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Business of Law
Profile: Sandra Bosso-Pardo
15th Judicial Circuit of Florida
1. Do your require suppression hearings in advance of trial or may they be heard at beginning of trial? In advance if possible 2. Do you accept a plea at docket call or require specially set hearings? Docket call or earlier 3. Which motions can be heard at 8:30 a.m. hearings? Bond Hearings? Yes Sworn Motion to Dismiss? No Evidentiary Hearings? No Other? 5 mins. or less 4. What is your policy on work release and house arrest?Depends on circuminstances of each case 5. Do you require judgment and sentence forms to be filled out by the attorney in advance of pleas conference? No 6. Special requests or docket call. Will you give more than one-hour notice for trial on special request? Yes Under what circumstances? Almost always 7.If a case is settled, what procedure should be followed to advise your office? Notify J.A. 8. Do you require Defendant to be personally present at calendar call or may the attorney appear alone? Def. must be present unless previously excused by court 9. (Circuit Court) What is the policy for allowing felonies to be pled to misdemeanor? No policy 10.(County Court) Do you defer sentences on DUI pleas until completion of AIDE school? No
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, but this is rarely adhered to by the attorneys 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? County court has small claims which follows small claim rules which may limit discovery.
What suggestions/advice do you have for litigants, counsel and or witnesses? Litigants - Be on time and dress appropriately. My J. A. has much work to do; when she spends time with you on the telephone it will delay her in getting your order /judgment typed/mailed. Counsel - Please provide all case authority / memos in advance. Your argument will be more meaningful if I have read it. Other Comments? Cancelling a hearing without advising the court. I try to review all motions/file before the hearing In a typical morning at UMC calendar, I have spent 1 - 1 1/2 hours reviewing files for hearings that have been cancelled without a courtesy call. In addition, many people have to wait for hearing times when they could have gotten an earlier date if you had notified the court of your cancellation. Please come to court prepared. I have many young attorneys in my courtroom who do not seem to understand what they must prove to win their case.
1. Do you allow hearings by conference call? yes If so, what is the procedure? The party requesting appearance via telephone is required to conference in any other party/witness appearing by phone plus then call courtroom. 2. Do you have a standard order for scheduling and conducting specially set hearings? no 3. Do you allow specially set hearings to be canceled by agreement of counsel? yes, with notice to the court Is an order required? no Are there time restrictions? no 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 day 5. What is the procedure for allowing matters to be set?Contact Judicial Assistant for time, the attorney can notice (there is no order) 6. Do you prefer to receive memoranda in support/opposition to motions in advance of a hearing or at the hearing? In advance How far in advance? 3 business days With a courtesy copy of the Notice/Order Setting Hearing?yes, also 3 days 7. Do you have any preference regarding the presentation of proposed orders for specially set hearings? At the hearing. Do not send proposed orders ahead of time. 8. What is the procedure for scheduling emergency motions?Contact Judicial Assistant 9. What is the procedure for scheduling hearings on motions for temporary injunctions? Contact Judicial Assistant 10.What is the procedure for scheduling hearings on motions for rehearing or new trials? The court will request the parties to give available dates and send out an order.
Trial Arguments -- Opening/Closing
1. What time constraints do you impose on: Opening Arguments Jury Trial 20 - 45 minutes Non-Jury Trial 5 - 30 minutes Closing Arguments Jury Trial 30 - 60 minutes Non-Jury Trial 5 - 45 minutes However depends on length of trial. In a very lengthy trial I might extend.
1. Continuance of trials When should motions for continuance be heard? As soon as the parties realize the need, in any event no later than 1 week prior to calendar call. 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? Parties indicate a strong liklihood of settlement or wish to return to mediation again 2. When a case on the calendar is not reached: What is the procedure to get back on calendar? Rolled to next docket Is the case automatically carried over? yes If so, is it to the next calendar or the next available calendar? next calendar Are pretrial deadlines automatically extended? yes Does the case need to be renoticed? Not unless the court specifies, generally not. 3. How much notice do you give to counsel to begin trial after docket has commenced? 1 week docket everyone gets set for time certain, or within the week. 4. Do you specially set cases for trial and if so, under what circumstances? In county court we do this frequently. 5. Do you generally try the oldest case first? yes 6.Do you use the uniform "Order Setting Trial" and pretrial instructions? yes 7. What witnesses must be disclosed pursuant to you Pretrial Orders? Impeachment? If known or anticipated. Rebuttal? If known or anticipated. If there is some surprise at trial warranting an undisclosed impeachment /rebuttal in time I would allow it. 9. Do you utilize a written trial conflict form for docket call? no 10. Under what circumstances do you transfer cases over to the Trial Division? Have not yet.
Connie Porter, Judicial Assistant
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