MinnesotaBarwebsite-ebook-460x90-LawPay

Members

Civil Litigation Section

Judges' Courtroom Preferences

In Minnesota, there are currently 293 district court judges who preside over matters in ten judicial districts. While the Minnesota Rules of Court provide attorneys with significant information applicable to court proceedings, each judge may have his or her individual preferences with respect to motion practice and courtroom conduct.

In an effort to assist attorneys who may be appearing before a judge for the first time, the MSBA Civil Litigation Section Governing Council provided all district court judges with a brief questionnaire. The responses that we received are organized here by judicial district and the judge’s name. We hope you find these responses to be helpful in your preparation for district court appearances.

For information about this project or to report an error in any judicial directory listing, contact Jennifer Carter, MSBA staff liaison to the Civil Litigation Section.


Fifth Judicial District Judges

Anderson, Gregory

District Court Judge

Counties: Watowan and Brown

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? It is set up by administration through the attorneys, usually 5-10 minutes per party.
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? 15 minutes, unless more is requested
  • With respect to oral argument, do you prefer an attorney to not reiterate written material? Yes
  • Do you regularly conduct hearings and motions by phone? Yes
    If yes, please describe the procedure you would like attorneys to use to do so, including how testimony is to be transcribed and who puts the teleconference together: I sometimes use telephone hearings for nondispositive motions and hearings which the attorney requests such as short unlawful detainers when it appears there won't be an appearance by the other party and the attorney is from out of town. The moving party sets up the conference and calls in, although sometimes the court schedule requires the court reporter to call back. If it is a hearing in court, the proceedings are over the speakers in court and are recorded as usual. Scheduling conferences are handled in chambers off the record.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Be prepared and professional. I do my best to read all pleadings ahead of time, and in complicated cases my clerk will have prepared a bench memo we will have discussed on the issues. When I tell the attorneys I have read the papers, they shouldn't feel compelled to reiterate all their arguments and points. If I have questions I will ask and they should do their best to answer them and not think I am arguing with them; I'm trying to understand the case so I can make a good decision. "I don't know" and "I would like to answer that more thoroughly in writing within (X) days of the hearing" are entirely appropriate answers.
  • Do you like to receive courtesy copies of motion papers? Yes
Discovery Disputes
  • Do you require counsel to "meet and confer" before bringing discovery disputes to a hearing? Yes
  • Will you accept telephone calls from attorneys to rule on discovery disputes that occur during the course of a deposition? No
Pretrial Procedures
  • When do you normally set the pretrial in relation to the trial? I have a scheduling checklist which I go through with the attorneys and it's based on their input.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? [No Answer Entered]
  • When are jury instructions due? At pretrial, if necessary a week before.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? At pretrial, if necessary a week before.
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? At the time of the pretrial.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? At the time of the pretrial.
  • Do you discuss settlement of the case with the parties at the time of the pretrial? Yes
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys to follow at the time of the pretrial: [No Answer Entered]
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: I normally allow such changes if Counsel agree.
  • For changes on the date of trial: I normally allow such changes if counsel agree.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? "For cause"
Civil Jury Trials
  • Do you perform preliminary voir dire? Yes
  • Do you place a time limit on voir dire by counsel? Yes
  • Is there subject matter you will not permit counsel to ask of the jury? [No Answer Entered]
    If yes, please explain: [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Sit
  • Do you require counsel to be behind counsel table unless counsel has a specific reason to approach a witness? Yes
  • Do you normally require counsel to meet each morning with the court before the jury comes into the courtroom? Yes
    If yes, how many minutes before court commences? [No Answer Entered]
  • I normally start jury trials at: 9:00 a.m., counsel meet 8:30 first day
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15 minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: 12:00 noon
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15 minutes in the afternoon.
  • I normally finish court for the day at: 4:30-5:00 p.m.
  • Do you permit jurors to:
    Take Notes: [No Answer Entered]
    Keep notes during deliberation? [No Answer Entered]
    Ask the witnesses questions? [No Answer Entered]
  • If counsel asks to approach to argue a ruling, do you generally: [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you place a time limit on final argument? [No Answer Entered]
    If yes, If yes, what is the time limit? [No Answer Entered]
  • When do you instruct the jury? [No Answer Entered]
  • After argument and instructions, do you:
    Require counsel to be available by telephone? [No Answer Entered]
    Request that counsel remain at the courthouse during deliberations of the jury? [No Answer Entered]
    Take a verdict without counsel present and inform them after the verdict by telephone of the result? [No Answer Entered]
Sanctions of Counsel
  • Have you ever sanctioned counsel with imposition of a fine? No
    Or jail? No
  • Have you ever held counsel in contempt of court? No
  • Have you ever reported an attorney for unethical behavior? No
  • When, if ever, would you consider issuing sanctions, formal reprimands, holding an attorney in contempt, or reporting an attorney for unethical behavior? For clear violation of substantive rules. Biggest concern is lack of preparation and diligence.

Judicial Districts