Chambers Email: email@example.com
Federal Judicial Service
Magistrate Judge, United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
Appointed on July 1, 2022
Cornell University, 2007
Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, J.D., 2010
Law Clerk, The Honorable G. Steven Agee, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 2014–2016
Law Clerk, The Honorable James C. Cacheris, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, 2013–2014
Law Clerk, The Honorable Jonathan C. Thatcher, Nineteenth Judicial Circuit of Virginia, 2010–2011
Private Practice 2011–2012, 2016–2022
Chambers staff includes one career law clerk and one term law clerk. There are no current vacancies. The next anticipated vacancy for a term law clerk will occur in September 2023.
Judge Dudek welcomes applications for unpaid judicial internships for the fall, spring, and summer terms each year. Positions are limited to students who have completed their first (1L) or second (2L) years of law school. Preference is given to applicants with strong academic standing. Internships may be voluntary or for academic credit.
To apply, candidates must email a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and law school transcript to Judge Dudek's chambers.
Consent to Magistrate Judge
Civil Case Management
Fast-Track Case Forms
Witness and Exhibit Lists
Counsel of record and pro se litigants may contact chambers about procedures specific to Judge Dudek, scheduling, and other non-substantive matters. Law clerks will not discuss the merits of any case ex parte. Nor will they give legal advice, interpret federal and local rules, explain court orders, or provide time estimates on orders. Before contacting chambers, counsel and pro se litigants must review this website, the docket, and the federal and local rules.
When calling chambers, counsel and pro se litigants must provide (1) the case number, (2) their name and party they represent, (3) whether opposing counsel has been consulted, and (4) why they are contacting chambers. For emails, all parties must be copied.
Consent to Magistrate Judge (Partial or Full)
Parties may consent to proceed before Judge Dudek to conduct some or all proceedings––including dispositive motions. In consent cases, a party may appeal to the Eleventh Circuit just like an appeal from the district court. Any party may withhold consent without adverse consequences.
If parties wish to consent, they must sign and file either the AO Form 85 (consent for all purposes including trial) or AO Form 85A (consent for some purpose like a specific motion). Both are available under the Forms tab.
Official Record of Proceedings
All proceedings (except if parties call-in during depositions) before Judge Dudek are recorded by the courtroom recording system or by a court reporter.
Notice of Unavailability of Counsel
Because the local rules prohibit such notices, they will be stricken. Counsel must not rely a notice of unavailability to excuse their non-appearance in court or non-compliance with deadlines and procedural rules.
Judge Dudek encourages counsel to insert hyperlinks to CM/ECF documents and cited authority on recognized research services (preferably Westlaw) into their papers. The CM/ECF LinkBuilder add-in for Microsoft Word assists with inserting hyperlinks. Hyperlinks do not replace standard citation format. Neither a hyperlink nor any website to which it refers is part of the record.
Optical Character Recognition
Documents filed through CM/ECF should be scanned with optical character recognition (OCR) and rendered text searchable. Counsel using OCR are responsible for verifying the reasonable accuracy and readability of the document.
Active Case Management Philosophy
Judge Dudek actively manages the cases before him. Deadlines are monitored, and orders to show cause will be promptly issued if deadlines are missed. The parties thus must proactively manage their cases to ensure compliance with all orders, due dates, and rules.
Case Management Reports and Preliminary Pretrial Conferences
For most civil cases, the parties must jointly file a case management report per Local Rule 3.02. A standard form can be found under the Forms tab.
For matters requiring a case management report, the following scheduling parameters are preferred:
Local Rule 3.02(a) Exceptions
Cases brought under Title II or III of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) are excepted from the requirements in Local Rule 3.02(a). An ADA Fast-Track Scheduling Order will be issued by the court pursuant to Local Rule 3.02(d)(1) immediately after any defendant appears, or after the docketing of a removed or transferred action.
Cases brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are excepted from the requirements in Local Rule 3.02(a). A FLSA Fast-Track Scheduling Order will be issued by the court pursuant to Local Rule 3.02(d)(1) immediately after any defendant appears, or after the docketing of a removed or transferred action.
Cases brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA), and/or other state law consumer protection statutes, are excepted from the requirements in Local Rule 3.02(a). A Solicitation or Debt Collection Fast-Track Scheduling Order will be issued by the court pursuant to Local Rule 3.02(d)(1) immediately after any defendant appears, or after the docketing of a removed or transferred action.
