John Antoon II
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:
401 W. Central Blvd., Ste 6750 Orlando, Florida 32801-0675
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?
Pretrial Procedure (Criminal)
Do you conduct preliminary pretrial conferences in criminal cases?
If YES, what matters do you typically discuss during a preliminary pretrial conference?
All pending motions.
Do you conduct hearings on pretrial motions to dismiss or to sever?
What is your policy concerning nolo contendere or Alford pleas?
What is your policy as to plea agreements that involve sentencing recommendations?
Pretrial Procedure (Civil)
Do you conduct preliminary pretrial hearings, e.g., pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 16?
Do you hear preliminary injunction motions?
If NO, do you routinely refer preliminary injunctions for report and recommendation by a Magistrate Judge?
Should copies of published cases cited in motions and memoranda be forwarded to chambers?
Should copies of unpublished cases cited in motions and memoranda be forwarded to chambers?
If copies of cases are submitted, do you accept copies that have portions highlighted by counsel?
Do you regularly set aside time during a given week/month for hearings on motions?
Under what circumstances do you allow telephonic hearings?
What is your practice concerning oral arguments on referred dispositive motions?
We try to grant when requested or when deemed appropriate.
Will you entertain motions in limine prior to trial?
If YES, how far in advance should they be filed?
With the pretrial statement
Do you routinely refer discovery matters to a Magistrate Judge?
When a dispute arises during a deposition, is it appropriate to call your chambers (if the case has been referred for discovery) to seek an immediate ruling?
Do you grant specially set trial dates (dates certain)?
If YES, under what circumstances will you grant trial dates certain?
As a general rule, no. There are exceptions.
If NO, what is your policy regarding notice for trial during a trial docket (e.g., will you give at least 48 hours' notice)?
Generally be prepared within 24 hours.
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?
Do you require trial briefs in jury trials?
Do you require trial briefs in bench trials?
If you require trial briefs, when are they due?
See our scheduling order on case by case basis.
Do you permit counsel to perform voir dire?
If NO, can counsel submit proposed voir dire questions?
If YES, when should such questions be submitted?
With pretrial statement.
In multiple party cases, do you grant each party three peremptory challenges?
If NO, do you limit each side (i.e., plaintiff/defense) to a total of three peremptory challenges to be shared?
Do you allow back striking during jury selection?
Do you impose any standard time limits on counsel's opening statements?
Can exhibits be used in opening statements?
Do you permit jurors to take notes?
Do you permit jurors to ask questions?
When standard jury instructions are available, do you prefer that attorneys submit condensed versions of the standard instructions?
Do you require proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law to be filed in bench trials?
If YES, when do you require the proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law to be filed?
By the end of trial.
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"?
- rearguing after court has ruled - sniping at opposing counsel - Failure to be faithful to the law
Do you have any other practice pointers, advice, observations, or suggestions for members of the Bar appearing before you?
The more concise your pleadings are, the easier to read and the more persuasive.