Daniel C. Irick
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):
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?
Counsel may contact chambers to alert the Court of time-sensitive developments, such as settlement, the mootness of a motion due to intervening circumstances, or the filing of an emergency motion.
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 standing order on electronic devices can be found at http://www.flmd.uscourts.gov/AttyResources/13-mc-94-Possession_Use_of_Personal_Devices-all_FLMD_courthouses.pdf,
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)?
Do you have a preferred method governing the filing of sealed documents?
A motion with a supporting affidavit and memorandum of law are required. The motion must comply with Local Rule 1.11. The moving party must satisfy the Eleventh Circuit's balancing test, which weighs the public's right of access against the parties' interest in sealing the specific information at issue.
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?
If submitted, proposed orders should be filed as attachments via CM/ECF and emailed to chambers in Word format.
Proposed orders need not be filed as a matter of course, but may be helpful in cases that involve extensive findings of fact or unique or complex requests for relief.
Pretrial Procedure (Civil)
If YES, what matters do you typically discuss during preliminary pretrial hearings?
Upon request pretrial conferences will be held to address all matters relating to the speedy, orderly, and efficient disposition of the case.
Do you regularly set aside time during a given week/month for hearings on motions?
What is your practice concerning oral arguments on referred dispositive motions?
The Court would consider a request for oral argument.
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?
Specialized Case Management Orders are entered in ADA, FLSA, ERISA and Social Security Cases.
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?
If the Court is available, and then only after a good faith effort has been made to resolve the matter and only when an immediate ruling may help avoid additional delay or expense.
What is your preference regarding the use of alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration or mediation?
Mediation is routinely required.
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?
Trial is scheduled based on dates set forth in the parties' Case Management Report.
Do you grant specially set trial dates (dates certain)?
If YES, under what circumstances will you grant trial dates certain?
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?
Schedule is discussed with counsel and case is set for a date certain.
If you require trial briefs, when are they due?
See the Case Management and Sceduling Order in your case. Usually 10-14 days prior to trial.
If YES, what guidelines or restrictions must counsel follow when conducting voir dire?
Generally the judge conducts voir dire, but in an appropriate case the parties may wish to file a motion for permission to conduct voir dire setting forth the basis for their request and the type of questions they propose asking.
If YES, when should such questions be submitted?
See the Case Management and Sceduling Order in your case.
What are your peremptory challenge procedures?
After the entire panel is qualified, the parties may exercise peremptory challenges.
What, if any, procedures do you have concerning objections at trial?
Keep sidebars to a minimum. Often such matters can be addressed before or after the jury is excused.
When do you require counsel to file proposed jury instructions?
See the Case Management and Sceduling Order in your case. Usually 10-14 days before trial.
If YES, when do you require the proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law to be filed?
Althought not required, they are appreciated.
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"?
Be prepared, be courteous, and effectively manage your time. Stand when addressing or being addressed by the Court. Use the podium when presenting argument. Address the Court, not each other. Do not interrupt the Court or each other; all parties will have ample opportunity to present their position.
Do you have any other practice pointers, advice, observations, or suggestions for members of the Bar appearing before you?
Local Rule 3.01(g) - requiring conferral prior to filing a motion - will be strictly enforced. The Court takes a dim view of parties seeking to extend a deadline after business hours on the date of the deadline – in effect, such a party makes no provision for a denial of their request. A motion not ruled upon is deemed denied.
Links to your court's webpage with information about your practices or other links you recommend for practitioners: