Gregory A Presnell
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., Suite 5750, Orlando, FL 32801-0575
Tomlyn K. Wright
Assigned by case number digits
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?
At a status conference, status of the case, i.e., change of plea, need for continuances.
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?
Will consider recommendations contained in plea agreement.
Pretrial Procedure (Civil)
Do you conduct preliminary pretrial hearings, e.g., pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 16?
Other than as required by Local Rules, do you prefer that the moving parties submit proposed orders along with non-dispositive motions?
Do you have any requirements, beyond those found in the Federal Rules and the Local Rules, as to ex parte temporary restraining orders?
See Local Rule
Do you hear preliminary injunction motions?
Do you regularly set aside time during a given week/month for hearings on motions?
If YES, when is your normal hearing date/time?
When the Court's calendar permits.
What is your practice concerning oral arguments on referred dispositive motions?
When the Court desires to hear oral argument, a hearing will be set.
Will you entertain motions in limine prior to trial?
If YES, how far in advance should they be filed?
According to the Scheduling Order
Other than those discovery schedules contained in Local Rules, do you have special discovery deadlines or procedures for certain types of cases (ERISA, FLSA, etc.)?
If YES, what types of cases and what are the deadlines or procedures?
Yes (FLSA) & ADA The court issues a scheduling order after the def. has filed an appearance.
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?
Most cases noticed for date certain, approx. 60 days prior to trial.
If NO, what is your policy regarding notice for trial during a trial docket (e.g., will you give at least 48 hours' notice)?
N/A, as all civil cases are set for a date certain by the Court.
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?
DOAR equipment can be used only during complex trials, other equipment can be used depending on need.
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?
One week before trial.
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?
At time of submission of proposed jury instructions.
What are your peremptory challenge procedures?
Alternate strikes with back strikes permitted.
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?
If YES, what are the time limits?
Depends on complexity of the case.
Can exhibits be used in opening statements?
Do you permit jurors to take notes?
Do you permit jurors to ask questions?
If YES, under what constraints and restrictions?
Yes, but I don't encourage it. Written questions only.
What, if any, procedures do you have concerning objections at trial?
State objections and basis; no speaking objections, except at sidebar.
When do you require counsel to file proposed jury instructions?
Approx. one week prior to trial.
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?
Sometimes. Usually within 30 days after receipt of transcript.
Do you have any other practice pointers, advice, observations, or suggestions for members of the Bar appearing before you?