Cases brought under the Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) or other related state law consumer protection statutes are excepted from the requirements in Local Rule 3.02(a). A FCRA Fast-Track Scheduling Order will be issued by the court pursuant to Local Rule 3.02(d)(1) immediately after any defendant appears, or after the docketing of a removed or transferred action.
Motions to extend deadlines are disfavored. Deadlines may be modified only for good cause. Moving to extend a deadline does not toll the time to comply with other deadlines set by rule or order.
Preliminary Pretrial Conferences
Judge Dudek holds a Rule 16 preliminary pretrial conferences in most civil cases. At the conference, the court and counsel will discuss the pretrial needs of a case and construct a tailored case management and scheduling order after addressing the following with counsel:
The length of the conference depends on the complexity of the case and the scope of matters to be discussed. Counsel and pro pro se litigants must appear in person at the preliminary pretrial conference. Judge Dudek will entertain motions requesting telephonic appearances, but only in cases that do not involve pro se litigants.
Local Rule 3.01(g)
Local Rule 3.01(g) requires a moving party to confer with opposing counsel in a good-faith effort to resolve an issue to be raised in a motion before filing it.
The term "confer" in Local Rule 3.01(g) requires a substantive conversation. Exchanges of ultimatums by e-mail or by letter 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 Local Rule 3.01(g).
The court will deny motions that fail to include a Local Rule 3.01(g) certificate.
Courtesy Copies of Motion Papers
Courtesy copies of motions and briefs are not required. However, where the exhibits are in excess of 100 pages, Judge Dudek prefers that counsel deliver to the Clerk's Office a hardcopy of the appendix/exhibits.
Motions Rendered Moot
If a pending motion is rendered moot (i.e., no longer requires court intervention) because of a later agreement between the parties or some other occurrence, the movant must immediately file an appropriate notice that either: withdraws the motion; or advises the court that the motion (in whole or in part) no longer needs court intervention.
Hearings & Oral Argument
Hearings on motions are scheduled at the written request of the parties or by order of Judge Dudek. Counsel and unrepresented parties who wish to present argument are generally required to appear in court. Although in person appearances are presumed, telephonic or video appearances may be granted when good cause is shown in a motion requesting the same.
Witnesses and other evidence are not permitted at oral argument unless the court grants permission. For the court's planning purposes, a party should ask to present evidence days before the hearing to allow the court and opposing counsel time to prepare.
Oral arguments and hearings will be scheduled by the courtroom deputy.
Oral Argument – Young Lawyer
Ordinarily, only one lawyer for each party may argue at a hearing. However, Judge Dudek encourages parties and senior attorneys to provide young lawyers the opportunity to argue in court. A party should advise Judge Dudek's courtroom deputy at least one business day before the hearing if a lawyer with five or less years of experience will participate in oral argument. In that event, Judge Dudek will allow multiple lawyers to argue on behalf of that party.
For evidentiary hearings, exhibit lists and witness lists must be filed three business days before the scheduled date. On the date of the hearing, the parties must provide the courtroom deputy with their exhibit lists, exhibits, and witness lists, as well as two courtesy binders containing the same. Additionally, on the date of the evidentiary hearing, each party shall must provide the courtroom deputy clerk with a CD or USB drive containing PDF versions of each exhibit.
Deposition Transcripts as Exhibits
If depositions are filed as an exhibit to a motion or response, the court requires the deposition be filed in its entirety (preferably condensed versions) with exhibits.
Emergency and Other Time-Sensitive Motions
Emergency motions should be clearly and conspicuously designated as such in the caption. 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 why the matter is time-sensitive. The moving party shall also contact the Clerk's Office to notify them of the filing of an emergency motion.
Parties may reach an agreement governing the use and disclosure of discovery materials designated as confidential. The court need not endorse, adopt, or enter such an agreement. The court will generally enforce stipulated and signed confidentiality agreements. To the extent either party seeks a confidentiality order from the court, the request should be limited to documents or specific categories of documents that are subject to confidential treatment under prevailing law. Judge Dudek will not issue blanket confidentiality orders providing that any information designated by the parties as confidential will be protected. Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26 (c), good cause must be shown before a protective order will be granted.
Motions to File Under Seal
The question of whether a document may be filed under seal is a separate and distinct issue from whether the parties may agree to treat produced documents as confidential.
