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.


Ninth Judicial District Judges

Rasmusson, Anne

District Court Judge

Counties: Mahnomen County

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? 15 minutes
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? 30 minutes
  • 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 generally prefer counsel to be present at the hearing. I do not typically allow motions by phone that involve testimony. The attorney who wishes to appear by phone must first obtain permission from the Court and pay the fee. Frequently, the parties will discuss the issue prior to raising it with the Court. The Court usually initiates the telephone call. My court reporter will record the testimony the same as hearings where counsel is present.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Email me a courtesy copy of the pleadings prior to the hearing as I am often traveling from county to county. This is particularly important with late filings. Be prepared.
  • 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? Yes
Pretrial Procedures
  • When do you normally set the pretrial in relation to the trial? 14-21 days prior to trial
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? A week prior to the pretrial so that any issues can be addressed at the pretrial.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? A week prior to the pretrial so that any issues can be addressed at the pretrial.
  • 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: I require the attorneys to have their clients or a person with settlement authority present at the pretrial.
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: I will normally allow changes if counsel agree.
  • For changes on the date of trial: Such changes are not allowed without a written request or motion to the Court.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? This is decided on a case by case basis; however, finding trial dates is difficult and there would need to be strong circumstances to warrant the change.
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: This depends on the type of case, but I will not allow questions that are irrelevant, too personal or questions that are intended to establish a theory of the case. Voir dire questions are discussed at the pretrial.
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Counsel can either sit or stand.
  • 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? 30 minutes
  • I normally start jury trials at: 9:00 a.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15 minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: 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: Yes
    Keep notes during deliberation? Yes
    Ask the witnesses questions? N/A
  • If counsel asks to approach to argue a ruling, do you generally: Depending on the issue, there may be a discussion at the bench in the presence of the jury, discussion in chambers or argument in court outside the presence of the jury.
  • 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? Before argument
  • 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? Each case is based upon the facts and circumstances of the situation. The Court is required to report unethical behavior, so I will report it when I see it. I will impose sanctions if it is appropriate in situations where claims have been made in bad faith or without a reasonable legal basis for the position.

Judicial Districts