HONORABLE FRANK QUESADA

Judicial Practice Preferences
Family Division

 

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.

TELEPHONIC HEARINGS:

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:

Use form adopted by Family Law. 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.

COURTROOM TRIALS--REQUEST PERMISSION FOR THE FOLLOWING:

Request permission 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 ten days prior to trial. All evidence is to be pre-marked in advance of its intended use by counsel. The court will mark exhibits as 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.

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 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.

SCHEDULING OF TEMPORARY MATTERS - Custody, Support, Alimony and Attorney fees:

May be scheduled before the Judge or the Master.

TIME BEFORE TEMPORARY MATTER MAY BE SCHEDULED:

Any time after filing with proper five day notice in writing to opposing party. Notice may be faxed to opposing party.

TESTIMONY OF CHILDREN:

Is permitted depending on circumstances, age, intelligence and maturity of the child.

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.

EMERGENCY HEARINGS:

Motions are to be submitted to the Court for determination of emergency status. If the court deems it an emergency , 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 family 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.

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.

OTHER PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE POINTERS:

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.

- When a drivers license is used to establish jurisdiction, please have a copy of the license available.
-- When a settlement agreement is being introduced have the party identify the original, even if it is in the court file.
- If a final hearing involves an uncontested matter, set it on the calendar presided over by the county judge or set it for a five minute hearing before Judge Quesada.