Elizabeth Marie Timothy
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:
One North Palafox Street, Penascola, FL 32502
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?
I don't have a "black and white" rule --- it depends on the circumstances and the nature of the inquiry, so I have selected the answers that best reflect my general preferences
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?
no, but a call to Irma McCain would likely be the best place to start
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?
Do you prefer that (non-trial) exhibits be filed as separate docket entries (instead of filing them as attachments to the document they support)?
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?
I generally do not ask for (nor desire) proposed orders for any matter other than a protective order regarding documents disclosed in discovery. I prefer that the proposed order be filed along with the motion and, if possible, after the motion is filed, that a copy be emailed to Teresa Milstead in a Word Perfect format (and if WP is not possible, Word).
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?
proffers are permitted
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?
If YES, do you have the same policy for defendants in custody and for defendants on bond?
Do you have a regular plea deadline?
If YES, when is that deadline?
Thursday before trial (or, if the Thursday is a holiday, Wednesday)
What is your policy concerning nolo contendere or Alford pleas?
they are not permitted
Do you have any special procedures regarding plea agreements for individuals who are cooperating with the government, e.g., sealed plea agreements, etc.?
no, but I will seal if it is requested
What is your policy as to plea agreements that involve sentencing recommendations?
not available in NDFL
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?
varies from case to case (and, I should say, these hearings are held only if requested by the parties or are otherwise necessary)
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?
If YES, what do you require?
But I do prefer that the parties specify the length of time requested
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?
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?
depends on the case but generally in cases involving distant counsel or incarcerated parties
What is your practice concerning oral arguments on referred dispositive motions?
usually not held
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?
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?
do not automatically set
Do you grant specially set trial dates (dates certain)?
If YES, under what circumstances will you grant trial dates certain?
all trials are set for a date certain absent a very unusual circumstance
If NO, what is your policy regarding notice for trial during a trial docket (e.g., will you give at least 48 hours' notice)?
no policy due to date certain
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?
the parties may use the court's VCR/DVD player and easel, but no other equipment is available in the Magistrate Judges' courtrooms
If you require trial briefs, when are they due?
if so, it will be spelled out in an order tailored to the case
If YES, what guidelines or restrictions must counsel follow when conducting voir dire?
perhaps, but prefer to ask questions myself
If NO, can counsel submit proposed voir dire questions?
If YES, when should such questions be submitted?
will be spelled out in pre-trial order
What are your peremptory challenge procedures?
(same as above)
Do you impose any standard time limits on counsel's 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?
only that they be stated succinctly; and, "standing" objections are allowed
When do you require counsel to file proposed jury instructions?
will be spelled out in pre-trial order
When standard jury instructions are available, do you prefer that attorneys submit condensed versions of the standard instructions?
If YES, when do you require the proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law to be filed?
only if directed to do so