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Business of Law
Profile: Victoria Platzer
Judge, 11th Judicial Circuit-Miami-Dade Circuit Court, 1995
Other Professional Experience:
Hearing Examiner, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 1984 to 1985
Private Practice, 1985-1994
Areas of Practice or professional experience before becoming a Judge:
Civil litigation including family law, personal injury and contracts.
J.D., University of Miami, 1982
Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, Florida Atlantic University, 1975
Admission to the Bar:
Colorado State Bar, 1984
Florida State Bar, 1983
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? Any case where the parties feel it is needed.
When a dispute arises during a deposition, is it appropriate to call Chambers to seek an immediate ruling?Yes, although I may not always be available. 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, Setting the matter for hearing before the court. Does your opinion on this depend upon whether the deposition was "shortnoticed", i.e., noticed within an unreasonably short period of time before the deposition? It may. 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
Disposition of Motions Without Hearing
Are there any motions on which you would rule without the necessity of a hearing? Yes, which motions? Motion for new trial or rehearing (not all, but some) and selected other motions on an individual basis.
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: When I am in division, copies of motions and case law should be provided a minimum of five days prior to hearing; if motions are resolved prior to hearing, the court should be notified; no motion should be filed without attempts at resolution being made and if filed, appropriate certification of attempted resolution included. Please indicate any attorney practices which you periodically observe and of which you disapprove (aka, "pet peeves")! Failing to provide courtesy copies of case law in a timely manner to opposing counsel; Making personal comments about opposing counsel in court; Being rude to support staff or other litigants.
Is there anything else that you want attorneys or litigants to know before they appear before you? If Yes, please so describe: Be on time, I respect your time so try to respect mine as well as that of other attorneys, litigants and most importantly, jurors.When we are in a jury trial, I am always available at least 15 minutes before I tell the jury that we will start. If you have legal matters to address with the court, do it then. Don't wait until it is time for the jury to come into the courtroom.
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? Before ... they do no good at the hearing because then they will not be read. If before, how long before? 5 days If you receive a memorandum, do you expect to receive an opposing memorandum? no Do you prefer copies of significant cases? Yes If so, do you prefer they be highlighted? Yes How soon after the hearing should the order be submitted? 5 days 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
Motion Practice: Motion Calendars
Length of Motion Calendar Hearings: 10 minutes total Under what circumstances, can cases be added to a filled motion calendar? If both sides agree and there is sufficient time for the parties to be heard. What special procedures should be followed, if any? Do you allow hearings by conference call? Yes Under what circumstances? Any What procedure should be followed for telephone hearings? Attorney should phone in at the time designated by the judicial assistant. 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, although I do all hearings in court, not in chambers. 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? Yes 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 be forwarded to Chambers? Yes What motions do you consider inappropriate for Motion Calendar? Motion to Dismiss; summary judgment (except some foreclosures) Discovery Motions that take more than 10 minutes.
MOTION PRACTICE: SPECIAL APPOINTMENTS
Which motions are routinely heard only at specially set hearings? Summary Judgments; Motions to Dismiss; any motion requiring more than 10 minutes. What is the procedure for allowing matters to be specially set? Call J.A. with other party on the line. Do you have a back up calendar for special appointment hearings to be set on short notice, i.e., if you have a cancellation? Yes, If the parties want to be placed on a waiting list to be called in the event of cancellation, they should advise the JA. She will then contact them if there is a can cellation and they can advise if they are available. If counsel seek 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? Contact the JA at the earliest possible date/time. When do you schedule motions to approve a minor settlement?Special set through JA
TRIAL RELATED MATTERS
What is your daily/weekly trial schedule? 9-5 every day since I have no motion calendar. Do you entertain motions in limine prior to trial ? Yes How long prior to trial must motions in limine be filed? By the time of the case management conference or if there is no cmc, 5 days prior to trial. When do you want counsel to submit jury instructions and verdict forms? At CMC or on the first day of trial if no CMC. 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 c.Television d.VCR e.DVD player f.Other What reasons in your view would justify granting a continuance? Too many to name. What is your policy on granting a continuance? Good cause and/or agreement of the parties. And, what is your policy for either rolling the case over or removing it from the trial docket? I don't have a policy. Does the case need to be re-noticed or does it depend on the reason for the continuance? Depends 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? Next trial setting. Do you generally try the oldest case first? Yes, depending upon availability of litigants,etc. Do you specially set cases for trial? Yes If Yes, based on what criteria? When needed on a case by case basis. Jury Selection: Describe the extent of the involvement by the Court as well as any special procedures you use. Written questionnaires; initial questioning and introduction to the process by the court. Are time limitations imposed on the parties? If Yes, how long? No Opening statement/closing argument What rules do you apply when attorneys seek to use demonstrative aids during opening or closing argument? Must be disclosed prior to trial and agreed to by the parties or ruled upon by the court. Opening? No what are they? Generally not necessary; parties agree to a time ahead of time. Closing? X No what are they? Same as openings In non-jury cases, do you routinely impose time limits on opening or closing arguments? If Yes, what are the limits? No Do you have any preferences or protocols regarding bench trials that you would like attorneys to know about? No 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, The requirement for certification that the attorney has attempted to resolve the matter prior to trial.
Jessica Seligman, Bailiff
Stacy Hernandez, Judicial Assistant
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