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Business of Law
Profile: David C. Miller
David C. Miller
Judge, 11th Judicial Circuit-Miami-Dade Circuit Court, 2001
Private Practice - Civil Trial
Areas of Practice or professional experience before becoming a Judge:
Professional liability defense - Primarily Legal Malpractice defense
J.D., Nova University, 1978
Bachelor of Science, University of Florida, 1975
Admission to the Bar:
Florida State Bar, 1979
CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCES
Would you take an active role in coordinating discovery and other matters at a case management conference noticed pursuant to Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.200(a)? Yes, in what type of case? Anytime attorneys can't agree to move things toward a conclusion fast enough for each other, and in any case more than 2 years old.
When a dispute arises during a deposition, is it appropriate to call Chambers to seek an immediate ruling?Yes on VERY important matters only! Do you consider the filing of a motion for a protective order with regard to a deposition as an automatic stay of the subject deposition, thus relieving the attorney or the witness from the obligation to attend? If No, what additional steps do you require for the deposition to be stayed? No, set hearing before depo is to be taken. Does your opinion on this depend upon whether the deposition was "short-noticed", (i.e., noticed within an unreasonably short period of time before the deposition)?Yes - Send letter explaining difficulty in responding to "short noticed" depo. Do you allow emergency hearings for motions for protective orders where the time between the motion and the deposition is not sufficient for a non emergency hearing? Yes
Disposition of Motions Without Hearing
Are there any motions on which you would rule without the necessity of a hearing? Yes,which motions? As provided by law.
Do you have any procedures or preferences regarding any subject, including motion practice, with which you expect attorneys to comply? ( E.g. submission of Orders with Motion; Motions must be filed within 5 days prior to setting hearing, expectation that courtesy copies of motions be submitted by email, etc.): Yes: Open Motion calendar 5 days notice to opposition and copies of motions and responses to Court.
Is there anything else that you want attorneys or litigants to know before they appear before you? If Yes, please so describe: Follow the requirements specified above and be on time, be prepared, or be sorry.
Motion Practice: All Hearings
Do you prefer to receive memoranda in support of motions? Yes, do you prefer to receive them before or at the hearing? If before, how long before? 5 days If you receive a memorandum, do you expect to receive an opposing memorandum? If the opposing counsel wants me to be prepared. Do you prefer copies of significant cases? Yes If so, do you prefer they be highlighted? Yes, and only the best case per issue. How soon after the hearing should the order be submitted? At the hearing. Do you expect the attorney submitting the proposed order to advise you in the cover letter if the opposing attorney agrees that the proposal reflects the ruling? Yes If there is disagreement, do you expect a counter-proposed order from the other attorney? Yes - simultaneously submitted, or give an explanation as to why not.
Motion Practice: Motion Calendars
Length of Motion Calendar Hearings: 5 to 10 minutes Under what circumstances, can cases be added to a filled motion calendar? Cases may be added to the motion calendar when desired by all parties. What special procedure should be followed, if any? Make sure opposition agrees to attend. Do you allow hearings by conference call? Yes 1. Under what circumstances? Upon request 2. What procedure should be followed for telephone hearings?Call chambers the day before the hearing to get on bailiff's telephone conference list - telephone hearings outside(305) area code will be at end of calendar. 3. If you advise the parties that you will have a hearing by phone, or announce a ruling by phone, do you allow any attorney to appear in person in your chambers for the hearing? Yes 4. If any or all parties appear by phone, do you allow a court reporter to be present in your chambers or courtroom Yes 5. If any or all parties appear by phone, do you allow a court reporter to be present in one of the party's offices?No If a motion calendar hearing is cancelled,reset or resolved by counsel, should counsel advise your office? No unless the parties have submitted Motions and Responses for the Court's review, in which case - please call ASAP to prevent the Court wasting time reading something unnecessary. Should courtesy copies of pleadings and motions be forwarded to Chambers? Yes What motions do you consider inappropriate for Motion Calendar? Anything requiring more than 5 minutes argument per side to present.
