The Florida Bar

Judicial Practice Survey

Harvey E Schlesinger

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:

Middle District of Florida

Location of Chambers:

U.S. Courthouse

Assigned Courtroom:



(904) 549-1990

Chambers Staff

Judicial Assistant/Secretary:

Eric K. Shaddock



Courtroom Deputy:

Virginia Flick


(904) 549-1982

Court Reporter:

Assigned as needed.

Docket Clerk:

Refer to Clerk's Office



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?

Whatever needs resolution and set trial schedule.

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

Referred to the U.S. Magistrate Judge for a Report and Recommendation.

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?

I do not accept such plea agreements.

Pretrial Procedure (Civil)

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

Yes, only if lawyers have disagreements in the Case Management Report. Those items that will be discussed are those referred to in the Order setting a Preliminary Pretrial Hearing.

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?

Follow the rules.

Do you hear preliminary injunction motions?


Should copies of published cases cited in motions and memoranda be forwarded to chambers?


Do you regularly set aside time during a given week/month for hearings on motions?


Under what circumstances do you allow telephonic hearings?

If requested by counsel, status conferences can be held telephonically if counsel lives outside the Jacksonville division.

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


Will you entertain motions in limine prior to trial?


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

No later than 5 working days prior to the pretrial conference.


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.)?


Do you routinely refer discovery matters to a Magistrate Judge?



Do you grant specially set trial dates (dates certain)?


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

When possible

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

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?

Attorneys can meet with the Courtroom Deputy prior to proceedings to become familiar with the technology in the Courtroom.

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?

No later than 5 working days before the trial term.

Do you have any requirements for trial briefs?

See Order attached

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?

5 working days before trial.

What are your peremptory challenge procedures?

At sidebar.

If NO, do you limit each side (i.e., plaintiff/defense) to a total of three peremptory challenges to be shared?

The number of challenges is discussed and resolved at the pretrial conference.

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?


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

No speaking objections; usually resolved at sidebar.

When do you require counsel to file proposed jury instructions?

See attached order.

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?

See attached order.

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"?

Get to the point.

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

Be prepared and know the Local Rules.


Sample CMSO 9-2010.pdf

Revised: 06-12-2018