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You are here: Judicial Directory > Robert A. Foster, Jr. > Procedures/Preferences

Procedures/Preferences

NOTICE

All hearings: Please provide the court with written pleading at least 48 hours before hearing NOT the day before.

1. DO NOT Send orders to be signed through JAWS.
2. DO NOT Send orders to be signed through JAWS.
3. Orders to be signed must have a cover letter stating that the enclosed order is:

    a. agreed upon (If a hearing was held and the time and date of the hearing and who appeared) or
    b. not opposed
    c. not timely responded to.

4. NOTICE: Attorneys must receive Court approval prior to appearing telephonically. A request to appear telephonically must be made at least 48 hours in advance of the scheduled hearing. The court will not entertain any untimely request to appear telephonically.


DAILY 15 & DAILY 30 MINUTE HEARINGS (DAILY-15 & DAILY-30)

1.     Hearings must be scheduled through JAWS
    
2.     Please send a copy of the notice of hearing and copy of any pleadings to
        chambers after scheduling. ***No uploads ***  48 hours before hearing. 

3.     Telephonic appearances are not allowed; please utilize the Telephonic UMC
        docket for this type of hearing. 

4.     No cross notice of hearing should be set without permission from scheduling
        attorney.



UNIFORM MOTION CALENDAR DOCKET (UMC)

1.    Hearings must be scheduled through
JAWS.

2.    Attorneys cannot appear telephonically without court approval.

3.    No evidentiary matters.

4.    
No testimony will be taken.

5.    The UMC hearings are limited to approximately 5 minutes or less.


6.    Please send a copy of the notice of hearing and copy of any motions to
       chambers after scheduling. ***No uploads ***

7.    No motions to amend by judgement unless unopposed. 

TELEPHONIC - UNIFORM MOTION CALENDAR (TELEPHONIC UMC)

1.     Hearings must be scheduled through
JAWS

2.     No evidentiary matters. 
        
3.     No testimony will be taken. 

4.     Telephonic hearings are limited to approximately 5 minutes. 

5.     Please send a copy of the notice of hearing and copy of any pleadings to
        chambers after scheduling. ***No uploads *** 

6.     Attorneys may appear telephonically by calling (813) 272-6990. If the line is
        busy, please keep trying. 
        
7.     Only one attorney can appear telephonically unless all parties are conferenced
        together first.


D
ISCOVERY - UNIFORM MOTION CALENDAR (DISCOVERY UMC) 
 
1.      Hearings must be scheduled through
JAWS.

2.      Discovery related matters ONLY.

3.      Attorneys cannot appear telephonically.

4.      Discovery hearings are limited to approximately 10 minutes.

5.      Please send a copy of the notice of hearing and copy of any motions to chambers after
         scheduling. ***No uploads ***  
 
  

RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE FORECLOSURES (RESIDENTIAL FORECLOSURES)

1.    NO telephonic appearances allowed.  

2.    File(s) are to be in order and contain the original documents; including the note and
       proof of non-military affidavit (DOD form) which should be tabbed.

3.    Hearings will be conducted on a first come first served basis within scheduled timeframe.

4.    Pursuant to Administrative Order S-2011-029

               “ 4. Disposition of Non-Summary Judgment Motions 
               Unless the presiding judge directs otherwise, a copy of all non-summary
               judgment motions must be served on the presiding judge when the original
               motion is filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court ("clerk"). The presiding
               judge may decide to rule on a non-summary judgment motion either with
               or without a hearing. If a judge decides to rule on a non-summary judgment
               motion without a hearing, the judge will enter an order disposing of the
               motion within 30 days from the date of service of a copy of the motion
               on the presiding judge. Unless the presiding judge directs otherwise, a
               party may not set a non-summary judgment motion for hearing until at
               least 30 days have elapsed from the date of service of a copy of the motion
               on the presiding judge. The court may require a party filing a non-summary
               judgment motion to submit, along with the motion, an original and 
               appropriate copies of a proposed order and addressed stamped envelopes 
               to all parties.”

6.    PLEASE NOTE- Uploads are not service to the Court

7.    If a hearing is scheduled by you and the motions are not served upon the Court thirty
       (30) days prior to the hearing the matter will be cancelled by the Court.

8.    Any Summary Judgment packets shall be submitted at least 2 business days prior
       to the hearing. 
      

PLEASE DO NOT SET A RESIDENTIAL MORTAGAGE FORECLOSURE CASE ON ANY DOCKET OTHER THAN "RESIDENTIAL FORECLOSURES" IN J.A.W.S. -IF SCHEDULED UNDER ANY OTHER EVENT TYPE THE CASE WILL BE STRUCK.



