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

Moore, Gordon

District Court Judge

Counties: Nobles County

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? Generally 10-15 minutes depending upon complexity
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? 15 minutes unless more time is requested due to complexity of the issues or other necessity
  • 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 request attorneys to contact court administration and request permission to appear by phone. I allow this on scheduling conferences and most other non-contested motions, and will consider it on emergencies related to the case. I expect the attorneys to put together the teleconference. I am willing to consider ITV hearings as well with the consent of the parties.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings:
  • 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? Approximately two weeks
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? Pretrial unless otherwise ordered.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? Pretrial unless otherwise ordered
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? Pretrial unless otherwise ordered
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? Pretrial unless otherwise ordered
  • 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: Attorneys must have a person with settlement authority present or the ability to get that person on the phone immediately if requested.
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: By stipulation of the parties, otherwise by motion.
  • For changes on the date of trial: By stipulation of the parties unless trial is 90 days or less away, then by motion.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? Agreement of the parties or an emergency/urgent situation involving an attorney or key witness.
Civil Jury Trials
  • Do you perform preliminary voir dire? Yes
  • Do you place a time limit on voir dire by counsel? No
  • Is there subject matter you will not permit counsel to ask of the jury? Yes
    If yes, please explain: Evidence re: sex/domestic assault within family
  • 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? 15 minutes
  • I normally start jury trials at: 9:00 a.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15-20 minutes minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: 12:00 p.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15-20 minutes minutes in the afternoon.
  • I normally finish court for the day at: 4:30 p.m.
  • Do you permit jurors to:
    Take Notes: Yes
    Keep notes during deliberation? Yes
    Ask the witnesses questions? No
  • If counsel asks to approach to argue a ruling, do you generally: Depends on circumstance - repeated requests to approach will be viewed with disfavor
  • Do you place a time limit on final argument? No
    If yes, If yes, what is the time limit?
  • When do you instruct the jury? After final arguments
  • After argument and instructions, do you:
    Require counsel to be available by telephone? Yes
    Request that counsel remain at the courthouse during deliberations of the jury? No
    Take a verdict without counsel present and inform them after the verdict by telephone of the result? Yes
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? Would have to involve egregious/extreme behavior or repeated disregard for court rules/orders. Hopefully won't occur.

Judicial Districts