HONORABLE FRANK QUESADA

Judical Practice Preferences
Circuit Civil

 

DEPOSITION DISPUTES:
Attempt an immediate telephone hearing. or appear before the judge for immediate resolution. Otherwise, certify question and set hearing.

UNIFORM MOTION CALENDAR:
Contested or uncontested matters may be heard on the Uniform Motion Calendar so long as the hearing does not take a total of more than 5 minutes.
Evidentiary matters and Contempt matters, except failure to attend deposition, will not be heard on the Uniform Motion Calendar.
Procedural matters will not be heard unless counsel for the moving party certifies in the motion that a good faith effort has been made to contact opposing counsel to resolve by agreement the issues raised.
Specifically, routine motions to compel may be placed on the Uniform Motion Calendar.

UNIFORM MOTION CALENDAR PREFERENCE:

Uniform Motion Calendar is established for Section 11 from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. on Tuesdays during non-jury trial weeks, unless holidays, or similar circumstances prevent such hearings. It shall be the responsibility of the attorney setting any UMC hearing to ascertain that a UMC will be available before sending notice.

Counsel setting the hearing shall notice opposing counsel in accordance with the applicable rules of procedure. A copy of the notice of hearing (with the appropriate pleadings attached) shall be forwarded to the judge's judicial assistant, marked "Uniform Motion Calendar", at least five (5) business days before the hearing.

Failure of any party to appear at 9:00 a.m. shall not prevent a party from proceeding with the hearing when the case is called. If a party chooses to wait for his adversary, the case will be moved to the bottom position on the Judge's Uniform Motion Calendar.

Hearings are held in the Judge's Chambers in Room 400 and are limited to a total of five (5) minutes per case.

All proposed orders shall be submitted to the judge with a cover letter stating that opposing counsel agrees or objects to the proposed order or that opposing counsel was given the opportunity to object to the proposed order, but did not. The attorneys may also bring a proposed order to the hearing.

TELEPHONIC HEARINGS:

The judge requires all attorneys to appear in person, unless there is a special circumstance. However, for good cause show, a telephone hearing will be permitted on non-evidentiary matters, as per Rule of Judicial Administration 2.071. Only hearings of 10 minutes or less may be set for telephonic hearing. Hearing by telephone MUST be set forth in the notice of hearing. The party filing the notice shall be responsible for getting each participant on the line BEFORE calling the Judge. Attorneys may attend in person.

FAX POLICY:

Prefers all materials mailed to office. Contact the judicial assistant to obtain fax number for emergency matters only.

PROPOSED ORDERS:

Pursuant to ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. PA/PI-CIR-99-46: STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL COURTESY FOR THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, H (3), proposed orders shall be submitted to the judge with a cover letter stating that opposing counsel agrees or objects to the proposed order or that opposing counsel was given the opportunity to object to the proposed order, but did not. The Court will not hold orders pending objections. Sufficient copies and stamped, addressed envelopes must be provided.

DISCOVERY CUT-OFF:

Generally at pretrial, unless circumstances require an alternate period. May be handled on a case by case basis or by stipulation of the parties with Judge's approval.

PRE-TRIAL STATEMENTS:

Utilize uniform pretrial statement form. Attorney attending pretrial will be the attorney who will attend the trial of the cause. No motions heard at pretrial conference without leave of Court.

MOTIONS IN LIMINE:

Short motions 5 minutes or less may be heard the morning of trial. Longer motions must be heard before trial at a scheduled hearing.

TRIAL SCHEDULING:

Approximately 15 trials are set each trial week. The court disposes of the oldest cases first. When filing your motion for jury or non-jury trial, please submit a courtesy copy of your motion to the judge's office. Your trial will be set in the next available trial term.
All juries are selected on the first day of the trial week. The court may protect counsel until a given date if good/necessary cause is shown. The court may try 2 or 3 trials in one week.

VOIR DIRE:

Prefer attorneys inquire of the entire jury panel, seated in the gallery. A seating chart with jurors names will be provided. After all questions, there is only 1 round of challenges. Judge Quesada may initiate voir dire questions to be followed by counsel.

PEREMPTORY CHALLENGES:

Generally 3 per party with total of plaintiff to match total of defense.

RESPONSE FROM COUNSEL WHEN BAILIFF BRINGS JURY IN:

No preference. Counsel may stand if they wish.

COURTROOM TRIALS--REQUEST PERMISSION FOR THE FOLLOWING:

To approach the bench.
No permission is necessary to approach the clerk or a witness with or for a document.

ATTORNEYS FEES:

The issue of entitlement may be tried in the main action or at subsequent hearings. Issues regarding the amount of attorney fees shall be left for a subsequent hearing. Fee affidavits are sufficient in lieu of expert testimony if all parties agree to their use.

MARKING EVIDENCE TO BE USED AT TRIAL:

Exchanged evidence prior to trial. All evidence is to be pre-marked in advance of its intended use by counsel. The clerk will mark exhibits as they are received into evidence.

SHOWING TANGIBLE EVIDENCE TO THE COURT:

After showing the exhibit to opposing counsel it may be shown to the witness without first showing it to the judge. If the Judge requests to see an exhibit, counsel may hand it over directly to the Court.

EXPERT WITNESSES:

Except in ruling on an objection, the court should not, in the presence of the jury, declare that a witness is qualified as an expert or to render an expert opinion, and counsel should not ask the court to do so. (Standard 17, Civil Trial Practice Standards of the Section of Litigation of the American Bar Association (1998)). A judicial ruling that a proffered expert is "qualified" prior to the time that counsel has posed a precise question eliciting expert testimony is premature and, unless an objection is interposed, unnecessary.

MEDIATION:

Mediation should be attempted in most cases. It is recommended prior to trial unless good cause is shown why mediation would not be appropriate. Trials will not be set until mediation is completed or waived by the Court.

COURTROOM DEMEANOR COMMENTS:

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. PA/PI-CIR-99-46: STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL COURTESY FOR THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT will be strictly enforced. Professionalism and courtesy is expected and always appreciated.

OTHER PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE POINTERS:

CONTINUANCE OF A JURY TRIAL. Stipulations to continue a jury trial must be approved by the judge.
MOTIONS TO COMPEL WITHOUT HEARING. When a motion to compel alleges a complete failure to respond or object to discovery, and there has been no request for extension, an ex parte order may be entered requiring compliance with the original discovery demand within ten (10) days of the signing of the order. Movant shall submit the proposed order, along with appropriate copies and envelopes.
MOTIONS FOR REHEARING, RECONSIDERATION, NEW TRIAL, ETC. will not be set for hearing. Please submit a copy of the motion to the judge's office for entry of an order. If the Judge feels a hearing is required, your office will be contacted.
EMERGENCY HEARINGS: Motions are to be submitted to the Court for determination of emergency status. If granted, a hearing will be set. Opposing counsel/party is to be provided with Motion in same manner as the Court, unless reasons for no notice stated.
If the judge is unavailable, the attorney should go to the Emergency/Duty judge regardless of whether or not the duty judge is assigned to the civil section.
Testimony is to be by affidavit. Testimony in addition to the affidavit filed will be allowed only if necessary.
Emergency matters involve matters where the moving party will suffer irreparable harm if relief is not granted immediately.
IF CASE SETTLES: Please call my office to cancel any hearings or trials that may be scheduled.
SETTING HEARINGS: After you have obtained hearing time, please call back to set on my calendar. Don't just send in a notice.
SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL: Rule of Judicial Administration 2.060(h) requires that all substitutions of counsel be signed by the client.
CONTINUANCES must also be signed by the clients.