Pamela Alexander

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

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:
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Do not repeat what is in your moving papers unless asked to clarify by the Court. Answer all questions asked by the Court. Expect rulings from the bench when the argument is completed.
  • 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? 90-120 days before trial
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? A week before trial
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? A week before trial
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? A week before trial
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? A week before 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: Come prepared to settle the case with all players present to make that happen.
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: The parties should confer and come to an agreement before the scheduling order can be amended and all dates should be prior to the trial date.
  • For changes on the date of trial: Phone conference with the Judge prior to the pre-trial
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? A change in a trial date should be a rare occurence and only with the agreement of all parties and 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? No
    If yes, please explain:
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? They may sit unless they need to approach a witness after permission is granted.
  • 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 minutes
  • I normally start jury trials at: 9:30 a.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of Two 15 minute breaks minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: 12:00 p.m./Noon
  • I normally give the jury a break of Two 15 minutes breaks minutes in the afternoon.
  • I normally finish court for the day at: 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: I will allow argument outside the hearing of the jury if the Court deems it necessary.
  • 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 arguments of Counsel.
  • 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?

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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Ivy S. Bernhardson

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? 15-30 minutes; depends on extent of motions
  • 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? [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you regularly conduct hearings and motions by phone? No
    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: [No Answer Entered]
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: [No Answer Entered]
  • 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? 45-60 days
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? apprx one week before trial
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? 3-5 days before trial
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? one week before trial
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? one week before 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: [No Answer Entered]
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: unless it imposes a burden on me to do sonething without enough time for my consideration, I would normally permit.
  • For changes on the date of trial: I rarely grant such changes.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? death or serious illness of lead lawyer; other similar circumstance
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: [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Don't care, they can do either
  • 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 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: 12:15 p.m.
  • 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: Send the jury out of the courtroom and have argument in open court.
  • 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? Counsels’ preference
  • 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? if circumstances warranted it.

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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Tanya Bransford

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

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? 15-20 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:
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings:
  • 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? No
Pretrial Procedures
  • When do you normally set the pretrial in relation to the trial? One month prior to trial
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? Two weeks prior to the beginning of the trial block or trial week certain
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due?
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed?
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed?
  • 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:
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial:
  • For changes on the date of trial:
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date?
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: Depends on the case.
  • 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? 10
  • 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: 12:15 p.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of 20 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: Allow them to approach
  • 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 final arguments with final instructions about deliberation after the 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? 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? I have issued sanctions for repeated discovery violations.

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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Regina M. Chu

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? Usually fifteen minutes.
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? Typically 30 minutes unless it is a complex case involving a number of motions.
  • 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: All discovery disputes are initially addressed by telephone conference. If issues remain which require briefing, a motion will be scheduled.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Please be brief as I always read writtens submissions before the hearing. I typically use hearing time for questions.
  • 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? [No Answer Entered]
  • Will you accept telephone calls from attorneys to rule on discovery disputes that occur during the course of a deposition? [No Answer Entered]
Pretrial Procedures
  • When do you normally set the pretrial in relation to the trial? within a month to six weeks usually
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? two weeks before the beginning of the trial block.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? same as 16 above.
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? same as 16 above.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? same as 16 above.
  • 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 must appear with all persons with settlement authority. If a claims adjuster is out of town, he/she may be available by telephon only if the plaintiff does not object.
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: Such changes are not allowed without special written request or a motion to the court.
  • 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? Severe illness of parties, attorneys or expert witnesses, extraordinary circimstances only.
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: Please do not argue the facts, the law, ask the panel members to speculate as to what they would do, ask hypotheticals, etc. Stick to questions relating to bias or prejudice and do not repeat questions I have asked.
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Don't care, they can do either
  • 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? No
    If yes, how many minutes before court commences? [No Answer Entered]
  • 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: 12:00 noon and either 1:00 or 1:30.
  • 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? [No Answer Entered]
  • When do you instruct the jury? Counsels’ preference
  • 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? No
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? Yes
  • 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? I believe in fair warning before imposing sanctions of any type. I have held counsel in contempt once only for insolent, disrespectful conduct.

