With the weather in Washington turning cool and miserable, we look to the Sunshine State of Florida, where we thought we saw signs of reopening. The US District Court for the Southern District of Florida is following the local school systems, announcing: “In light of the announced reopening of public schools in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Monroe Counties, the United States District Courthouses in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Fort Pierce and Key West, including Bankruptcy and Probation, will reopen on Tuesday, November 10, 2020.”
But, but, but…Chief Judge K. Michael Moore issued Administrative Order 2020-76, which provides, among other things: “All jury trials in the Southern District of Florida scheduled to begin on or after March 30, 2020, are continued until April 5, 2021. The Court may issue other Orders concerning future continuances as necessary and appropriate.”
The April 2021 date is significantly further in the future than most courts have gone. And notably, some judges in the district have not taken their upcoming trials off the calendar or relieved parties of their obligations to comply with pretrial deadlines.