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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.


Tenth Judicial District Judges


Halsey, Stephen M.

judicial photoDistrict Court Judge

Counties: Wright

State Court Bio: View Bio

Contact with chambers:

  • Set forth your preferred method to contact chambers (telephone, e-mail, etc.).  to law clerk by phone or email
  • To whom may attorneys direct scheduling/logistical questions? law clerk
  • To whom may attorneys direct substantive questions? no one on my staff or me



Motion practice:

  • Set forth your practices and procedures for scheduling motion hearings. through law clerk
  • Identify any type of motion for which you do not require a hearing. none
  • Do you accept telephone calls from attorneys to rule on discovery disputes that occur during depositions? not unless scheduled in advance
  • How much time do you allot for motion hearings? 15-30 minutes
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attending a hearing by telephone or video conference. by request and depending on default or complexity
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to discovery motions. movant must state there has been discovery conference with opponent 
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to stipulations of the parties, including stipulations for protective orders. in writing
  • Do you have particular requirements or procedures relating to requests to amend the scheduling order? no. generally approved if parties agree
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to default proceedings. proposed decree or order due 3 days in advance of hearing
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to handling emergency motions.  movant must comply with the rules. ex parte motions not generally granted

Written submissions:

  • Do you want to receive paper courtesy copies of the parties’ written submissions? If you do, set forth the number and preferred format of courtesy copies and identify any document type you do not want to receive.  No
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for requests to deviate from the requirements of the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts. by written motion

In-court proceedings:

  • Identify what technology you use in the courtroom and state whether you prefer a particular electronic format.  no preference
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney’s use of technology in the courtroom and during trial.  by advance approval
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the submission of additional legal authority or other materials at or after oral argument.  not preferred
  • Do you permit parties to bifurcate oral argument so different attorneys address different legal issues? yes

Pretrial procedures:

  • Describe your preferred procedures for pretrial settlement conferences, including the timing of such conferences, persons who must attend, whether persons may attend by telephone or video conference, and how you participate in settlement discussions. parties and attorneys, and persons with settlement authority, must appear unless waived by judge
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling motions in limine. week before trial

Trial:

  • What is your schedule for a typical trial day? 9:00 motions; call in jury at 10:00
  • Set forth your voir dire procedures. I provide a summary of questions that are not permitted
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to courtroom decorum, including movement in the courtroom, use of a podium, whether attorneys should sit or stand, and how to address witnesses. Sit during questioning unless leave granted; address witnesses formally not by first name except children
  • Do you impose time limits with respect to opening statements and closing arguments? no
  • Identify your practices with respect to the use of technology in the courtroom during trial. By advanced notice
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to marking and using exhibits. all must be premarked and paginated
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling objections. no extensive arguing during objections
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the use of deposition testimony. All objections must be summarized, noted by page and line, and discussed in open court at least a week before trial
  • May attorneys obtain daily transcripts during trial? If so, what procedure should attorneys follow? normally not
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney requests to contact jurors at the conclusion of trial.  Not permitted in criminal cases

Other matters:

  • Set forth any other preferences, practices, or procedures attorneys and parties may find helpful. Follow the rules


Judicial Districts