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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Mel Dickstein

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? 5 to 10 minutes
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? 15 to 20 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? No
    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: [No Answer Entered]
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Focus on the most important point, and discuss the most important cases.
  • 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? No
Pretrial Procedures
  • When do you normally set the pretrial in relation to the trial? Pretrials are set at the request of the parties or by order if they would be helpful and time permits.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? Two weeks before trial
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? Two weeks before trial
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? Two weeks before trial
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? Two weeks before 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: [No Answer Entered]
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: Such changes are not allowed without special written request or a motion to the court.
  • 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? [No Answer Entered]
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: I do not permit discussion of the facts of the case or statements regarding disputed issues of law
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Don't care, they can do either
  • 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? No
    If yes, how many minutes before court commences? [No Answer Entered]
  • 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: 12:00 noon
  • I normally give the jury a break of 20 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? Not ususally
  • When do you instruct the jury? Counsels’ preference
  • 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? I would consider sanctions for extreme or repeated unacceptable conduct.

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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William Howard

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

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? 15 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: Please update the Court with best contract information for each attorney who will be appearing via telephone.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Serve the Court with a PDF file when e-filing briefs.
  • 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? No
Pretrial Procedures
  • When do you normally set the pretrial in relation to the trial? One month before
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? One week before trial
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? One week before trial
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? One week before trial
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? One week before 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: All parties need to be present or case may be dismissed. All parties with settlement authority must be present.
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: Parties must get consent from Judge which may be accomplished through a telephonic scheduling conference.
  • For changes on the date of trial: Parties must get consent from Judge and opposing counsel which may be accomplished through a telephonic scheduling conference.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? Witness unavailability or prejudice to either party
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: Questions related to sensitive or indiscreet subject matter will be asked by the Judge.
  • 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? 15
  • I normally start jury trials at: 9:00 a.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of 10 minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: Noon
  • I normally give the jury a break of 10 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: Generally allowed
  • 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 closing 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? Yes
  • 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?

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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Joseph R. Klein

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

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? 30-45 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 do, at times, conduct hearings and motions by phone. My preference is for the attorneys to coordinate some dates and times among them and to then contact my clerk to set the telephone conference on my calendar. If any teleconference technology is necessary my preference is for one or both of the attorneys to make the necessary arrangements. The moving party is to initiate the teleconference. All dispositive motions that are heard via teleconference are transcribed by my court reporter.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: It is my practice to read all submissions prior to the hearing. I will inform attorneys if I have NOT read the submissions. I may ask questions to guide the oral presentation. Attorneys are to stand at the podium when making their argument, and are to confine their statements/arguments to the court (they should not address their arguments to each other.
  • 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? Unless specifically requested by the parties, the pretrial/settlement conference is normally set 30 days prior to trial.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? One week before trial.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? One week before trial.
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? One week before trial.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? One week before trial; exhibits should be pre-marked at the time they are exchanged and filed. In addition, any stipulations/redactions should be finalized at the time that exhibits are exchanged.
  • 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: Nothing specific.
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: Such changes are not allowed without special written request or a motion to the court.
  • For changes on the date of trial: I rarely grant such changes.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? A request to continue the trial will only be entertained under extreme and unforeseen 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? Yes
    If yes, please explain: Counsel are not to argue their case through voir dire. I adhere to the fundamental belief that the purpose of voir dire is to examine the panel for indications as to each member's ability to be neutral, fair, and open-minded.
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Don't care, they can do either
  • 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
  • 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: 12:00 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? [No Answer Entered]
  • 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? 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? I am aware of the options to impose monetary or evidentiary sanctions and/or report attorneys to the Lawyers Board for unethical behavior. I will consider and may undertake these measures.

