The Florida Bar

Judicial Practice Survey

Joan A Lenard

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:

301 North Miami Avenue, 7th Floor, Miami, FL 33128

Assigned Courtroom:

Courtroom 7


(305) 523-5500

Chambers Staff

Judicial Assistant/Secretary:

Diana Pizarro


(305) 523-5500

Courtroom Deputy:

Lisa Shelnut


(305) 523-5506

Court Reporter:

Richard Kaufman


(305) 523-5499

Docket Clerk:

Rehan Ahmad


(305) 523-5241

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?

The scheduling of trial, disclosure of discovery and the parameters for the filing of motions and responses are all considered by the Court.

Do you conduct hearings on pretrial motions to dismiss or to sever?


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

All matters are handled on a case-by-case basis.

Pretrial Procedure (Civil)

Do you conduct preliminary pretrial hearings, e.g., pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 16?


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

Not at this time

Do you have any requirements, beyond those found in the Federal Rules and the Local Rules, as to ex parte temporary restraining orders?

All motions should be filed in the clerk's office pursuant to S.D.Fla.L.R. 5.1(B), (D) – (1 original & 1 copy for Judge) – Chambers will then notify the movant once the motion has been reviewed and disposition made.

Do you hear preliminary injunction motions?


If NO, do you routinely refer preliminary injunctions for report and recommendation by a Magistrate Judge?


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


If YES, when is your normal hearing date/time?

As needed

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

Oral argument if appropriate.


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?

Special set determinations are based upon the complexity of cases and availability of witnesses and docket considerations.

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

All cases are assigned numbers at calendar call. Once a trial ends, the next case (in numerical sequence) begins trial the following day.

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?

Computer presentation system, VCR and ELMO, including cassette and computer hook-ups are available for use during trial. Counsel, witness and jurors all have flat screens.

Do you require trial briefs in jury trials?


Do you require trial briefs in bench trials?


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?

Proposed voir dire questions should be submitted three (3) days before commencement of trial.

What are your peremptory challenge procedures?

Court questions all jurors utilizing Court questionnaire and any additional Court approved questions requested by counsel. Court subsequently asks counsel at side bar if any additional inquiry is requested. Counsel then moves for excusals based upon cause. Counsel then exercise their peremptory challenges juror by juror in the following manner: jurors are each assigned a number and Government/Plaintiff exercises its peremptory challenges on each odd numbered juror first and Defendant exercises its peremptory challenges first on each even numbered juror. (Ex. Juror #1: To Government/Plaintiff for exercise of peremptory; if none, to Defendant. Juror #2: To Defendant for peremptory if none, to Government/Plaintiff etc.; until the jury is chosen.

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 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?

When voicing objections, counsel should stand and state his/her grounds succinctly. (No speaking objections.)

When do you require counsel to file proposed jury instructions?

Jury instructions shall be submitted three (3) days before the first day of trial. They may be amended or supplemented, if necessary, at the conclusion of trial. (NOTE: A diskette with the proposed instructions in WordPerfect should also be submitted.)

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?

Parties shall submit them when trial commences. They may be amended or supplemented, if necessary, at the conclusion of trial. (NOTE: A diskette with the findings of fact and conclusions of law in WordPerfect should also be submitted.)




Revised: 06-12-2018