MOTION PRACTICE: SPECIAL APPOINTMENTS
Which motions are routinely heard only at specially set hearings? Anything more than 10 minutes. What is the procedure for allowing matters to be specially set? Submit special set request form (available upon request to send to attys, via e-mail) Do you have a back up calendar for special appointment hearings to be set on short notice, i.e., if you have a cancellation? No If counsel seeks to re-set a specially set hearing, is court notice and approval necessary? Yes
POST TRIAL OR POST SETTLEMENT:
Do you review post trial motions to decide whether a hearing will be allowed? Yes If a case is settled, what procedure should be followed to advise your office? Call office immediately if trial has been set. When do you schedule motions to approve a minor settlement?On motion calendar.
TRIAL RELATED MATTERS
What is your daily/weekly trial schedule? Generally 3 weeks of jury and non-jury trials combined calendar per month and 1 special set week per month. Do you entertain motions in limine prior to trial? Yes How long prior to trial must motions in limine be filed?Depends on how many need to be argued. When do you want counsel to submit jury instructions and verdict forms? See memo attached as pg.3 to Jury Trial Order. Is it helpful to have jury instructions submitted in electronic form? If yes, what form and/or software program do you prefer? Word Do you allow individual exhibit books for jurors? Yes What facilities do you have available in your courtroom or in the courthouse for use by attorneys at trial? Check all that apply: a.X-ray viewer yes b Elmo no c.Television no d.VCR no e.DVD player no f.Other easel What reasons in your view would justify granting a continuance? ?Unavoidable circum- stances? What is your policy on granting a continuance? Ask sooner rather than later, and REQUIRES client's written consent. And, what is your policy for either rolling the case over or removing it from the trial docket?: Depends on age, and readiness of case and due diligence of attorneys in their preparation efforts. Does the case need to be re-noticed or does it depend on the reason for the continuance? Depends on the reason for the continuance. When a case on the trial calendar is not reached because of the court's schedule, what is your practice and procedure for rolling the case over? I generally ask attorneys when they want it reset. Do you generally try the oldest case first? Yes Do you specially set cases for trial? Yes If Yes, based on what criteria? Very special needs and total readiness. Jury Selection: Describe the extent of the involvement by the Court as well as any special procedures you use: Court will begin voir dire and cover obvious issues, roles of the Court and jury, introduce staff, parties, counsel,and witnesses and determine hardships. Are time limitations imposed on the parties? If Yes, how long? Yes, reasonable time allowed subject to using group questions of the whole jury first, then deal with individual situations needing follow up. Describe any special procedures that you observe for the exercise of challenges? Cause challenges will be heard first. The first six remaining potential jurors will be the jury, subject to back strikes exercised alternating between sides. Are there any practices you have observed recurrently by attorney during voir dire of which you disapprove? If Yes, which ones? Yes, repetition, and conditioning panel members by using other panel members as witnesses. Opening statement/closing argument 1.What rules do you apply when attorneys seek to use demonstrative aids during opening or closing argument? Must be prescreened by opposing counsel and the court. 2.While recognizing that each case is unique, do you impose time constraints for: a. Opening? Yes b. Closing? Yes The Court will permit a reasonable length of time depending on complexity of the case; 1 hour is generally the outside limit - repetition is discouraged. 3. If the type of case affects the amount of time allowed, please indicate the time routinely allowed for opening/closing in each of the following jury trials: See answer to number 2, above for the following cases: In non-jury cases, do you routinely impose time limits on opening or closing arguments? If Yes, what are the limits? Yes, when the Court has an understanding of the type of case and a gen-eral proffer of evidence to be presented. Do you have any preferences or protocols regarding bench trials that you would like attorneys to know about? If Yes, what are they? Yes, the presentation of a time line with significant events noted. Are there any standing orders, notices,or forms regarding scheduling, discovery,trial, or other matters that you regularly use or about which you would like to advise the members of the bar? If Yes, could you please provide a copy with your response to this questionnaire? Yes, jury trial, non-jury trial, special set hearing requests - copies attached.
Bob Remmen, Bailiff
Nayda Alarcon, Judicial Assistant
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