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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William H. Koch

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? I am currently in Family Court. We scheduled motions for 45-minute blocks.
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? I am currently in Family Court. Although I have not had a "dispositive motion" brought in Family Court, we normally schedule 45-minute hearings.
  • 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? No
    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: [No Answer Entered]
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Please be sure to speak with the opposing counsel/party prior to the court hearing. It disrupts the schedule if counsel wait until the start time for the motion in order to have these necessary discussions. Try to not re-state your pleadings; rest assured I have read them.
  • 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? 30-60 days
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? Two weeks prior to the start of trial.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? Two weeks prior to the start of trial.
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? Two weeks prior to the start of trial.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? Two weeks prior to the start of 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: [No Answer Entered]
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: I rarely grant such changes.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? Unforeseen witness availability and medical emergencies.
Civil Jury Trials
  • Do you perform preliminary voir dire? Yes
  • Do you place a time limit on voir dire by counsel? Yes
  • Is there subject matter you will not permit counsel to ask of the jury? Yes
    If yes, please explain: This is hard to answer in the abstract. It depends upon the type of case.
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Don't care, they can do either
  • 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? I would like to meet with counsel at the end of each day or before the start of each day for approximately 15 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: 12:00 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? N/A
  • 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? No
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? Candor to the court is very important. I expect attorneys to be honest with me. The time I imposed sanctions was to address the fact that both attorneys misrepresented the nature of their resolution of the case, such that the court (and the parties) waited for months to get a stipulated resolution, only to have it nearly fall apart. All the while, counsel informed the court the settlement had been reached and was just being documented -- in the end it was clear there were very limited discussions between counsel. The trial was twice continued at request of counsel (since the resolution "had been reached"), with little reason in the end for the continuances.

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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Gary Larson

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

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? 15 minutes
  • With respect to oral argument, do you prefer an attorney to not reiterate written material? No
  • 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 do discovery by phone usually. I do not report phone conferences. The moving party handles the phone
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: [No Answer Entered]
  • 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? Trial date is usally set at the pretrial.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? First day of trial
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? First day of trial
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? 1 week prior to trial unless other wise agreed upon.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? see above. I assign numbers to the parties to use for exhibits.
  • 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: ALL decision makes must be present at pretrial. example the insurance adjuster for the defendant in a car accident not he defendant.
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: I rarely grant such changes.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? There are always some exceptions. Somebody dies, sombody is in the hospital.
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: religion,politics,AA membership
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Don't care, they can do either
  • 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? lawyers always are required to appear 1/2 hour prior to jury
  • I normally start jury trials at: 9:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15 minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: [No Answer Entered]
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15 minutes in the afternoon.
  • I normally finish court for the day at: 4:15 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? I ask how long the argument is going to be and then tell the jury that
  • When do you instruct the jury? Counsels’ preference
  • 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? Attorney with alcohol on breath. Lying to court and cousel

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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Daniel Mabley

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? No set time
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? No set time
  • With respect to oral argument, do you prefer an attorney to not reiterate written material? No
  • 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: There will be no record absent a specific request. There will be no written orders absent a specific request.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Be on time.
  • 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? No set time
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? With motions in limine
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? With motions in limine
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? With motions in limine
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? With motions in limine
  • Do you discuss settlement of the case with the parties at the time of the pretrial?
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys to follow at the time of the pretrial:
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: Extensions or continuances will not be granted on the sole basis that the parties agree.
  • For changes on the date of trial: Continuances will not be granted on the sole basis that the parties agree.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date?
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: Attorneys are not allowed to educate prospective jury on the legal or factual issues in the case.
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses?
  • 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? No
    If yes, how many minutes before court commences?
  • 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: Noon
  • I normally give the jury a break of 20 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? Yes
  • If counsel asks to approach to argue a ruling, do you generally: Allow it only if I need more information to rule NOT for argument.
  • 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 opening statements and before 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?
    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?

