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.


Seventh Judicial District Judges


Kundrat, Frank

District Court Judge

Counties: Stearns

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? 15-20 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: They are mostly informal for case status checks and problems that might arise. If any evidence is to be introduced, I prefer to do it in person in court.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: The usual rules of decorum apply. I send out a "trial ready" order in civil cases after the pre-trial, which outlines the rules of decorum and procedure for counsel to follow, as well as the earmarking of exhibits and other trial needs to provide for as smooth a presentation as possible.
  • 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? Approximately 180 days prior to trial
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? 3 business days prior to trial
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? 3 business days prior to trial
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? 3 business days prior to trial
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? 3 business days prior to trial
  • 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 ask the attorneys to inform the court of ADR proceedings and status, discovery and evidentiary issues for resolution, anticipated time of trial and witnesses scheduled, needs for special audio-visual or computer equipment, necessary motions in limine to be made, other evidentiary, scheduling and trial issues for resolution prior to trial.
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: I allow them if necessary witnesses become inadvertently unavailable, health emergencies arise, the parties need more time to conduct discovery or ADR, or other unavoidable conflicts arise.
  • For changes on the date of trial: I allow them if necessary witnesses become inadvertently unavailable, health emergencies arise, the parties need more time to conduct discovery or ADR, or other unavoidable conflicts arise. This is assuming that the parties are requesting the change of date and not the court.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? I allow them if necessary witnesses become inadvertently unavailable, health emergencies arise, the parties need more time to conduct discovery or ADR, or other unavoidable conflicts arise. This is assuming that the parties are requesting the change of date and not the court.
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: Basically the types of questions attorneys ask that may require the prospective juror to make a legal or factual determination that might be at issue in the trial.
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Sit, but stand when permission is granted by the Court to approach the witness.
  • 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? 15-30 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 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: Require that it be done out of the presence of the jury. If not crucial to the flow of testimony, it should be argued during a jury break.
  • Do you place a time limit on final argument? No
    If yes, If yes, what is the time limit? It really depends on the nature and complexity of the trial. I usually give counsel as much time as they need, so long as they not get sidetracked or repetitious.
  • When do you instruct the jury? Just prior to and immediately after the presentations of the attorneys' 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? If an attorney blatantly ignores prior warnings about vexatious or contemptuous conduct, or commits a serious ethical breach.

Judicial Districts