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2019 High School Essay Contest

We are pleased to announce that the essay prompt for this year’s High School Essay Contest has been released! The theme is Separation of Powers – Checks and Balances. The contest is open to high school students (grades 10 through 12) who reside in the counties of the Jacksonville Division. Prizes include $2000 for first place, $1000 for second place, $500 for third place, and $50 to the remainder of the top ten. In addition, a $500 classroom grant will be given to the teachers of the first, second, and third place winners. (All prizes will be provided by the Middle District of Florida Bench Bar Fund.) Essays are due by noon on October 7 and there will be an award ceremony on November 20 at the Bryan Simpson U.S. Courthouse. Additional information is available on the Court’s website. Please note that the contest rules exclude students whose parents are members of the Jacksonville Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, but Chapter members are encouraged to promote the contest to their children’s friends, parents, and teachers. 

In addition, we are seeking volunteers to grade the submitted essays. The essays will be provided to graders on or about October 11 and will need to be graded by October 18. If you would like to volunteer, please email Community Outreach Coordinator Suzanne Judas at communityoutreach@jaxfedbar.org. Thank you in advance!

Federal Court Community Outreach Program

The Middle District of Florida’s Bench Bar Committee has approved a pilot project in the Jacksonville Division to greatly expand the Court’s Community Outreach Program. The Jacksonville Chapter of the Federal Bar Association will be the project’s sponsoring organization and Suzanne Judas, who recently retired after a long and successful career with Holland & Knight, has agreed to serve as the inaugural coordinator. The project’s goal is to foster civics education for students and adults as well as to promote a better understanding of the court system. There will be many opportunities for interested members to become involved. Suzanne may be reached at communityoutreach@jaxfedbar.org. We look forward to bringing you more news about this exciting project in the weeks and months to come!

The Middle District of Florida’s Administrative Procedures For Electronic Filing Have Been Updated

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida has published a revised version of its Administrative Procedures for Electronic Filing. These mandatory procedures provide directions on using CM/ECF. Additional guidance, including the Court’s CM/ECF User Manual, is available on the Court’s website. Attorneys may also call the Clerk’s Office with any questions.

M.D. Fla. Administrative Procedures for Electronic Filing

The Middle District of Florida’s Handbook on Civil Discovery Practice Has Been Updated

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida has published a revised version of its Handbook on Civil Discovery Practice. The Handbook captures local custom and practice and supplements the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Local Rules, and existing case law. The Handbook is considered highly persuasive in addressing discovery issues in the Middle District of Florida.

M.D. Fla. Handbook on Civil Discovery Practice 

Cell Phone and Electronic Device Policy in the Middle District of Florida

See attached letter and new policy affecting lawyers’ use and possession of cell phones and electronic devices in federal courthouses throughout the Middle District, including the Jacksonville Division.

Letter and Policy-Cell Phones and Electronic Devices