Daily Business Review
Daily Business Review Home
Surveys & Rankings
Law Firm Management
Law Practice Management
Browse All Law Topics ➝
Business of Law
Terms of Service
Follow Daily Business Review
Copyright © 2017 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Business of Law
Profile: Ivan F. Fernandez
Ivan F. Fernandez
11th Judicial Circuit-Miami-Dade Circuit Court
CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCES:
a) Would you take an active role in coordinating discovery and other matters at a case management conference requested pursuant to Fam. L.R.P. 12.200?: (___) No / (X) Yes, see below i. In what type of cases?: All pending cases progressing to trial or resolution. b) Do you require the parties to appear at the case management conferences?: (___) No / (X) Yes c) Do you require the parties to appear at a status conference?: (X) No / (___) Yes
DEPOSITIONS/ PROTECTIVE ORDERS:
a) When a dispute arises during a deposition, is it appropriate to call chambers to seek an immediate ruling?: (___) No / (X) Yes b) 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, this relieving the attorney or the witness from the obligation to attend?: (___) Yes / (X) No, see below i. What additional steps do you require for the deposition to be stayed?: Generally speaking, a motion for protective order does not automatically stay the discovery to which it is addressed. The court, however, will take into consideration the diligence of the movant in seeking protection on a timely basis prior to imposing any sanction for failing to make discovery of failing to comply with a subpoena. It is always a good idea to make every effort to file such a motion on a timely basis and seek a determination from the court before the scheduled deposition is to take place. c) Does your opinion on this depend upon whether the deposition was "short-noticed"? (Ex. noticed within an unreasonably short period of time before the deposition): (X) No / (___) Yes The answer is the same as above. The moment that the situation arises giving rise to the basis for protection, a motion should be filed and an attempt to get a ruling should be made. The party failing to make discovery does so at his or her own risk, but the court will necessarily consider issues of short notice and other mitigating factors at a subsequent hearing. This is just the type of issue for which a quick telephone conference should be sought. d) 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?: (___) No / (X) Yes However, it would not be an emergency if the party seeking protection waited until the last minute to file the motion for protective order. Due diligence in seeking protection is required.
DISPOSITIONS OF MOTIONS WITHOUT HEARING:
a) Are there any motions on which you would rule without the necessity of a hearing?: (___) No / (X) Yes, see below i. Which motions?: Compel discovery, and withdrawal with client's consent, and ex-parte petitions for injunction when properly supported by the sworn petition or motion and consistent with the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
EX PARTE DISCOVERY MOTIONS:
Current administrative orders in Miami-Dade County, Florida allows for the submission of an ex parte or a motion and order compelling discovery where a party has not complied with discovery on a time basis and no request for an extension of time has been filed. a) The current administrative order provides that a certain period of time must elapse in serving the ex parte motion to compel prior to sending the motion and the ex parte order to the court for entry. In the event that the attorney submitting the order sends the order to the court prior to the expiration of the hold-back period, does the court return the order, or hold the order until the hold-back period has expired?: The administrative order simply reflects the provisions of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure and present case law. If the motion does not comply with the rules, it is denied. (___) return the order / (___) hold the order
GENERAL INFORMATION: Do you have any procedures or preferences regarding any subject, including motion practice, with which you expect attorney to comply? (Ex. submission of orders with motion; motion must be filed within 5 days prior to setting hearing; expectation that courtesy copies be submitted by email, etc.) (X) No / (___) Yes Except as indicated in the preceding sections, above. Please indicate any attorney practices which you periodically observe and which should not continue in your courtroom. I strongly disfavor argument between lawyers in court. Counsel should focus on the issue and present his or her position and evidence so that I can properly rule on the motion. Attorneys should not interrupt each other. Objections should be clear and succinct (no speaking objections), and counsel should clearly state the legal basis for the objection. b. Is there anything else that you want attorneys or litigants to know before they appear before you?: (X) No / (___) Yes, see below
