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Business of Law
Profile: Kenneth Stern
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 suggenstions/advice do you have for litigants, counsel and or witnesses? Respect each other. Also, juries don't like bickering or theatrics. Other Comments? At hearings, after introducing yourself and name of case, state the motion and relief sought before beginning argument.
1. Do you allow hearings by conference call? Yes If so, what is the procedure? Upon motion, for good cause shown per rules. 2. Do you have a standard order for scheduling and conducting specially set hearings? Yes 3. Do you allow specially set hearings to be canceled by agreement of counsel? Yes If so, what are they? The motion must be resolved 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? Half an hour, but make a written request. 5. What is the procedure for allowing matters to be set?Call Judicial Assistant 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? 1 week With a courtesy copy of the Notice? Yes 7. Do you have any preference regarding the presentation of proposed orders for specially set hearings? Written memos. 8. What is the procedure for scheduling emergency motions?Written requessst. 9. What is the procedure for scheduling hearings on motions for temporary injunctions? Written request. 10.What is the procedure for scheduling hearings on motions for rehearing or new trials? Send to Judge for review
Trial Arguments -- Opening/Closing
1. What time constraints do you impose on: Opening Arguments Jury Trial Upon request on a case-by-case basis Non-Jury Trial Upon request on a case-by-case basis Closing Arguments Jury Trial Upon request on a case-by-case basis Non-Jury Trial Upon request on a case-by-case basis 2. Do you exercise your discretion to give final instructions to the jury before closing arguments? If so, under what circumstances? I have not so far
Continuance of trials When should motions for continuance be heard? ASAP. Not at calendar call. Prefer at Uniform Motion Calendar. Which of the following factors are important to determining whether to continue a trial? a. Parties Stipulate? Yes b. Counsel's conflict with other trials Yes c. Unavailability of a party? Yes d. Unavailability of key expert witness? Yes e. Unavailability of key fact witness? Yes f. Incomplete discovery? Yes g. Discovery violation by party opposing continuance? Yes h. Vacations of counsel? Yes i. Others? How much notice do you give to counsel to begin trial after docket has commenced? 24 hours.. Do you specially set cases for trial and if so, under what circumstances? Usually not. Good cause must be shown. Do you generally try the oldest case first? Yes Do you use the uniform? Order Setting Trial? and pretrial instructions? Yes What witnesses must be disclosed pursuant to you Pretrial Orders? Impeachment? Yes Rebuttal? Yes Do you have any special rules and procedures for marking evidence prior to trial? All evidence must be pre-marked. Do you utilize a written trial conflict form for docket call? No Under what circumstances do you transfer cases over to the Trial Division? Backup cases.
Sheree McKenzie, Judicial Assistant
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