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.

Sixth Judicial District Judges

Hylden, Eric L.

District Court Judge

Counties: St. Louis

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? 10 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: Call Court Admin to get permission. Parameters will be set up from there, depending on the request.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: 1. Submit a written proposed order that states exactly what you want the Court to do. 2. Be prepared to state what issues are NOT contested by the parties. Make concessions where appropriate. 3. Have citation to statutes, case law or rules that support your position. 4. Respond directly to questions from the Court.
  • 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? 2 weeks prior
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? 1 week before pretrial
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? 1 week before pretrial
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? 1 week before pretrial
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? 1 week before pretrial
  • Do you discuss settlement of the case with the parties at the time of the pretrial? No
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys to follow at the time of the pretrial: 1. Make stipulations on foundation for exhibits, or identify why there is no stipulation. 2. Provide an outline of which witnesses will be called on which days. 3. Argue motions in limine. 4. Become familiar with AV equipment provided by the Court, to avoid delays at trial. 5. Be able to state the significant issues for trial in 60 seconds or less.
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: Changes can easily be made by stipulation at any time up to the pretrial by calling Court admin and getting on the scheduling conference calendar (Tues/Wed/Thu morning at 8:15, 8:30 & 8:45). Disputed changes to the scheduling order can also be brought up through the same process.
  • For changes on the date of trial: By motion to the trial judge. Paperwork should have been filed as far in advance as possible.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? Death or serious illness of attorney, party or primary 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: Insurance question - Rule 123
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Either is acceptable - no wandering
  • 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
  • I normally start jury trials at: 9:00 a.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of 20 minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: 11:30-12:00
  • I normally give the jury a break of 20 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? No
  • If counsel asks to approach to argue a ruling, do you generally: Sidebar - if more extensive, on-record argument needed, I will give the jury a break.
  • Do you place a time limit on final argument? No
    If yes, If yes, what is the time limit? [No Answer Entered]
  • 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? 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? Depends on the circumstances

Judicial Districts