Motion Practice: Motion Calendars
a) Days and Times: Uncontested Dissolution: Mondays at 9:30 am Motion calendar: Mondays at 11:00 am b) Length of Motion Calendar Hearings: Maximum of 5 minutes per case. c) Number of matters allowed to be heard at a single motion calendar: Approximately 30. d) Under what circumstances can cases be added to a filled motion calendar, or if the matter did not make the motion calendar?: Very flexible if all parties are present and the issue is one that can be determined in less than 5 minutes. The primary consideration is notice and due process. e) Currently as reported in the Daily Business Review, 5-Minute Motion settings in the Family Division require that the appropriate original motion be attached to the notice of hearing and that all notices and motions be filed with the Family Division Clerk of Courts, L.E.T. Courthouse Center, 175 N.W. 1st Ave., 12th Floor, Miami, FL 33128, 7 days prior to the motion calendar date in order that the Motion be set on the calendar. Courtesy copies should be delivered to the Judge's chambers upon the filing of the motion. Please advise what special procedures you require which are either different than the previous information, or are in addition thereto: As long as the motion has been timely filed and it appears in Odyssey, no courtesy copies need to be delivered to chambers. f) Do you allow hearings by conference call?: (___) No / (X) Yes, see below: i. Under what circumstances?: I will initiate hearings by conference call when I believe that it is possible to resolve an issue that has been presented as an emergency, and I consider the issue to be of some urgency. Additionally, any attorney or party may appear by telephone or other communication equipment at a non-evidentiary hearing if he or she has complied with the requirements of the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration, specifically, rule 2.530. Communication equipment may be utilized for evidentiary hearings consistent with rule 2.530(d). ii. What procedure should be followed for telephonic hearings?: Must follow the procedure outlined in rule 2.530 of the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration. iii. 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?: (___) No / (X) Yes iv. If any or all parties appear by phone, do you allow a court reporter to be present in your chambers or courtroom?: (___) No / (X) Yes v. 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 / (X) Yes g) Do you currently participate in the Tele-Court system?: (___) No / (X) Yes, see below: i. Under what circumstances?: Same circumstances as conference calls above. ii. What procedure should be followed for Tele-Court hearings?: Same procedures as conference calls above. Initiate conference through Tele-Court by calling 800-924-5680. iii. If you advise the parties that you will have a hearing by Telacourt, or announce a ruling by Tele-Court, do you allow any attorney to appear in person in your chambers for the hearing?: (___) No / (X) Yes iv. If any or all parties appear by Tele-Court, do you allow a court reporter to be present in your chambers or courtroom?: (___) No / (X) Yes v. If any or all parties appear by appear by Tele-Court, do you allow a court reporter to be present in one of the party's offices?: (___) No / (X) Yes h) Please provide the name and telephone number of the Motion Calendar Clerk for your division: Name: None Telephone No.: None i) If a motion calendar hearing is cancelled, reset or resolved by counsel, should counsel advise your office?: (___) No / (X) Yes j) Should courtesy copies of pleadings and motions set on the motion calendar be forwarded to your chambers?: (should be in Odyssey) (X) No / (___) Yes
MOTION PRACTICE: SPECIAL APPOINTMENTS
a) Which motions are routinely heard only at specially set hearings?: Motions that require more than 5 minutes or that require testimony. b) What is the procedure for allowing matters to be specially set?: The request for hearing along with the motion must be filed with the Clerk of Courts, a courtesy copy along with self-addressed envelopes to be sent directly to chambers. c) Do you have a backup calendar for special appointment hearings to be set on short notice? (Ex. if you have a cancellation) (X) No / (___) Yes, see below: i. Please explain the applicable procedures: Call chambers and we will make an effort to accommodate the parties. d) If counsel seeks to re-set a specially set hearing, is court notice and approval necessary?: (___) No / (X) Yes, see below: If the hearing was scheduled by the court, then court approval is necessary. If it was scheduled by the parties, the hearing may be freely rescheduled by agreement of the parties, but the parties must contact the court so that the time may be made available for other cases.
