Getting a continuance of trial before COVID-19 was fairly straightforward. Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.460, and the uncomplicated case law interpreting it, controlled the analysis. But as part of COVID, the Florida Supreme Court issued Administrative Order AOSC20-23 (and amended it thirteen times as the crisis progressed).
In the Order, the Court directs “all judges within their circuits to strictly comply with Florida Rule of General Practice and Judicial Administration 2.545(a), (b), and (e), which respectively require judges to conclude litigation as soon as it is reasonably and justly possible to do so, to take charge of all cases at an early stage and to control the progress of the case thereafter until it is determined, and to apply a firm continuance policy allowing continuances only for good cause shown.” (Emphasis added.)
The Order also requires chief judges in every circuit/county to issue administrative orders which divide cases into three categories: complex, streamlined, or general. Each of those have their own deadlines, which “will be strictly enforced by the court.” Id. (For foreclosure attorneys, having timelines to push cases to resolution is nothing new.)