The Court typically conducts its duty calendar each day at 11:00 a.m.
During its duty weeks, the Court presides over a significant number of pretrial detention hearings. When the Government has moved to detain a defendant pretrial, the Court will normally set the hearing within three to five business days, unless defense counsel provides good cause for a later setting. The Court specially sets its pretrial detention hearings before the start of the 11:00 a.m. duty calendar, that is, at either 9:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., or 10:30 a.m., depending upon the number of hearings to be held that day.
Often the parties are able to reach an agreement that obviates the need for a detention hearing. When that occurs, the Court requests that it be notified immediately so that the matter may be moved to the 11:00 a.m. duty calendar.
When the parties wish to proceed to a detention hearing, and in the absence of an affidavit filed in support of a criminal complaint, the Court requires the Government to file a brief written proffer, setting forth the pertinent facts of the offense. The Court asks that the proffer be filed as early as possible and not later than 12:00 p.m. of the day prior to the hearing. At the hearing, the Court permits the Government to adopt the factual proffer or, in the alternative, the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, as its case agent’s testimony on direct examination. Defense counsel is then provided the opportunity to cross-examine the case agent as to the content of that proffer or affidavit. After the Government has rested, the Court will inquire of defense counsel whether there are any errors or material omissions in the Pretrial Services Report and whether the defendant wishes to present any evidence, testimonial or otherwise. After the defense has rested, respective counsel are then provided an opportunity for brief argument as to the propriety of detention.
The Court typically announces its ruling from the bench. When the Court orders pretrial release, it orally reviews the pertinent statutory criteria and states its reasons for finding that there exist conditions of release that can reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance and the safety of the community. In that instance, the Court also inquires of the Government whether it wishes the defendant’s release to be stayed to provide it an opportunity to appeal. When the Court orders pretrial detention, it follows with a detailed written order setting forth its pertinent findings and its reasons for concluding that the defendant’s release on bond would present an unreasonable risk of flight and/or an unreasonable danger to the community.
All discovery disputes shall be presented by written motion. Hearings will only be scheduled if the Court deems necessary.
All discovery motions shall comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Local Rules for the Southern District of Florida, including Local Rules 7.1(a)(3) (pre-filing conference of counsel) and 26.1(g) (timing, contents and page limits for discovery motions).
The Court may sua sponte enter an order expediting the response time to a discovery motion. The Court may also order that no reply memorandum will be filed without further order of the Court.
The Magistrate Judge cannot grant relief that would extend beyond the discovery deadline; all requests to extend the discovery deadline must be made to the paired District Judge.
Consent cases will be specially set for trial. Counsel will be asked to confer and jointly select three possible trial dates. The Court will set the case for trial based upon those dates. If none of the proposed dates are feasible for the Court, counsel will be asked to submit new proposed dates.
A pre-trial conference will be held during the week preceding the trial date.