The Florida Bar

Judicial Practice Survey

Patricia D Barksdale

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:

Jacksonville, Florida

Assigned Courtroom:



(904) 549-1950

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

[email protected]

Chambers Staff

Courtroom Deputy:

Angela Loeschen


(904) 549-1952

Email address:

[email protected]

Docket Clerk:

Shannie Woolbright (cases ending in odd numbers); Tawana Wright (cases ending in even numbers)


(904) 549-1911 (Ms. Woolbright); (904) 549-1905 (Ms. Wright)

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?

The court has an administrative order on electronic devices in the courthouse. See 6:13-mc-94-Orl-22.

Is there a designated court staff person to contact relating to the use of electronic media or other audiovisual needs?

Please contact 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?

In CM/ECF, but please note the court's Administrative Procedures for Electronic Filing do not permit the filing of a proposed order unless the court has ordered one.

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

PDF is acceptable.

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?

The United States may proceed by proffer.

What is your policy concerning 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?


Pretrial Procedure (Civil)

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

I conduct preliminary pretrial conferences if requested by a party.

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

Counsel may appear by telephone for most hearings.

Under what circumstances do you allow telephonic hearings?

Counsel may appear by telephone for most hearings.

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

I will hear arguments if doing so will help in the drafting of the report and recommendation.

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

A deadline will be in the case management and scheduling order.


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

Mediation is ordered in most cases.

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

The judges in the Jacksonville Division put FLSA cases on a special track that requires early, in-person settlement discussions.


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?

Chambers contacts counsel to obtain dates proposed by both sides.

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

I will order specific dates for trial in all consent cases.

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?

Chambers contacts counsel to obtain dates proposed by both sides.

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


If you require trial briefs, when are they due?

A deadline will be set in the case management and scheduling order.

Do you have any requirements for trial briefs?


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

Any guidelines or restrictions are case-specific.

If YES, when should such questions be submitted?

Counsel may also submit questions.

What are your peremptory challenge procedures?

This depends on the case.

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

This depends on the case.

If YES, what are the time limits?

This depends on the case.

When do you require counsel to file proposed jury instructions?

This depends on the case. A deadline will be set in each case.

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

A deadline will be set in each case.

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"?


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

Review Local Rule 5.03 before appearing in court.

Revised: 04-04-2018