The Florida Bar

Judicial Practice Survey

David Allan Baker

Magistrate 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:


Assigned Courtroom:


Chambers Staff

Courtroom Deputy:

Helyn LaTorre


407 835 5807

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?


May counsel contact chambers to speak with your law clerk(s) on procedural matters?


Pretrial Detention/Pretrial Procedure (Criminal)

At bond hearings, do you permit the government to proceed by proffer or do you require a government agent to be present to testify?


If a proffer is permitted, can the defendant’s counsel call the government case agent and cross-examine him/her?


Do you conduct preliminary pretrial conferences in criminal cases?


What is your policy concerning nolo contendere or Alford pleas?

not allowed

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

non binding only

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?

All matters related to orderly progress in the case, includingany requests for variation from standard procedures.

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?


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?


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

allow when requested

Will you entertain motions in limine prior to trial?


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

These are rarely well enough defined to be useful


Do you receive referrals on discovery matters from a District Judge?


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?

We use a special scheduling orders for FLSA, ERISA, ADA, and Social Security cases


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

mediation is routinely ordered


Do you automatically set consent cases for trial or do you wait for counsel to propose a time period in which a case should be scheduled for trial?

date will be set based on the parties' case management report or after pretrial conference

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


Do you conduct pretrial conferences?


Do you conduct Daubert hearings prior to trial?


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

pertinent, non argumentative and concise

If NO, can counsel submit proposed voir dire questions?


If YES, when should such questions be submitted?

with final pretrial statement

What are your peremptory challenge procedures?

entire panel is qualified, parties strike from the number needed to reach a panel

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

each side with a separate or antagonistic position will ordinarily be allowed strikes

Do you impose any standard time limits on counsel's opening statements?


If YES, what are the time limits?

determined at FPTC

Do you permit jurors to take notes?


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

no sidebars

When do you require counsel to file proposed jury instructions?

along with final pretrial statement

If YES, when do you require the proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law to be filed?

not necessarily

Revised: 10-30-2018