The Honorable Richard A. Lazzara

United States District Judge


Tampa Division
TEL: 813-301-5350
FAX: 813-301-5359

Biography

JUDGE LAZZARA received his B.A. degree in 1967 from Loyola University of the South and his J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law in 1970. Judge Lazzara served as an Assistant County Solicitor and as an Assistant State Attorney for Hillsborough County from 1970 through 1973. He then entered the private practice of law in Tampa until his election to the Hillsborough County Court in 1986.  In 1987 Governor Martinez appointed him to the Circuit Court of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit and he was elected to a full term without opposition in 1988. In 1993 Governor Chiles appointed him to the Second District Court of Appeal where he served through October of 1997. On November 1, 1997, Judge Lazzara was sworn in as a United States District Judge where he continues to serve in the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division.


Chambers Staff

  Sandra Hartman
Judicial Assistant
813-301-5350
Susan Saylor
Courtroom Deputy
813-301-5354
 
Cindy Bedell

*Career Law Clerk
Odd numbered cases
813-301-5352

Douglas Bates
*Career Law Clerk
Even numbered cases
813-301-5353
*Pleae note that Judge Lazzara has two career law clerks and will not be accepting clerkship applications.

 

Case & Trial Management Preferences

CIVIL

Case Management Report
In calculating deadlines for the report, keep in mind, it is the goal of the Court that all track 2 cases be tried within two years and that all track 3 cases be tried within three years. Pretrial conference dates are set one month prior to the trial month. The motion filing deadline should be two months prior to the pretrial date. The discovery cut off date should be one month prior to the motion filing deadline. The third party/joinder deadline should be at least three months prior to the discovery cut off. A blank case management report is available under the Frequently Used Forms section below.


Motion Practice
Discovery matters are sometimes referred to the assigned Magistrate Judge for disposition.
The parties are put on notice that Judge Lazzara looks with disfavor on motions in limine which raise evidentiary issues more appropriately raised at trial.


Judge Lazzara does not routinely provide oral argument on dispositive motions.


Proposed Orders
Proposed orders on substantive motions should be emailed to Chambers at Chambers_FLMD_Lazzara@flmd.uscourts.gov and should not be docketed with the motion on CM/ECF.

Consent to Proceed Before a Magistrate Judge
Should the parties in any civil case consent to proceed before the Magistrate Judge the AO85 form must be signed by all parties and submitted to the Court. The required form is available under the Frequently Used Forms section below.


Settlement
All cases are referred to mediation four to six months before the scheduled trial term.


Pretrial Conferences
All cases are referred to the assigned magistrate judge to conduct the pretrial conference.


Civil Status Conferences
Judge Lazzara routinely holds status conferences on all civil cases scheduled for trial. This conference is separate and apart from the pretrial conference scheduled before the Magistrate Judge and is generally scheduled for the second Thursday at 9:30 a.m. of the month preceding the scheduled trial term.


Jury Trials
Parties are provided a one-month trailing calendar approximately two to three weeks in advance of their trial month. The cases will generally be tried in the order they are listed on the calendar, with criminal cases taking precedence. Counsel is at liberty to contact the attorneys on the cases preceding theirs’ and/or consult with the courtroom deputy as to their position on the calendar.


Trial briefs, proposed voir dire questions, proposed jury instructions, and any special verdict forms should be filed five days in advance of the scheduled TRIAL TERM. Special jury instructions and verdict forms should be provided on a disk in WordPerfect format 11 or less.


On the date each trial commences, each party shall file with the Courtroom Deputy Clerk the original and two copies of their respective Exhibit List and Witness List. All exhibits shall be appropriately pre-marked. Exhibit Instructions, Exhibit Lists, and Exhibit Tags are available under the Frequently Used Forms section below.


Frequently Used Forms
The following forms are included for downloading:


CRIMINAL

Change of Plea
Judge Lazzara generally handles his own changes of plea. Please contact Courtroom Deputy Susan Saylor, or Judicial Assistant Sandra Hartman to schedule the change of plea.
Pleas should be entered at least five days in advance of the scheduled TRIAL TERM.


Sentencing
Judge Lazzara schedules sentencing 70 to 90 days following the entry of the plea.
Sentencings are set on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday at 8:45 a.m., or on Fridays.
Counsel and/or probation should notify Chambers if sentencing is expected to exceed 30 minutes.


Discovery
Discovery issues are sometimes referred to the assigned Magistrate Judge.


Motions to Continue
Any motions to continue sentencings, revocations hearings, or trials should contain the following information: 1) When was the matter originally scheduled in Judge Lazzara’s court? 2) When was the matter in conflict scheduled? 3) If the conflict is another court appearance, is the other matter civil or criminal? 4) Which case is oldest? 5) When did the conflict arise?
Counsel is encouraged to file Notices of Unavailability when planning continuing legal education, seminars, and personal leave.


Proposed Orders
Proposed orders on motions should be emailed to Chambers at Chambers_FLMD_Lazzara@flmd.uscourts.gov and should not be docketed with the motion on CM/ECF.


Jury Trials
Parties are provided a one-month trailing calendar approximately two to three weeks in advance of their trial month. The cases will generally be tried in the order they are listed on the calendar, with criminal cases taking precedence. Counsel is at liberty to contact the attorneys on the cases preceding theirs’ and/or consult with the courtroom deputy as to their position on the calendar.


Trial briefs, proposed voir dire questions, proposed jury instructions, and any special verdict forms should be filed five days in advance of the scheduled TRIAL TERM. Special jury instructions and verdict forms should be provided on a disk in WordPerfect format 11 or less.


On the date each trial commences, each party shall file with the Courtroom Deputy Clerk the original and two copies of their respective Exhibit List and Witness List. All exhibits shall be appropriately pre-marked. Exhibit Instructions, Exhibit Lists, and Exhibit Tags are available under the Frequently Used Forms section above.