar appearing before you?
Be prepared and be respectful of the institution.