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Workgroup on Judicial Practices in the Trial Courts wants to hear from you

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The workgroup is asking members to respond to an online survey to assist it in identifying and sharing best practices statewide and in making recommendations for rule and process changes that will facilitate workload and cost efficiencies

 

The Supreme Court’s Workgroup on Judicial Practices in the Trial Courts wants to hear from Florida lawyers about judicial practice preferences, practices for responding to litigant inquiries to a judge’s office, and practices for the scheduling of hearings.

Chief Justice Charles Canady established the workgroup in November 2021 under the auspices of the Judicial Management Council in In re: Workgroup on Judicial Practices in the Trial Courts, Fla. Admin. Order No. AOSC21-57.

The workgroup is asking members to respond to an online survey to assist in identifying and sharing best practices statewide and in making recommendations for rule and process changes that will facilitate workload and cost efficiencies for litigants, judges, and court staff. The deadline for responses is the close of business May 13. It’s estimated that completion of the survey will require approximately 20 minutes.

“Florida’s judicial branch is committed to the continual improvement of its services and the administration of justice,” Canady wrote in the order setting up the judicial practices workgroup. “To ensure effective access to the trial courts and prompt resolution of cases, it is critical to provide litigants with transparent and ready access to the procedures and other instructions of judges for practice within their individual courtrooms; responsive and timely replies to inquiries presented to a judge’s chambers; and adequate hearing availability.”

The panel was asked to:

  • Review how procedures and instructions are implemented by judges within their individual courtrooms and “determine whether such instructions are sufficiently accessible, understandable, and consistent with rules of court procedure and law.”
  • Review practices for responding to litigants’ inquiries to judges’ chambers and whether those “practices promote timely and responsive replies.”
  • Review procedures for scheduling hearings to ensure they are user friendly and result in a reasonable scheduling of hearings.
  • “Make recommendations, if warranted, to improve the practices and processes reviewed and propose best practices, standards, or other guidance and revisions to this state’s rules of court, as necessary to implement the Workgroup’s recommendations.”

Broward County Judge Robert Lee chairs the workgroup. Other members include Jacksonville attorney Fred Franklin, Bar Board of Governors member Laird Lile, Second District Court of Appeal Chief Judge Robert Morris, First Circuit Judge Linda Nobles, First DCA Judge Rachel Nordby, retired 10th Circuit Judge Olin Shinholser, Eighth Circuit Trial Court Administrator Paul Silverman, and Clearwater attorney Zack Zuroweste.

If you have any questions regarding the survey, please contact Tina White with the Office of the State Courts Administrator at [email protected].

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