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Matthew HainenEven civil cases(407) 835-4324
Kati HauptOdd civil cases(407) 835-4348
Federal Judicial ServiceMagistrate Judge, United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
Appointed on March 1, 2019
Leslie R. Hoffman graduated with honors from the University of Florida in 1992 with her Bachelors of Science in Accounting and minor in Criminology. Following completion of an internship with the Florida House of Representatives, Judge Hoffman attended the University of Florida, Levin College of Law, where she earned her J.D. with high honors in 1997. Judge Hoffman was a member of the senior editorial board of the University of Florida Law Review, Magister of the Phi Delta Phi National Honor Society, and member of the Order of the Coif.
Judge Hoffman clerked from 1997-1999 for the Hon. William Terrell Hodges, United States District Judge, in Jacksonville, Florida. In September 1999, Judge Hoffman began work with the law firm Steptoe & Johnson, LLP in Washington, D.C. Her practice areas included employee benefits and employment litigation (state and federal). In mid-2004, Judge Hoffman returned to Florida, and from August 2004 to April 2005, worked in the employment litigation section of the law firm Morgan Lewis and Bockius, LLP in Miami, Florida. In July 2005, Judge Hoffman became the career law clerk for the Hon. William Terrell Hodges, United States District Judge, in Ocala, Florida.
In May 2016, Judge Hoffman relocated to Orlando, Florida and became the Operations Manager, and later the Administrative Services Manager, for the Middle District of Florida’s Clerk's Office. Judge Hoffman remained as the Administrative Services Manager until her appointment as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division, on March 1, 2019.
Consent to Magistrate Judge Jurisdiction Form – All
Consent to Magistrate Judge Jurisdiction Form – Dispositive Motion
In re: Possession and Use of Personal Electronic Devices
Middle District of Florida Discovery Handbook
With few exceptions, prior to filing a motion in a civil action, the moving party must confer with counsel for the opposing party in a good faith effort to resolve the issues raised by the motion and shall include in the motion a statement that:
A motion that does not comply with Local Rule 3.01(g) may be summarily denied. Middle District Discovery Handbook (2015) at I.A.2.
The conferral requirement applies to counsel and litigants without lawyers alike.
The term “confer” in Local Rule 3.01(g) means a substantive discussion, which must occur in person or over the telephone. Thus, the duty to confer will not be satisfied solely though written correspondences, such as letters, facsimiles, or emails.
A certification to the effect that counsel “attempted” to confer with opposing counsel, or that opposing counsel was “unavailable” for a conference before filing a motion is insufficient to satisfy the obligation to confer. Local Rule 3.01(g); Middle District Discovery Handbook (2015) at I.A.2.
That said, opposing counsel must promptly respond to the moving party’s counsel’s request to confer. If the moving party makes multiple good faith attempts to confer with opposing counsel about a motion but opposing counsel does not respond to those attempts to confer, then the moving party must identify in its motion each attempt to confer, including the means of communication and the date of each attempt. The failure to include such information may result in the motion being denied for failure to comply with Local Rule 3.01(g).
In the event the parties resolve any portion of a pending motion after it is filed, the moving party must promptly file a notice with the court identifying the issues they have resolved and the issues that remain for the court to resolve. See Local Rule 3.01(g); Middle District Discovery Handbook (2015) at I.A.2.
A motion for a confidentiality order should be limited to seeking protection of a specific document or category of documents that are subject to confidential treatment under the prevailing law. Such a motion must identify the law that permits the documents at issue to be protected under a confidentiality order. Judge Hoffman will not issue blanket confidentiality orders that provide that any information designated by the parties as confidential will be protected. However, the parties are free to enter into private confidentiality agreements. See Local Rule 4.15.
In rare circumstances, the court may order the filing of information under seal. See Middle District Discovery Handbook (2015) at I.C.2. A motion to file a document under seal must address the requirements set forth in Local Rule 1.09 and the Eleventh Circuit standard concerning the public’s common law interest to inspect and copy judicial records. See e.g., Chicago Tribune Co. v. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., 263 F.3d 1304, 1311-12 (11th Cir. 2001); United States v. Rosenthal, 763 F.2d 1291 (11th Cir. 1985). The failure to address Local Rule 1.09 and the Eleventh Circuit standard will result in the motion being summarily denied.
If a dispute arises during a deposition in a case in which Judge Hoffman is the assigned magistrate judge, counsel and any unrepresented parties may contact chambers to determine whether the judge is available to consider the disputed issue by telephone. However, prior to contacting chambers, counsel should conduct a good-faith conference pursuant to Local Rule 3.01(g) on the record.
Subject to the court’s availability and other considerations, the court may convene an informal telephone conference to hear argument from the parties and, to the extent possible, issue an oral order on the issues presented, all of which must be recorded by the parties’ private court reporter. Depending upon the issues presented, the court may order the parties to submit expedited or truncated briefing on the issues before ruling. If the court declines to convene an informal telephone conference for any reason, the parties must promptly submit the matter to the court for consideration in the manner prescribed by Local Rule 3.01.
The parties should review and comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Local Rules, and the standards set forth in the Middle District of Florida Handbook on Civil Discovery Practice when conducting discovery and when filing and responding to discovery motions.
In the event a party moves to compel or moves for a protective order, the party must, in addition to complying with the dictates of Local Rule 3.04(a), attach a copy of the written discovery with the opposing party’s responses/objections.
Few motions qualify as true emergencies. The unwarranted designation of a motion as an emergency may result in the imposition of sanctions. See Local Rule 3.01(e).
A party requesting emergency action must include the words “Emergency Motion” in the title of the motion. The motion must detail the nature of the emergency and state the date by which a ruling is necessary and why. The party filing an emergency motion must certify in the body of the motion that the matter is a true emergency. If a motion is not a true emergency but is time-sensitive, counsel may indicate the matter is time-sensitive in the caption of the motion and in the body of the motion explain why the matter requires expedited consideration.
Parties may request hearings and/or oral argument on motions referred to Judge Hoffman by filing the appropriate motion on CM/ECF. Whether a hearing will be scheduled on a motion is within the court’s discretion. Witnesses and other evidence are not permitted at oral argument unless the parties obtain permission to present evidence before the hearing. Counsel and unrepresented parties who wish to present argument are generally required to appear in court in person. Although in-person appearances are presumed, the court may permit appearance by telephone—for good cause—upon request via the appropriate motion filed on CM/ECF.
All proceedings before Judge Hoffman are recorded by the courtroom audio recording system. The parties are not permitted to use a court reporter or other recording system to make a record of the proceedings conducted by Judge Hoffman. If the parties wish to request the presence of a court reporter or otherwise obtain transcripts of the proceedings, they shall do so by proper motion filed via CM/ECF.
To establish an orderly and efficient procedure for designating information and documents withheld from discovery on the basis of a privilege or other recognized protection, United States Magistrate Judge Leslie Hoffman has issued a standing order that shall govern the procedure regarding the assertion of privilege in all cases assigned to Magistrate Judge Hoffman. Any motion to compel or motion for protective order that fails to comply with the procedures set forth in the standing order will be denied.
Parties should not submit proposed orders with any motions, nor should they email any proposed orders to chambers. The court will request a proposed order from the moving party should it require one.