MOTION PRACTICES: ALL HEARINGS
a) Do you prefer to receive memoranda in support of motions?: (X) No / (___) Yes, see below: i. Do you prefer to receive them before or at the hearing?: (___) at hearing / (X) before hearing, see below: How long (how many days) before hearing date?: If the court orders the parties to prepare memoranda, the court will establish a schedule. If the parties wish to submit memoranda on their own, then the memorandum must be delivered to chambers at least 5 days before the hearing. Most cases and issues in the Family Division do not require separate memoranda of law. ii. If you receive a memorandum, do you expect to receive an opposing memorandum?: (X) No / (___) Yes b) Do you prefer copies of significant cases?: (X) No / (___) Yes, see below: I use Westlaw extensively. If the parties wish to point out a case in support of a particular proposition, the all that I require is a citation to the case. i. Do you prefer they be highlighted?: (X) No / (___) Yes c) How soon after the hearing should the order be submitted?: As soon as practicable. d) 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?: (___) No / (X) Yes e) If there is disagreement, do you expect a counter-proposed order from the other attorney?: (___) No / (X) Yes f) If the drafting attorney does not indicate whether opposing attorney agrees/disagrees with proposed order, do you generally allow some time for the submission of a counter-proposed order from the other attorney? (____)No / (X)Yes i. If YES, how much time do you generally provide the opposing attorney to submit a counter-proposed order before execution? I usually have my judicial assistant call the opposing attorney to confirm that he or she has received the proposed order and agrees that it reflects my ruling. g) Will the Court address a motion for appointment of a GAL, Parenting Coordinator or referral to Family Court Services during motion calendar? (____)No/ ( X ) Yes_____(___) Depends:
MOTIONS TO WITHDRAW- SPECIAL PROCEDURES:
a) Do you require a hearing on a Motion to Withdraw?: (___) No , see below (i) / (X) Yes, see below (ii): i. Under what circumstances is a hearing on a motion to withdraw not required? (i.e. there is a notarized consent from client; and no immediate hearing/trial pending) The client has consented in writing and no stay or delay in the proceeding is being requested. ii. Should the hearing be set on a: (X) Motion Calendar / (___) Special Appointment b) Do you require the attorney withdrawing to prepare an order for the court, or is there a form order that should be followed?: The attorney should prepare an order that includes the address to which pleadings, motions and other documents should be forwarded for the former client.
Post Trial Motions
a) Do you review post trial motions to decide whether a hearing will be allowed?: (___) No / (X) Yes b) If a case is settled, what procedure should be followed to advise your office?: _______ Call and advise my judicial assistant of the settlement. We often make arrangements, at the parties convenience, for a hearing during the previously scheduled time to ratify the agreement and enter final judgment. c) When do you schedule motions to approve a minor settlement?: __________________ Usually at the parties convenience or at UCD.
TRIAL RELATED MATTERS:
a) What is the procedure for attorneys to set a case for trial in your Courtroom? Notice the case for trial, after which I will issue a case management conference order requiring the filing of a pre-trial catalogue identifying the issues in a case. At the case management conference I'll discuss the issues with the attorneys or unrepresented parties and determine the time needed for trial. I'll schedule the trial at that time consistent with the availability of the attorneys. b) Do you require that the parties attempt mediation prior to requesting trial? Yes. i. Under what circumstances will the Court not require mediation of the parties? When there are domestic violence issues. c) What is your daily/weekly trial schedule?: All trials are specially set. d) Do you entertain motions in limine prior to trial?: (___) No / (X) Yes e) How long prior to trial must motions in limine be filed?: They must be filed in writing and served on the opposing party a reasonable period of time before the trial is scheduled to commence. f) What facilities do you have available in your courtroom or in the courthouse for use by attorneys at trial? Please check all that apply: (___) X-ray Viewer (___) Elmo (___) Television (___) VCR (___) DVD Player (___) Other: _________________________________ g) What reasons in your view would justify granting a continuance?: Continuances are granted or denied on a case by case basis. h) What is your policy on granting a continuance?: No set policy. i) What is your policy for either rolling the case over or removing it from the trial docket?: No set policy. i). Does the case need to be re-noticed or does it depend on the reason for the continuance?: Case by case basis. j) When a case on the trial calendar is not reached due to the court's schedule, what is your practice and procedure for rolling the case over?: All trial cases are specially set. k) Do you generally try the oldest case first?: (___) No / (___) Yes l) Do you specially set cases for trial?: (___) No / (X) Yes, see below i. This is based on the following criteria: _________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ m) Opening Statement/ Closing Argument: i. What rule(s) do you apply when attorneys seek to use demonstrative aids during opening or closing argument?: The rules of evidence, of course. ii. While recognizing that each case is unique, do you impose time constraints for Opening?: (X) No / (___) Yes, see below Please explain the time constraints: But, I ask the attorneys to keep in mind that what they say is not evidence and encourage them to get to the evidence. Closing?: (X) No / (___) Yes, see below Please explain the time constraints: The argument should be of reasonable length and order consistent with the testimony that was presented. A 30 minute argument on one hour of testimony would not be very reasonable. n) Do you have any preferences or protocols regarding bench trials that you would like attorneys to know about?: (X) No / (___) Yes, see below ________________________________________________________________________ o) 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?: (X) No / (___) Yes (See Below) *Please provide a copy with your response to this questionnaire.
a) The current procedure to set uncontested final hearings (UCD hearings) at L.E.T. Courthouse Center is to call the Judge's chambers directly. The attorney is instructed to file the original notice of hearing and send a courtesy copy to chambers at least 7 working days prior to the calendar date. Please advise if you have any requirement which either vary from the above or which supplements the above: None. b) Do you require that the settlement agreement to be approved or ratified by the court, if any, be brought to the hearing either if previously filed or available on the Odyssey system?: (X) No / (___) Yes c) If there is a minor unresolved matter that could not be resolved as part of the written settlement agreement or mediated agreement, will the court attempt to resolve the matter at the UCD calendar (even at the end of the calendar) or will the court grant the dissolution, approve, or ratify the settlement agreement and then reserve the jurisdiction to address the unresolved matter at a later hearing?: If there is a contested issue, the case must be specially set for hearing or trial. One person's definition of a minor unresolved matter may be significantly different that another's. d) Currently, pursuant to certain administrative orders, required parenting courses and Sandcastles courses are to be completed within 30 days of the date of service of process on the respondent in family proceedings involving children. What is the court procedure if one or both parties fail to complete the required program(s) during the proceedings or at the final hearing, whether a contested trial or UCD?: The parties are ordered to complete the course within 30 days and file certificate with the clerk's office. e) How does the Court handle cases at an uncontested divorce calendar when the following occurs? (i) Case did not make UCD calendar. (___) Proceed ( ) Not Proceed ( X ) Depends on the following: If all parties are present, I proceed with the hearing. (ii) Financial Affidavits from both parties not filed and financial issues are involved: (_X_) Proceed ( ) Not Proceed ( ) Depends on the following: Order the filing of financial affidavits as long as they have been exchanged and there is no contested issue. (iii) Child Support Guidelines have not been filed: (_X_) Proceed ( ) Not Proceed ( ) Depends on the following: Require that the guidelines be filed within 30 days. Generally, our case managers are very good at confirming guidelines requirements for the court. (iv) Proof of Residency is Insufficient: (___) Proceed ( ) Not Proceed ( X ) Depends on the following: I will usually proceed, but will not enter final judgment until the residency requirement has been met. I do this to try to avoid a second trip for the attorney.
UCD Info Day & Time
Motions Day & Time
Frank Quince, Bailiff
Ana Gonzalez, Judicial Assistant
Headlines from the ALM Network