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Business of Law
Profile: Diana Lewis
15th Judicial Circuit of Florida
1. Do you require counsel to certify that a good faith effort has been made to resolve discovery disputes before motions are brought before you? yes 2. Do you consider motions to compel responses to written discovery where no response or objections whatsoever has been received or filed without the necessity of a hearing?yes 3. Do you have any standard limitations or procedures reguarding discovery matters not addressed by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure? no
What suggestions/advice do you have for litigants, counsel and or witnesses? Litigants - Dress appropriately for Court. Counsel - Adhere to the Palm Beach County Guidelines for professionalism. Witnesses Dress appropriately for Court
1. Do you allow hearings by conference call? yes If so, what is the procedure? Telephonic hearings must be specially set by Court Order. The moving party must consult the Judicial Assistant for a hearing date and time and the date must be cleared with all parties. 2. Do you have a standard order for scheduling and conducting specially set hearings? yes, (see website 15th circuit co.palm-beach.fl.us) 3. Do you allow specially set hearings to be canceled by agreement of counsel? no Is an order required? yes Are there time restrictions? yes If so, what are they? At a minimum, 24 business hours prior to the hearing. 4. What is the maximum amount of time you allow for a specially set hearing without requiring the hearing to be placed on a non-jury docket? One hour 5. What is the procedure for allowing matters to be set? The Motion must be filed with the Clerk's office prior to requesting a date for the hearing. A date for the hearing is given by the Judicial Assistant. The date must be cleared with all parties. An order is prepared by the party who is setting the hearing with the date, time and amount of time set aside for the hearing. The docket entry for the motion is noted on the Order. A copy of the Motion being heard and envelopes stamped and addressed to all parties must be included with the Order. 6. Do you prefer to receive memoranda in support/opposition to motions in advance of a hearing or at the hearing? yes How far in advance? Five days in advance. With a courtesy copy of the Notice/Order Setting Hearing? yes 7. Do you have any preference regarding the presentation of proposed orders for specially set hearings? If telephonic, the moving partyshall submit a blank order & envelopes in advance of the hearing. At the hearing,moving party shall submit blank order & envelopes. 8. What is the procedure for scheduling emergency motions?See local Administrative Order.#5.203 9. What is the procedure for scheduling hearings on motions for temporary injunctions? Call the Judicial Assistant and ask for a special set hearing or, if appropriate, file a Motion for Emergency Hearing. The Judge will make a determination if it is an emergency, See local Administrative Order.#5.203 10.What is the procedure for scheduling hearings on motions for rehearing or new trials? See the local Administrative Orders and Rules.
Trial Arguments -- Opening/Closing
1. What time constraints do you impose on: Opening Arguments Jury Trial Depends on the case. Non-Jury Trial Depends on the case. Closing Arguments Jury Trial Depends on the case. Non-Jury Trial Depends on the case. 2. Do you exercise your discretion to give final instructions to the jury before closing arguments? If so, under what circumstances? yes
1. Continuance of trials When should motions for continuance be heard? Prior to calendar call. Which of the following factors are important to determining whether to continue a trial? a. Parties Stipulate? no b. Counsel's conflict with other trials no c. Unavailability of a party? no d. Unavailability of key expert witness? no e. Unavailability of key fact witness? no f. Incomplete discovery? no g. Discovery violation by party opposing continuance? no h. Vacations of counsel? yes i. Others? Specially set trials, Oral arguments at a District Court of Appeals or Supreme Court. 2. When a case on the calendar is not reached: What is the procedure to get back on calendar? Automatically rolled over to another docket. Is the case automatically carried over? yes If so, is it to the next calendar or the next available calendar? next available Are pretrial deadlines automatically extended? no Does the case need to be renoticed? no 3. How much notice do you give to counsel to begin trial after docket has commenced? As much as possible but it depends on when the case before the case being called up for trial advises the Court of settlement. 4. Do you specially set cases for trial and if so, under what circumstances? no 5. Do you generally try the oldest case first? yes 6.Do you use the uniform ?Order Setting Trial? and pretrial instructions? Yes, plus a supplemental trial order. 7. What witnesses must be disclosed pursuant to you Pretrial Orders? Impeachment? yes Rebuttal? yes 8. Do you have any special rules and procedures for marking evidence prior to trial? The parties must adhere to the Clerk's Procedures for pre-marking of the Exhibits. 9. Do you utilize a writhen trial conflict form for docket call? no 10. Under what circumstances do you transfer cases over to the Trial Division? When the Trial division advises that trial time is available.
Devon Mugridge, Judicial Assistant
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