Chambers Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Federal Judicial ServiceMagistrate Judge, United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
Appointed on June 15, 2015
University of Florida, B.S., 1991
Florida State University, College of Law, J.D., 1994
Professional CareerLaw Clerk, The Honorable James Whittemore, United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, 2000–2004Law Clerk, The Honorable Chris Altenbernd, State of Florida, Second District Court of Appeal, 1995–1997
Private Practice, 1997–2000, 2004–2015
Judge Sneed welcomes applications for unpaid judicial internships/externships for the fall, spring, and summer terms each year. Preference is given to applicants with strong academic standing and demonstrated legal writing skills. Internships/externships may be voluntary or for academic credit offered through an accredited law school in which the student is enrolled. Applicants must email a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and current academic transcript to chambers.
Before filing or responding to any motion in a civil case, the parties should review and comply with the standards set forth in the Middle District of Florida Handbook on Civil Discovery Practice. Additionally, Judge Sneed requires compliance with the local rules. Before filing any discovery-related motion in a civil case, the moving party shall confer with counsel for the opposing party in a good-faith effort to resolve the issues raised by the motion. See Local Rule 3.01(g). The moving party shall also file with the motion a statement certifying that the moving party has conferred with opposing counsel and that counsel have been unable to reach an agreement on the resolution of the motion. See Local Rule 3.01(g). The term "confer" in Local Rule 3.01(g) requires a substantive conversation in person or by telephone in a good-faith effort to resolve the motion without court action. Exchanges of email or other correspondence do not satisfy the good-faith conference requirement. Similarly, mere attempts to confer that do not result in a meaningful and productive exchange between counsel do not satisfy the good-faith conference requirement. The court may deny motions that fail to include a Local Rule 3.01(g) certificate.
Disputes Arising in Deposition
If a dispute arises during a deposition in a case for which Judge Sneed is the assigned magistrate judge, counsel and any unrepresented parties may contact chambers to ascertain whether she is available to consider the disputed issue by telephone. Counsel for the parties should, however, conduct a good-faith conference pursuant to Local Rule 3.01(g) on the record before involving the court. If Judge Sneed is available, she will hear the dispute in a telephone conference call in which all counsel and any unrepresented parties participate. If Judge Sneed is not available, the parties may state the nature of their objection(s) on the record and file an appropriate written motion.
Emergency and Other Time-Sensitive Motions
Emergency motions should be clearly and conspicuously designated as such in the caption of the motion. See Local Rule 3.01(e). If a motion is not a true emergency but is otherwise time-sensitive, counsel must indicate that the matter is time-sensitive in the caption of the motion and explain in the first paragraph of the body of the motion why the matter is time-sensitive. The moving party shall contact the Clerk's Office to notify them of the filing of an emergency motion.
For evidentiary hearings, exhibit lists and witness lists must be filed three business days in advance of the scheduled hearing date. On the date of the evidentiary hearing, the parties shall provide the courtroom deputy with their exhibit lists, exhibits, and witness lists, as well as two courtesy binders containing same. Additionally, on the date of the evidentiary hearing, each party shall provide the courtroom deputy clerk with a CD or USB drive containing PDF versions of each exhibit, or email the same to chambers.
Hearings on motions are scheduled at the written request of the parties or by order of the judge. Counsel and unrepresented parties who wish to present argument are generally required to appear in court in person. Telephonic appearances may be granted when good cause is shown in a motion requesting same.
Motions to Appear Pro Hac ViceLawyers seeking to appear pro hac vice pursuant to Local Rule 2.02 should include the following in a motion:
Counsel are encouraged to make use of the technology available in the courtroom. If counsel intend to use the courtroom’s electronic equipment during a hearing or trial, to ensure the availability of the equipment, counsel must contact the courtroom deputy clerk to reserve the equipment at least one week before the date of the hearing or trial. Counsel may also schedule an appointment with the courtroom deputy clerk to attain familiarity with the electronic equipment and confirm compatibility prior to the date of the hearing or trial.
Date Certain Trial
Upon consent of the parties, Judge Sneed will schedule trials to begin on a date certain. Upon filing the Notice, Consent, and Reference of a Civil Action to a Magistrate Judge, counsel for the parties should confer and agree upon mutually agreeable potential trial dates. Upon receiving the Order Approving the Notice, Consent, and Reference of a Civil Action to United States Magistrate Judge, Judge Sneed will schedule a case status conference. During the case status conference, Judge Sneed will schedule the trial to begin on a mutually agreeable date.
Opening Statements and Closing Arguments
There are no court-imposed time limits on opening statements or closing arguments.
For jury trials, proposed voir dire questions, proposed jury instructions, and any special verdict forms should be filed three business days in advance of the scheduled trial date. For non-jury trials, trial briefs should be filed three business days in advance of the scheduled trial date, and proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law should be emailed to chambers following the trial.
Exhibit lists and witness lists must be filed three business days in advance of the scheduled trial date. On the date of the trial, the parties shall provide the courtroom deputy with their exhibit lists, exhibits, and witness lists, as well as two courtesy binders containing same. Additionally, on the date of the trial, each party shall provide the courtroom deputy clerk with a CD or USB drive containing PDF versions of each exhibit, or email the same to chambers.
Voir Dire Procedures
Judge Sneed will conduct voir dire. If counsel wish to conduct additional voir dire, then each side will be given time to examine the panel.