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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Anne McKeig

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? 60 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? No
    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: [No Answer Entered]
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: [No Answer Entered]
  • 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? 60
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? First day of trial
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? First day of trial
  • 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? [No Answer Entered]
  • 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: [No Answer Entered]
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: It depends on how old the case is and the reason for the continuance.
  • For changes on the date of trial: I rarely grant such changes.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? It would really depend upon a number of factors including how old the case is and the reason for the continuance and the position of opposing counsel.
Civil Jury Trials
  • Do you perform preliminary voir dire? [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you place a time limit on voir dire by counsel? [No Answer Entered]
  • Is there subject matter you will not permit counsel to ask of the jury? [No Answer Entered]
    If yes, please explain: [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you require counsel to be behind counsel table unless counsel has a specific reason to approach a witness? [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you normally require counsel to meet each morning with the court before the jury comes into the courtroom? [No Answer Entered]
    If yes, how many minutes before court commences? [No Answer Entered]
  • I normally start jury trials at: [No Answer Entered]
  • I normally give the jury a break of [No Answer Entered] minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: [No Answer Entered]
  • I normally give the jury a break of [No Answer Entered] minutes in the afternoon.
  • I normally finish court for the day at: [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you permit jurors to:
    Take Notes: [No Answer Entered]
    Keep notes during deliberation? [No Answer Entered]
    Ask the witnesses questions? [No Answer Entered]
  • If counsel asks to approach to argue a ruling, do you generally: [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you place a time limit on final argument? [No Answer Entered]
    If yes, If yes, what is the time limit? [No Answer Entered]
  • When do you instruct the jury? [No Answer Entered]
  • After argument and instructions, do you:
    Require counsel to be available by telephone? [No Answer Entered]
    Request that counsel remain at the courthouse during deliberations of the jury? [No Answer Entered]
    Take a verdict without counsel present and inform them after the verdict by telephone of the result? [No Answer Entered]
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? [No Answer Entered]

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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John Q. McShane

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? 15 minutes unless more time is requested.
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? 15 minutes unless more time is requested.
  • 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? No
    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: [No Answer Entered]
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: The moving party will speak first to their motion, followed by a reply by the non-moving party and a brief response by the moving party. Lawyers should stand when addressing the Court. They should not address one another directly during the hearing. Lawyers should avoid referring to others by their first name unless it is a minor child. Lawyers should avoid distracting behaviors such as shuffling papers or making facial or audible responses to opposing counsel or to the judge.
  • 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? If requested, I typically set it 18 days before trial.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? 14 days before trial.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? 14 days before trial.
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? 14 days before trial.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? 14 days before 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: 1. Exchange lists of exhibits that will be offered in evidence at trial. The exhibits must be available for examination, inspection, and copying by all counsel and pro se parties. 2. All exhibits must be pre-marked by counsel and pro se parties in the order in which it is anticipated they will be offered at trial. Plaintiff’s exhibits are to be numbered Exhibit 1-100. Defendant’s exhibits are to be numbered Exhibit 101-200. NOTE: Do not include the name of the party or the term “plaintiff” or “defendant” on the exhibits. 3. Stipulate as to all uncontested facts and matters not in controversy. 4. Exchange witness lists disclosing the names and addresses of all lay and expert witnesses to be called at trial. A brief summary of the identity and testimony of each lay and expert witness should be included. 5. Exchange designations of deposition testimony to be read at trial.
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: I normally allow such changes if counsel agree.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? If there is good cause shown and both parties have stipulated to moving the trial date, I will allow one continuance.
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: [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Don't care, they can do either
  • 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? No
    If yes, how many minutes before court commences? [No Answer Entered]
  • 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: 12:00 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: Send the jury out of the courtroom and have argument in open court.
  • 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? 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? No
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? I follow an escalation strategy. First I admonish at the bench; then more strongly in chambers; then more strongly in open court. If the behavior continues I will, in chambers, impose a fine and tell counsel I am going to refer the matter to the office of professional responsibility. If it still continues I will hold counsel in contempt in open court, have him or her removed and declare a mistrial.

