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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.


Fourth Judicial District Judges


Reding, Jeannice M.

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? Generally 15 minutes. Time may vary depending on issues. You may contact my clerk prior to motion to ask how much time is allotted.
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? Generally 30 minutes. Time may vary depending on issues. You may contact my clerk prior to motion to ask how much time is allotted.
  • 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: First moving party shall arrange for teleconference and shall notify opposing counsel if moving party intends to have the hearing recorded and transcribed. If first moving party does not intend to have the hearing recorded and transcribed, opposing counsel shall notify moving party if he/she intends to have hearing or motion recorded and transcribed.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Be on time. Do not read or simply restate your written argument. Be prepared to highlight important or unique parts of your argument. Be prepared to complete your argument in the time allotted.
  • Do you like to receive courtesy copies of motion papers? No
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? Yes
Pretrial Procedures
  • When do you normally set the pretrial in relation to the trial? Within 30 days of trial date.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? Counsel for parties are expected to confer before the first day of trial and reach agreement on as many jury instructions as possible, which shall be presented to the Court on the first day of trial, along with each party's proposed instructions on non-ag
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? First day of trial
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? Will vary depending on case. Generally within two weeks prior to trial date.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? Will vary depending on case. Generally within two weeks prior to trial date.
  • 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: Prepare your client on settlement issues and be prepared to have a meaningful settlement discussion.
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: I often allow changes if counsel agree BUT not always. All changes must be approved by me in advance. A written request should be sent to my clerk, preferably by fax or email. If there is an agreement, all parties should submit a written fax or email.
  • For changes on the date of trial: I rarely grant such changes.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? Would be considered on a case by case basis.
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: Depending on the case, there might be subject matter which I would prohibit.
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Don't care, they can do either
  • 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? 5 to 10 minutes before. Typically I would be hearing motions on other cases from 8:30 to 9:00 a.m.
  • I normally start jury trials at: 9:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m.
  • 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 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: Engage in the discussion at the bench with the jury present.
  • Do you place a time limit on final argument? No
    If yes, If yes, what is the time limit? Generally no time limit, but a limit might be set if necessary on individual cases.
  • When do you instruct the jury? Counsels’ preference
  • 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? No
Sanctions of Counsel
  • Have you ever sanctioned counsel with imposition of a fine? Yes
    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? I try to make very clear to counsel ahead of time what kinds of behavior I will not tolerate. I have only imposed sanctions once or twice in over 12 years of holding judicial officer positions, however I would take action such as sanctions, reprimands, contempt, and reporting if necessary in response to highly inappropriate or unethical behavior.

Judicial Districts