COMMERCIAL MORTGAGE FORECLOSURES

1.    Hearings must be scheduled through JAWS
        
2.    
Attorneys cannot appear telephonically.  

3.    Please send a copy of the notice of hearing and copy of any motions to chambers after
       scheduling. ***No uploads *** 

 TRIAL & PRETRIAL DATES (PRETRIAL) (see schedule tab)

1.    Set by joint stipulation or by order of the Court.

2.    Pretrial conferences will be heard in chambers, Edgecomb Courthouse, Room 522
       beginning at 9:00 a.m. and will be held at fifteen (15) minute intervals. 

3.    Pretrial conferences can be scheduled and cancelled through
JAWS.

4.    After the pretrial conference is scheduled please complete and submit the
       
Uniform Order Setting Cause for Trial and Pre-Trial (Jury Trial) (Revised 5/1/08)
       or 
Non-Jury (Revised 5/1/08) ,copies for conforming and pre-addressed and
       stamped envelopes.

5.    All motions should be filed and heard prior to the pretrial conference.

6.    With all continuances, the parties must comply with Rule 1.460, Fla. R. Civ. P. and
       schedule a hearing with the Court even if all parties stipulate to a continuance.
       This hearing should be set on a UMC docket. 



OTHER


   
No cross-noticing without first speaking to the scheduling party. If there is no
      objection please contact the Judicial Assistant before filing your motion.

*     Any hearings requiring more than thirty (30) minutes but less than one (1) hour,
       please schedule via 
JAWS by utilizing "Special Set" if you require more than one (1)
       hour please schedule via JAWS and utilize "Special Set 1hr +" time slots.

*    
It is not necessary to contact the Judicial Assistant when cancelling a case unless
      it is less than 24 hours to the scheduled hearing. If less than 24 hours notice   
      please email a Notice of Cancellation to
divisionb@fljud13.org otherwise, 
      please cancel the hearing through
JAWS. and send a notice of cancellation 
      to the Clerk of Circuit Court.

*    Pursuant to Administrative Order S-2008-145

 

            "19. Orders

        All proposed orders submitted must contain in the title of the order the exact nature
        of the court's ruling. No order will be submitted to a judge unless such order 
        contains in the body of the order a reference to the date of the hearing during 
        which the subject matter of the order was argued before the court or that the matter
        came on ex parte or by stipulation or that the matter was considered without a hearing.
        All proposed orders on rulings made by the court must be submitted directly to the 
        respective judge, not to the clerk. 

        All orders and judgments submitted to the court must be on blank stationery. Any
        submission of an order or judgment by an attorney will be considered a representation
        the attorney or unrepresented party has read the submission AND it is submitted in good
        faith.

         An attorney or unrepresented party preparing an order or judgment must also furnish
        the court with sufficient copies and stamped, addressed envelopes to be mailed to all
        parties entitled to receive a copy ofthe order or judgment after entry by the court."

GENERAL PREFERENCES

1.  Is it appropriate to telephone Chambers regarding questions of procedures on pending matters?

Yes, if the question pertains to a procedure that is not addressed in the applicable rules of procedure or administrative orders.


2.  Is it appropriate to telephone Chambers regarding the status of pending matters?

Yes, if a matter has been pending a ruling for 30 days or more, it is appropriate to request a status conference. Prior to contacting Chambers, please verify docketing for the most current case information through the Clerk of Circuit Court at www.hillsclerk.com


3.  What can an attorney do to call attention to a pending motion of a particular importance to expedite a ruling?

The request for an expedited ruling should be made in the motion, with specificity, or at a hearing on the motion.

 

4.  How far in advance of a hearing should memoranda be forwarded to Chambers?

At least 48 hours (2 business days)- CASE LAW and PLEADINGS

 

5.  Should courtesy copies of pleading and motions be forwarded to Chambers and if so, how far in advance?

Upon setting a hearing, a courtesy copy of the motion and notice of hearing should be forwarded to chambers at least 48 hours (2 business days) prior to the hearing.


6.  Should copies of cases cited in motions and memoranda be forwarded to Chambers?

Yes.

 

7.  Do you object to cases printed in Westlaw of CD-Rom format rather than copied from a reporter?

No.

 

8.  Is it appropriate to cite unpublished opinions in motions or memoranda?

Yes, however copies of any unpublished opinion should be provided to the court and opposing counsel.

