The Florida Bar

Judicial Practice Survey

Darrin Phillip Gayles

District 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:


Assigned Courtroom:




Email address (only for proposed orders or jury instructions):

[email protected]

Chambers Staff

Judicial Assistant/Secretary:


Courtroom Deputy:

Jermaine Creary



Email address:

[email protected]

Court Reporter:

Patricia Diaz



Email Address:

[email protected]

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

305-523-5173 (digits 0-1); 305-523-5172 (digits 2-5); 305-523-5175 (digits 6-9)

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?

The 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)?


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


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?

Both attached to documents filed in CM/ECF and emails to [email protected]

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

Submitted by email in Word version

Pretrial Procedure (Criminal)

If YES, what matters do you typically discuss during a preliminary pretrial conference?

Length of trial, special issues related to the case.

If YES, do you have the same policy for defendants in custody and for defendants on bond?

Yes if on bond. If in custody, Defendants are not generally required to appear.

Do you conduct suppression hearings or do you refer them to a Magistrate Judge?


Do you take the plea or do you regularly refer plea hearings to a Magistrate Judge?

Depends on the district judge's schedule.

What is your policy concerning nolo contendere or Alford pleas?

Judge Gayles does not take nolo contendere or Alford pleas.

Do you have any special procedures regarding plea agreements for individuals who are cooperating with the government, e.g., sealed plea agreements, etc.?


What is your policy as to plea agreements that involve sentencing recommendations?

No specific policy

Pretrial Procedure (Civil)

If YES, what matters do you typically discuss during preliminary pretrial hearings?

Early hearings are typically conducted for complex cases. Scheduling and discovery issues are discussed.

Under what circumstances do you allow telephonic hearings?

For simple motions, when the parties and/or attorneys reside outside Miami-Dade County, Florida.

What is your practice concerning oral arguments on referred dispositive motions?

Oral argument on a case by case basis

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

Per scheduling order


If YES, what types of cases and what are the deadlines or procedures?

FLSA/TCPA/ADA cases are set on an expedited schedule


Follow assigned Magistrate Judge's Discovery Procedures


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

All cases must be mediated.

Do you have a procedure for counsel to request referral to a Magistrate Judge for settlement conferences?


Do you have any special procedures for the settlement of FLSA cases?

Settlement agreements in FLSA cases must be approved by the Court.


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

In cases with several out of state witnesses.

If NO, what is your policy regarding notice for trial during a trial docket (e.g., will you give at least 48 hours' notice)?

Trial dates are provided in the scheduling order. The trial dates are confirmed at the calendar call.

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?

The judge will confer with the parties before rescheduling trial dates.

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

The parties shall exchange exhibits prior to trial. The parties shall designate proposed deposition testimony (color-coded) and objections within a single copy of the deposition.

If you require trial briefs, when are they due?

By the calendar call.

Do you have any requirements for trial briefs?


If YES, what guidelines or restrictions must counsel follow when conducting voir dire?

The complexity of the case governs the amount of time alloted for voir dire.

What are your peremptory challenge procedures?

The Court follows the Federal Rules.

If YES, what are the time limits?

Depends on the case.

If YES, under what constraints and restrictions?

Jurors may take notes. Jurors may also ask questions in civil cases. The Court will confer with the parties before asking the jurors' questions.

What, if any, procedures do you have concerning objections at trial?

No speaking objections.

When do you require counsel to file proposed jury instructions?

By calendar call.


If counsel anticipates a contested or extensive sentencing hearing, should counsel notify the court?


If you are considering an upward departure under the United States Sentencing Guidelines, do you provide notice orally or in writing?


In a proceeding for a violation of supervised release conditions, do you personally conduct the admissions/findings of fact hearing or do you refer this to a Magistrate Judge?

Judge Gayles does the final revocation

Revised: 09-04-2018