The Florida Bar

Judicial Practice Survey

Erik P Kimball

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:

Southern District of Florida

Location of Chambers:

West Palm Beach

Assigned Courtroom:




Chamber Staff

Courtroom Deputy:

Dawn Leonard



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?

Please see the Court's web site at

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

Dawn Leonard, 561.514.4143

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)?

Please see the Court's Local Rules at

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

Please see the Court's local rules at

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?

Proposed orders are to be submitted via e-orders in CM/ECF unless otherwise directed.

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

Only when requested by the Judge.

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 state consents in the motion itself.

If YES, what do you require?

Please see instructions on the Court's web site:

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?

The matter may be denied. Please see instructions on the Court's web site:

What do you consider to be an emergency matter?

Please see instructions on the Court's web site:

How does one request emergency relief?

Please see instructions on the Court's web site:

What are your procedures concerning ex parte temporary restraining orders?

TRO requests are considered by the Judge on a case by case basis consistent with the rules and applicable case law.

For which matters is the use of negative notice acceptable?

See Local Rule 9013-1.

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

Please see instructions on the Court's web site:

Under what circumstances do you allow telephonic hearings?

Please see instructions on the Court's web site:

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

Please see instructions on the Court's web site:

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

The proposed exhibits may be excluded.

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

This is rarely necessary in bankruptcy matters. Please see instructions on the Court's web site: This may be addressed in a scheduling order.

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

The Court considers ordering mediation in all adversary proceedings and contested matters.


If the parties are amenable to a judicial settlement conference, they may select any Bankruptcy Judge in this district willing to assist them.


If YES, under what circumstances will you grant trial dates certain?

Judge Kimball sets final preliminary hearings in contested matters, and pretrial hearings in adversary proceedings. Trial dates are set then, and may be on very short notice.

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

Please see instructions on the Court's web site:

If YES, when do you require the proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law to be filed?

Only upon request.

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"?

Lawyers are expected to act professionally,and show courtesy to the Court, opposing counsel, the parties, witnesses, members of the clerk's office, representatives of the United States Trustee, and other parties in interest. Unprofessional conduct will not be permitted. Appropriate sanctions may be ordered with or without motion.

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

Assume that all conduct in the environs of the courthouse will be reported to the Judge.


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

Revised: 07-09-2019