 

9.  If copies of cases are submitted, do you accept copies which have portions highlighted by counsel?

Yes, provided that the copies for opposing counsel are also highlighted.

 

10.  Is it appropriate to send notices, motions, supporting memoranda and draft orders via fax?

Faxes containing five pages or less are accepted upon the condition that a copy of the correspondence or pleading is subsequently mailed or hand-delivered.

 

11.  Do you allow telephonic hearings and if so, what is the maximum length?

Yes, as provided for in the Rules of Judicial Administration. Please schedule on the "Telephonic UMC" docket. The maximum length is 10 minutes. No telephonic hearings are allowed on the regular Uniform Motion Calendar docket,  


12.  Do you have any special procedures for handling emergency motions?

A copy of the emergency motion with supporting affidavits, and attachments must be submitted to my chambers for consideration. If the motion is deemed an emergency, a hearing is scheduled within 3-7 days.

 

13.  Will you entertain motions in limine prior to trial and, if so, how far in advance should they be filed and set for hearing?

Yes, motions in limine may be filed and heard at or before the pre-trial conference.

 

14.  In connection with preliminary injunctions, do you limit the hearing to argument of counsel; and if not, what are your procedures for the receipt of evidence during hearing on a preliminary injunction?

Hearings on preliminary injunctions, with notice, are not limited to argument of counsel. Any evidence that conforms to the evidence code may be admitted.


15.  What is your policy/practice regarding the use of alternative dispute resolution?

Mediation is mandatory and cannot be waived by the parties, without court order.


16.  Under what, if any, circumstances will you grant trial dates certain?

Trials are only set during a trial term, which may be one or two weeks.


17.  If the case is not reached during the scheduled trail term, will the trial date be automatically rescheduled on your next trial docket? If no, what is your practice of procedure regarding scheduling trials which were not reached on the trial docket?

No. A new trial date is scheduled based upon the Court's trial schedule and the availability of counsel and the parties of the time agreed upon by counsel. NO automatic resets.


18.  Do you require trial briefs in jury trials?

No.


19.  Do you require trial briefs in bench trials?

No.


20.  What are your requirements for trial briefs?

If trial briefs are submitted, they should include legal argument and copies of cases cited therein.

 

21.  When are trial briefs due?

Trial briefs shall be filed at least 48 hours (2 business days) prior to the commencement of the trial.


22.  Do you require prepared findings of fact and conclusions of law to be filed in bench trials? If yes, when do you require the proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law to be filed?

No, they are not required. However, in many cases they are helpful to the Court. Proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law should be filed at least 48 hours (2 business days) prior to the trial.


23.  When do you require parties to file proposed jury instructions?

Proposed jury instructions shall be filed on the first day of trial.


24.  In multiple party cases, do you grant each party three peremptory challenges?

Yes, unless the parties stipulate to a lesser number of peremptory challenges.


25.  In connection with opening statements, do you have any standard time limits imposed upon counsel? If yes, what are the time limits?

No.


26.  Can exhibits be used in opening statements?

A limited number of demonstrative aids may be used in opening statements, upon prior court approval.

27.  Do you allow Plaintiffs to make a rebuttal during opening statements?

No.

28.  Do you conduct evidentiary hearings on experts prior to trial?

Yes, upon motion of a party.

29.  What, if any, procedural requirements do you have relative to the use of videotapes, trial graphics, depositions and demonstrative aids?

The use of these items is governed by the civil rules of procedure, rules of evidence and local rules of this circuit.

30.  What, if any, procedures do you have concerning objections at trial?

No speaking objections are allowed.

31.  Do you permit jurors to ask questions either orally or in writing?

Yes, Jurors may submit written questions which are then reviewed by the Court and all counsel. No oral questions are permitted.

32.  Do you allow jurors to take notes during trial?

Yes.

33.  Should jury instructions also be submitted to Chambers on a computer disk?

A hard copy and computer disk of the jury instructions should be provided to the Court on the first day of trial.

34.  Should findings of fact and conclusions of law filed in connection with a civil bench trial also be submitted to Chambers on a computer disk?

Yes.

35.  When a dispute arises during a deposition, is it appropriate to call Chambers to seek an immediate ruling?

Yes, if the dispute constitutes an emergency. Otherwise a motion should be filed and set for hearing.

36.  Do you have any special procedures during voir dire?

No.

37.  Do you have any special procedures for back striking?

Back striking of potential jurors is allowed until the jury is sworn.

38.  Do you have any advice for new/inexperienced lawyers?

Always be prepared and professional.