THE HONORABLE PAUL E. FIRMANI

 

Judicial Practice Preferences

County civil

 

 

 

1)       DEPOSITION DISPUTES:

Schedule hearings to resolve disputes.

 

2)       UNIFORM MOTION CALENDAR:

 Not used.

 

3)      UNIFORM MOTION CALENDAR PREFERENCE:

Not used.

 

4)      TELEPHONIC HEARINGS:

-Are allowed for hearings 15 minutes or less.

-MUST be set forth in the notice of hearing.

-Requests for telephonic appearance hearings over 15 minutes will be considered if a Motion is filed sufficiently in advance that allows opposing parties 5 days to object.  The court will then rule on request normally without a hearing.

-An attorney may attend in person.

-The number to call is (727)815-7101.  It is no longer necessary to set up a conference call prior to calling since up to 8 parties are able to use this line at the same time.  Please note that the hearing line does not ring, when you dial in nothing will happen, stay on the line and the Judge will dial in at the time of the hearing.

-Does NOT allow telephonic hearing of Small Claims Pretrials.  Requests for telephonic appearance by Counsel or witnesses at Final Hearings are encouraged to be made at the Pretrial Conference where possible.

 

5)      PROPOSED ORDERS:

Can forward to the Court and copy opposing counsel for any objections within 5 days.

Please be sure to enclose sufficient copies and return envelopes.

 

6)      DISCOVERY CUT-OFF:

Case by case basis.

 

7)      PRETRIAL STATEMENTS:

No particular form required, so long as statement of facts, intended evidence and expected witnesses are listed.

 

8)      MOTIONS IN LIMINE:

To be scheduled as a separate hearing.

 

 

9)      TRIAL SCHEDULING:

Yes, WILL protect counsel until given date.

 

10)  VOIR DIRE FORMAT:

Entire panel questioned in the gallery.

 

11)  VOIR DIRE:

Judge Firmani may initiate voir dire questions to be followed by counsel.

 

12)  PEREMPTORY CHALLENGES:

Generally 3 per party with total of Plaintiff to match total of Defense.

 

13)  RESPONSE FROM COUNSEL WHEN BAILIFF BRINGS JURY IN:

No preference.

 

14)  COURTROOM TRIALS – REQUEST PERMISSION FOR THE FOLLOWING:

To approach the bench.

To approach the witness.

 

15)  ATTORNEY FEES:

All issues regarding attorney’s fees shall be left for subsequent hearing.

Fees affidavits are sufficient in lieu of expert testimony IF parties agree.

 

16)  MARKING EVIDENCE TO BE USED AT TRIAL:

Prefers ALL evidence to be copied and exchanged 10 days prior to trial.

-SHOWING TANGIBLE EVIDENCE TO THE COURT:

If Judge Firmani requests exhibit, counsel may hand it over directly.

After showing opposing counsel, attorney may show exhibit to witness without showing Judge first.

 

17)  MEDIATION:

ALWAYS required before trial.

 

18)  COURTROOM DEMEANOR COMMENTS:

-Objections – stand and state ground of objection.  Do not argue objection unless asked to come to the bench.

-NEVER argue with opposing counsel.

-Direct all arguments to the Court.

 

19)  OTHER PRACTICE AND PROCEDURES POINTERS:

-Please be sure to have the name of the Judge correct as well as the correct Courthouse, our address is West Pasco Judicial Center, 7530 Little Road, New Port Richey, FL 34654.

-CROSS-NOTICING ON ANOTHER ATTORNEY’S TIME IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.  If you cross notice, your motion will not be heard unless opposing counsel agrees.

-IF A CASE HAS SETTLED, PLEASE CALL MY OFFICE TO CANCEL ANY HEARINGS OR TRIALS THAT MAY BE SCHEDULED.

-Do not assume that you can appear by telephone, please check with my office first.

-After you have obtained hearing time, please call back to set on my calendar.  Don’t just send in a notice.

- Please have section/division ready when calling in as this lets us know you have the correct Judge.

- Please note that there is also a section 19 and 20 for CIRCUIT CIVIL in Pinellas county, Judges are listed alphabetically, Judge Firmani is section 19 and 20 for COUNTY ORDINANCES.