Thomas G. Wilson
United States Magistrate Judge
Thomas G. Wilson was appointed a United States Magistrate Judge in April 1979, and has been reappointed three times, most recently in April 2003. He received his B.A. from Michigan State University (1961) and his LL.B. from Duke University School of Law (1964). Prior to being appointed a United States Magistrate Judge, he was employed as an attorney in the Appellate Section of the Civil Division of the Department of Justice (1972-1979) and as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida (1970-1972). He was in private practice as an associate at the law firm of Miller and McKendree (1970). Magistrate Judge Wilson has also served as a law clerk for District Judge Joseph P. Lieb (1964-1966) and Circuit Judge Paul H. Roney (1970-1972).
Case & Trial Management Preferences
Upon consent of the parties, Judge Wilson provides a “date certain” for trial. In jury trials, he requires proposed jury instructions and verdict forms to be filed by the morning of the first day of trial. Exhibit lists shall be provided to the courtroom deputy by the commencement of the trial. There is no deadline for the filing of motions in limine. No other pre-trial submissions are required. Judge Wilson conducts the basic voir dire but affords attorneys an opportunity to inquire directly of the prospective jurors. All cross-examination must be conducted from the lectern, but this is not required for a non-hostile witness on direct examination. At trials, but not hearings, counsel must stand when addressing the court or examining a witness. In order to enforce this rule, any objection made while seated is deemed waived.
Parties may call chambers to check on the status of a pending matter or for other procedural information. Hearings are regularly conducted on dispositive motions and most discovery disputes. Because the memoranda have been read prior to the hearing, the hearing focuses on answering questions raised by the memoranda. Further, since it is Judge Wilson’s experience that telephone hearings do not provide a satisfactory interactive exchange, such hearings are conducted only in extraordinary circumstances. Similarly, Judge Wilson will not resolve discovery disputes by telephone (in order to permit tempers to cool and research to be done).
The court will not accept filings by facsimile, but courtesy copies of motions by facsimile or mail are accepted.
No young children are permitted in the courtroom during proceedings since it is not a nursery.