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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Kerry Meyer

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

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? 20-30 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? No
    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:
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Assume I have read your material and add to it if needed rather than repeating it.
  • 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? Pretrial conferences are set at attorney request
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? 1 week before trial
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? 1 week before trial
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? 2 week before trial
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? 2 week before trial
  • 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: I only hold pretrials if an attorney requests a pretrial. The content depends on when it occurs in relation to the trial.
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: Stipulations for changes other than trial date are usually fine--as long as you leave enough time for an order to be generated after dispositive motions.
  • For changes on the date of trial: Send a letter with the request and explaining the issue. I usually have a phone conference with the attorneys.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? It is very early in the process or there is an unforeseen emergency.
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: Educating the jury on the topic of the case is not permitted.
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? I allow counsel to proceed as they prefer, but if standing they must stay behind a podium.
  • 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 unless we know there will be an issue, then earlier.
  • 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: Noon or 12:15 p.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of 20 minutes in the afternoon.
  • I normally finish court for the day at: 4:45 or 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: Allow them to approach
  • 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 closings
  • 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? Yes
  • When, if ever, would you consider issuing sanctions, formal reprimands, holding an attorney in contempt, or reporting an attorney for unethical behavior? Repeated violations will result in sanctions. Unethical behavior that is a clear violation of a canon will result in a report.

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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Laurie Miller

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

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 do not generally hold evidentiary hearings by telephone; instead I use teleconferences for status conferences and occasionally for review hearings, both of which are common here in family court. My staff will initiate the teleconference.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: In family court, parties often have ongoing dialogues, such that the issues that remain by the time of a hearing may be different than they were at the time the moving papers were filed. I like attorneys to begin by stating any agreements that may have been reached and setting forth precisely what issues remain for the Court to decide.
  • 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? varies
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? No jury instructions are required in family court.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? No verdict forms are required in family court. Instead, I required proposed Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Judgment and Decree to be submitted two weeks following trial.
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? One week before trial.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? The parties must exchange premarked exhibits two weeks before trial. Exhibit lists are to be filed with the Court one week before theial. Each party must advise the Court and opposing counsel of any objections to the admissibility of any exhibits one wee
  • 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: My standard pretrial order requires that no later than two business days before the pretrial conference, counsel are to meet in person, with the parties either present or available by telephone, for the purpose of: i. Stipulating to facts and matters not at issue; ii. Attempting to settle outstanding issues; and, iii. Preparing a list of disputed issues. If the case cannot be settled, counsel are to be prepared at the pretrial to: i. Identify witnesses that are expected to testify at trial and estimate the length of trial; ii. Discuss prospective proof regarding any property whose non-marital or marital character is disputed by the parties; iii. Discuss the prospective proof regarding any property whose valuation is disputed; iv. Schedule any motions that should be heard prior to trial; and, v. Discuss any unusual or disputed evidentiary or legal issues that are anticipated at trial. b. No later than 2 business days before the pretrial conference, counsel shall meet in person, with the parties either present or available by telephone, for the purpose of: i. Stipulating to facts and matters not at issue; ii. Attempting to settle outstanding issues; and, iii. Preparing a list of disputed issues. c. In the event the case cannot be settled, counsel shall be prepared to: i. Identify witnesses that are expected to testify at trial and estimate the length of trial; ii. Discuss prospective proof regarding any property whose non-marital or marital character is disputed by the parties; iii. Discuss the prospective proof regarding any property whose valuation is disputed; iv. Schedule any motions that should be heard prior to trial; and, v. Discuss any unusual or disputed evidentiary or legal issues that are anticipated at trial. The pretrial is also a useful time to revisit the progress of settlement negotiations; I have had a number of cases settle at the pretrial conference.
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? [No Answer Entered]
Civil Jury Trials
  • Do you perform preliminary voir dire? [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you place a time limit on voir dire by counsel? [No Answer Entered]
  • Is there subject matter you will not permit counsel to ask of the jury? [No Answer Entered]
    If yes, please explain: [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you require counsel to be behind counsel table unless counsel has a specific reason to approach a witness? [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you normally require counsel to meet each morning with the court before the jury comes into the courtroom? [No Answer Entered]
    If yes, how many minutes before court commences? [No Answer Entered]
  • I normally start jury trials at: [No Answer Entered]
  • I normally give the jury a break of [No Answer Entered] minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: [No Answer Entered]
  • I normally give the jury a break of [No Answer Entered] minutes in the afternoon.
  • I normally finish court for the day at: [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you permit jurors to:
    Take Notes: [No Answer Entered]
    Keep notes during deliberation? [No Answer Entered]
    Ask the witnesses questions? [No Answer Entered]
  • If counsel asks to approach to argue a ruling, do you generally: [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you place a time limit on final argument? [No Answer Entered]
    If yes, If yes, what is the time limit? [No Answer Entered]
  • When do you instruct the jury? [No Answer Entered]
  • After argument and instructions, do you:
    Require counsel to be available by telephone? [No Answer Entered]
    Request that counsel remain at the courthouse during deliberations of the jury? [No Answer Entered]
    Take a verdict without counsel present and inform them after the verdict by telephone of the result? [No Answer Entered]
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? [No Answer Entered]