Motions requesting leave to file materials under seal must address the Eleventh Circuit precedent setting forth the governing standard, as well as the requirements of Local Rule 1.11. If the only basis for seeking to file a document under seal is a confidentiality designation under the terms of a confidentiality agreement between the parties or a protective order entered by the court, then the party seeking to file the document under seal should indicate as much in the motion. The court may then require the designating-party or third-party to file a memorandum explaining why the document should be sealed and making the requisite legal and factual showing.
Parties should not submit a proposed order unless directed. If the court requests a proposed order, a copy should be emailed in Microsoft Word format to chambers' email.
Before filing or responding to any discovery motion in a civil case, the parties should review and follow the standards set forth in the Middle District of Florida Handbook on Civil Discovery Practice.
Under Local Rule 3.01(g), the moving party must confer with opposing counsel in a good-faith effort to resolve the dispute. The term "confer" in Local Rule 3.01(g) requires a substantive conversation. Exchanges of ultimatums by e-mail or by letter do not satisfy Local Rule 3.01(g). Similarly, mere attempts to confer that do not result in a meaningful and productive exchange between counsel do not satisfy the good-faith requirement. The court will deny motions that fail to include a Local Rule 3.01(g) certificate.
Motions to Compel
A motion to compel discovery under Fed. R. Civ. P. 36 or 37 must quote in full each interrogatory, question on deposition, request for admission, or request for production to which the motion is addressed. Immediately following, the opposing party's answer or grounds for objection must be quoted in full. The moving party may then present argument and legal support for why the motion should be granted. Failure to provide this information may result in the motion being denied.
Disputes During Depositions
If a dispute arises during a deposition in a case for which Judge Dudek is the assigned magistrate judge, counsel and any unrepresented parties may contact chambers to see whether he is available to consider the issue by telephone. The parties should first conduct a good-faith conference under Local Rule 3.01(g) on the record before involving the court.
If Judge Dudek is available, he will hear the dispute in a telephone conference in which all counsel and any unrepresented parties participate, recorded by the parties' private court reporter. If Judge Dudek is not available, the parties may state the nature of their objections on the record and file an appropriate written motion.
Trial Date Certain
Upon consent of the parties to jurisdiction before Judge Dudek, trial will be scheduled on a date certain. A trial date will be set following resolution of any dispositive motions, or if none are filed, a status conference scheduled after discovery. Vacation schedules and personal conflicts of the lawyers, parties, and witnesses will be accommodated if possible.
Judge Dudek typically holds trial from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with two 15-minute breaks and a lunch recess. This schedule may change as circumstances dictate.
Witness and Exhibit Lists
The court's scheduling order will govern the deadlines for witness and exhibit lists. Parties must use the witness and exhibit lists found under the "Forms" tab on this website.
Before any trial or hearing, counsel for each party must mark exhibits using the exhibit tags found under the "Forms" tab on this website. Counsel must staple the appropriate party-specific exhibit tag to the upper right corner of the first page. In completing the exhibit tags, the parties must use consecutive numbers to mark exhibits. Please direct questions on exhibit tags to the courtroom deputy.
Jury Instructions and Verdict Forms
The court's scheduling order will govern the deadlines for jury instructions and proposed verdict forms. Judge Dudek requires counsel to confer and submit a single set of agreed upon jury instructions and a proposed verdict form. To the extent the parties cannot agree on a particular instruction or form, each party may submit a competing one for the court's approval. Judge Dudek will hold a charging conference, at which time counsel may present argument and the court will decide the final charge and verdict form to be given to the jury.
Judge Dudek conducts voir dire and sometimes lets counsel submit brief follow-up questions. Eight jurors are seated for civil cases, with all eight deliberating.
Notetaking by Jurors
The court allows jurors to take notes unless counsel voices a valid objection.
Opening Statements and Summations
There are no set time limits imposed on opening statements and closing arguments.
Examination of Witnesses Out of Sequence
Judge Dudek will permit the examination of a witness out of sequence, either within the party's own case or within an opposing party's case, if a scheduling conflict exists. If a witness will be unavailable for trial, the witness' testimony may be presented by deposition.
Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law
In non-jury trials, the parties must submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. Judge Dudek also appreciates receiving an electronic version of the parties proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law in Microsoft Word format sent to the chambers email address.