Leslie Robyn Hoffman
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:
Email address (only for proposed orders or jury instructions):
Law Clerk phone number(s), only if you permit law clerk(s) to receive calls:
Kati Haupt (odd cases) 407-835-4348; Matt Hainen (even cases) 407-835-4324
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?
May counsel contact chambers to speak with your law clerk(s) on the status of pending matters?
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?
Is there a designated court staff person to contact relating to the use of electronic media or other audiovisual needs?
Courtroom Deputy: Edward Jackson
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.
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)?
File notice of withdrawal of document
Do you have a preferred method governing the filing of sealed documents?
Follow Local Rule 1.09
Do you prefer that (non-trial) exhibits be filed as separate docket entries (instead of filing them as attachments to the document they support)?
When filing documents with multiple attachments, do you prefer that the document be filed such that it is displayed with bookmarks within the PDF image?
Do you prefer that (non-trial) exhibits and depositions be filed conventionally as well as on CM/ECF?
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?
Proposed orders should not be submitted unless requested by the Court.
Should proposed orders be submitted in a format which can be edited, or is a PDF version acceptable?
Format which can be edited
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?
Yes, the government may proceed by proffer at a bond/detention hearing.
If a proffer is permitted, can the defendant’s counsel call the government case agent and cross-examine him/her?
If a proffer is permitted, do you prefer that defense counsel present the family of the defendant as witnesses by proffer instead of calling individual witnesses?
What criteria do you apply in determining whether to impose a financial assessment on a defendant for the services of appointed counsel?
Judge Hoffman reviews the defendant's income, assets and liabilites, then makes a determination as to whether the defendant is indigent. If the defendant is not indigent, then using the same factors determine how much the defendant can pay towards the cost of representation.
Do you conduct preliminary pretrial conferences in criminal cases?
Do you require the defendant to be present at status conferences?
Do you have a regular plea deadline?
If YES, when is that deadline?
The plea deadline will be set at the status conference.
If NO, is a plea deadline set at pretrial conferences?
What is your policy concerning nolo contendere or Alford pleas?
Judge Hoffman does not accept nolo contendere 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?
The plea agreement must include any promises stated by the government including sentencing recommendation.
Regarding defendant's counse presenting the family of the defendant as witnesses by proffer , Judge Hoffman has no preference, but will allow it.
Pretrial Procedure (Civil)
Do you issue a standard pretrial order?
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?
Scheduling matters, discovery issues, status of case, etc.
Do you have any requirements, beyond those found in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Local Rules, as to motions for extension of time or motions for continuance?
Other than as required by Local Rules, do you prefer that the moving parties submit proposed orders along with non-dispositive motions?
Do you hear preliminary injunction motions?
Should copies of published cases cited in motions and memoranda be forwarded to chambers?
Should copies of unpublished opinions 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?
Upon proper motion.
What is your practice concerning oral arguments on referred dispositive motions?
Oral argument will be held if it is determined necessary by the Court.
Will you entertain motions in limine prior to trial?
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?
See Standing Order on Discovery Motions.
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?
Judge Hoffman will hear the matter if she is available.
What is your preference regarding the use of alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration or mediation?
Do you require counsel to submit a proposed order referring the case to mediation?
Do you have any special procedures for the settlement of FLSA cases?
The parties must file a joint motion for settlement approval under Lynn's Food.
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?
Set upon review of the parties' Case Management Report
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?
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"?
Stand when addressing the Court.
Links to your court's webpage with information about your practices or other links you recommend for practitioners: