Judge Profile

Sandy Karlan

Judicial Experience:

  • Judge, 11th Judicial Circuit-Miami-Dade Circuit Court (1995)
  • Circuit Court Judge, Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Miami-Dade County
  • Administrative Judge, Family Division
  • Unified Family Court, Complex Litigation Division

Biographical Data:

  • Judge Karlan was appointed to the bench by Governor Lawton Chiles in 1995. That Commission thoroughly studied the needs of children who appear in all divisions of Florida courts, and produced a comprehensive report. The report documented the unmet legal needs of children and included recommendations to meet those needs in areas such as representation and confidentiality. In private practice for 17 years, Judge Karlan specialized in bankruptcy and family law. She has written numerous other articles on bankruptcy and family law and has lectured on these topics. She is certified by The Florida Bar in marital and family law and is a Fellow of the American Bar Association. She frequently teaches judicial education on these subjects at the Advanced Judicial School in Florida. She is the 2009 Recipient of the Mellon United National Bank Community Service Award.


  • Juris Doctor with honors, Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern University, 1978

Admission to the Bar:

  • Florida State Bar


  • Bankruptcy for the Matthew Bender, Florida Family Law, 6 volume series

Professional Civic Activities/Honors/Awards:

  • Member, Supreme Court's Family Court Steering Committee
  • Supreme Court Committee on Families and Children, 2000 - 2004
  • Chair, Florida Bar Commission, 1999 - 2002

Part Rule:


    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?: YES What type of cases?: All cases with children and/or property Do you require the parties to appear at the case management conferences?: YES Do you require the parties to appear at a status conference?:YES


    When a dispute arises during a deposition, is it appropriate to call chambers to seek an immediate ruling?: YES 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?: NO What additional steps do you require for the deposition to be stayed?:an order of court 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): YES 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


    Are there any motions on which you would rule without the necessity of a hearing?: YES Which motions?: Certain exparte motions. Some motions for rehearing


    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 has expired?: Return the order

  • Motion Practice: Motion Calendars

    Length of Motion Calendar Hearings:Five(5)Minutes Number of matters allowed to be heard at a single motion calendar: 20 Under what circumstances can cases be added to a filled motion calendar, or if the matter did not make the motion calendar?: Only if both sides agree to add on Do you allow hearings by conference call?: YES Under what circumstances?: With proper notice and agreement of the parties What procedure should be followed for telephonic hearings?:File a motion with the court 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 If any or all parties appear by phone, do you allow a court reporter to be present in your chambers or courtroom?: YES 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 Do you currently participate in the Tele-Court system?:YES Under what circumstances?:Upon request and agreement of parties What procedure should be followed for Tele-Court hearings?: WWW.TELE-COURT.COM 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?: YES If any or all parties appear by Tele-Court, do you allow a court reporter to be present in your chambers or courtroom?: YES 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 Please provide the name and telephone number of the Motion Calendar Clerk for your division: Name: Kevin Schumacker, Telephone: 305-349-6055 If a motion calendar hearing is cancelled, reset or resolved by counsel, should counsel advise your office?: YES Should courtesy copies of pleadings and motions set on the motion calendar be forwarded to your chambers?:YES


    Which motions are routinely heard only at specially set hearings?: Evidentiary What is the procedure for allowing matters to be specially set?: File original request for hearing form along with motion and send courtesy copy to chambers. Do you have a backup calendar for special appointment hearings to be set on short notice? NO If counsel seeks to re-set a specially set hearing, is court notice and approval necessary?:YES


    Do you prefer to receive memoranda in support of motions?: YES Do you prefer to receive them before or at the hearing?: Before Hearing How long (how many days) before hearing date?:24 Hours Do you prefer copies of significant cases?: YES Do you prefer they be highlighted?:YES How soon after the hearing should the order be submitted?: Agreed upon date 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 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? YES If YES, how much time do you generally provide the opposing attorney to submit a counter-proposed order before execution? Immediatel Will the Court address a motion for appointment of a GAL, Parenting Coordinator or referral to Family Court Services during motion calendar? NO


    Do you require a hearing on a Motion to Withdraw?: YES 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): special request Should the hearing be set on a: Motion Calendar Do you require the attorney withdrawing to prepare an order for the court, or is there a form order that should be followed?: form order

  • Post Trial Motions

    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?:immediately advise the JA in writing with a copy of at least the signature page of MSA/PSA When do you schedule motions to approve a minor settlement?:N/A


    Under what circumstances will the Court not require mediation of the parties? rarely What is your daily/weekly trial schedule?: specially set Do you entertain motions in limine prior to trial?:Yes How long prior to trial must motions in limine be filed?: One (1) week What facilities do you have available in your courtroom or in the courthouse for use by attorneys at trial? VCR What reasons in your view would justify granting a continuance?: emergency health issues What is your policy on granting a continuance?: very limited . What is your policy for either rolling the case over or removing it from the trial docket?:no trial docket Does the case need to be re-noticed or does it depend on the reason for the continuance?:case always should be renoticed 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?: N/A Do you generally try the oldest case first?:N/A Do you specially set cases for trial?:Yes Opening Statement/ Closing Argument: What rule(s) do you apply when attorneys seek to use demonstrative aids during opening or closing argument?: depends on case but one requirement is to show opposing counsel before trial While recognizing that each case is unique, do you impose time constraints for Opening?:Yes Please explain the time constraints: depends on case Closing?:Yes Please explain the time constraints: depends on case


    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: The attorney is instructed to file the original notice of hearing and send a courtesy copy seven (7) days prior to calendar date. (The attorney doesn't need to set by phone with chambers) 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?: YES 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?:depends upon the issue 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 case will be reset How does the Court handle cases at an uncontested divorce calendar when the following occurs? (i)Case did not make UCD calendar:Proceed (ii)Financial Affidavits from both parties not filed and financial issues are involved:Not Proceed (iii)Child Support Guidelines have not been filed: Not Proceed (iv)Proof of Residency is Insufficient:Not Proceed


  • Artis Warthen, Bailiff
  • Cindy Lespinasse, Judicial Assistant