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.

Third Judicial District Judges

Long, Christine

District Court Judge

Counties: Rice

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? approximately 10 minutes
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? as needed. If more than 15 minutes per party is required, please let the scheduling clerk know when securing the time of the motion hearing.
  • 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: Must be pre-approved and the telephone motion hearing fee must be paid. I will initiate the call from the courtroom and the entire proceeding will be on the record. Generally, this is done in uncontested matters or when one party is in prison, out of state, or other unusual circumstances.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Follow the rules of procedure and the rules of decorum. Know which party filed the first motion. Don't repeat the brief. Keep your arguments short and to the point. Know the applicable statutes, rules and case law and use those to focus your arguments. I will read the moving and responsive motions, affidavits and memos before the hearing and will further study them before an order is issued. Be prepared to address and answer questions from the judge.
  • 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? No
Pretrial Procedures
  • When do you normally set the pretrial in relation to the trial? Two to three weeks, or as agreed by the parties
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? At the pretrial.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? At the pretrial.
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? At the pretrial.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? At 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: The attorneys trying the case along with the parties or persons authorized to settle the case must be available for the Pretrial Conference. Attorneys should meet 30 minutes before the pre-trial to discuss and identify contested issues and make any final offers. Be ready to address any evidentiary issues and to tell the court with specificity which issues are resolved and which are contested. Read the scheduling order and comply with it!
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: I normally allow such changes if counsel agree.
  • For changes on the date of trial: Such changes are not allowed without special written request or a motion to the court
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? I grant trial extensions if there is good cause. For example: when parties agree that the case is not ready for trial because of incomplete discovery or witness issues; attorney or party illness or similar special circumstances.
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? No
    If yes, please explain:
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Sit
  • 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? Ten, or as determined at the end of the previous day
  • 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: 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?
  • When do you instruct the jury? After 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? Yes
  • When, if ever, would you consider issuing sanctions, formal reprimands, holding an attorney in contempt, or reporting an attorney for unethical behavior? When the circumstances require it.

Judicial Districts