Gary Richard Jones
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:
Northern District of Florida
Location of Chambers:
U.S. Courthouse, 401 SE First Ave., Suite 383, Gainesville, FL. 32601
Law Clerk phone number(s), only if you permit law clerk(s) to receive calls:
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?
Will be permitted upon the filing of a motion
Is there a designated court staff person to contact relating to the use of electronic media or other audiovisual needs?
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?
File a motion for permission to seal
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?
Attachment to document
Should proposed orders be submitted in a format which can be edited, or is a PDF version acceptable?
Format that 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?
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?
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?
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.?
Every plea agreement has a sealed supplement, whether or not there is a cooperation agreement
What is your policy as to plea agreements that involve sentencing recommendations?
Rule 11(C)(1)(b) plea agreement are permitted but the parties may not bind the court to any sentence using Rule 11(C)(1)(C).
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?
All Fed. R. Civ. P. 16 subjects.
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 have any requirements, beyond those found in the Federal Rules and the Local Rules, as to ex parte temporary restraining orders?
Set for hearing - argument of counsel only.
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?
If copies of cases are submitted, do you accept copies that have portions highlighted by counsel?
Do you regularly set aside time during a given week/month for hearings on motions?
Under what circumstances do you allow telephonic hearings?
Where counsel are located more than 50 miles from court and the hearing is not evidentiary
What is your practice concerning oral arguments on referred dispositive motions?
I only set oral argument in rare instances where record is voluminous or where legal issues are unresolved.
Will you entertain motions in limine prior to trial?
If YES, how far in advance should they be filed?
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.)?
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?
What is your preference regarding the use of alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration or mediation?
Normally, require 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?
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?
Typically set consent cases for trial in conjunction with available dates for counsel
Do you grant specially set trial dates (dates certain)?
If YES, under what circumstances will you grant trial dates certain?
All consent cases.
If NO, what is your policy regarding notice for trial during a trial docket (e.g., will you give at least 48 hours' notice)?
I set a date certain for all trial before a magistrate judge.
Do you conduct pretrial conferences?
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?
Discuss with Court at final pretrial conference.
Do you require trial briefs in jury trials?
Do you require trial briefs in bench trials?
If you require trial briefs, when are they due?
They are due the day before trial.
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?
The day before trial.
What are your peremptory challenge procedures?
Follow 28USC § 1870, Fed.R.Civil 47(b) and Fed.R.Cr.P. 24(b)-(c)
If NO, do you limit each side (i.e., plaintiff/defense) to a total of three peremptory challenges to be shared?
Varies as per above rules.
Do you allow back striking during jury selection?
Do you impose any standard time limits on counsel's opening statements?
Can exhibits be used in opening statements?
Do you allow plaintiffs to make a rebuttal during 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?
No speaking objections.
When do you require counsel to file proposed jury instructions?
5 days before trial.
Should jury instructions also be submitted to chambers electronically?
When standard jury instructions are available, do you prefer that attorneys submit condensed versions of the standard instructions?
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?
After trial, usually 5 days thereafter.
Should the proposed findings and conclusions also be submitted to chambers electronically?
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"?
Counsel should address other counsel and all parties by surname
Do you have any other practice pointers, advice, observations, or suggestions for members of the Bar appearing before you?
Be prepared. Stand when addressing court.