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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Charles A. Porter, Jr.

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

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? 15 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? No
    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: [No Answer Entered]
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: [No Answer Entered]
  • 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? 30-45 days before trial
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? 15 days before trial
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? [No Answer Entered]
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? [No Answer Entered]
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? [No Answer Entered]
  • 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: [No Answer Entered]
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: Such changes are not allowed without special written request or a motion to the court.
  • For changes on the date of trial: I rarely grant such changes.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? [No Answer Entered]
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: [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? I don't care, they can do either.
  • 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? [No Answer Entered]
  • I normally start jury trials at: 9:30 a.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of [No Answer Entered] minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: 12:00 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? [No Answer Entered]
  • When do you instruct the jury? After the 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? Yes
  • Have you ever held counsel in contempt of court? Yes
  • 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? [No Answer Entered]

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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Janet Poston

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? 15 minutes if 2 parties.
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? 15 minutes, if 2 parties.
  • 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? No
    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: [No Answer Entered]
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Assume I've read the moving papers and the file. Emphasize key issues, the legal standard, and why the ruling should be in your client's favor. If time, distinguish cases cited by the other side.
  • 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? 30 days
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? 6 business days before the start of the trial block.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? 6 business days before the start of the trial block.
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? 6 business days before the start of the trial block.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? 6 business days before start of trial block.
  • 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: Exchange demand and offer before pretrial. Parties and trial counsel must attend pretrial. To explore settlement potential, I talk with all counsel in chambers, then talk separately with each party and their attorney in chambers.
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: Party requesting change must set up telephone conference with me to discuss requested change.
  • 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? Serious illness of party or counsel. Recent, related surgery of personal injury plaintiff. Significant, inflexible scheduling conflict brought to my attention as soon as my scheduling order setting the trial block is sent to counsel.
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: Questions about religion or politics.
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Don't care, they can do either
  • 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? No
    If yes, how many minutes before court commences? [No Answer Entered]
  • I normally start jury trials at: 9:30 a.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of 20 minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: 12:00 noon
  • I normally give the jury a break of 20 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? [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? Yes
  • When, if ever, would you consider issuing sanctions, formal reprimands, holding an attorney in contempt, or reporting an attorney for unethical behavior? For conduct that violates the rules or court orders.

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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Jay Quam

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? Typically 15 minutes
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? Typically 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 initiate the telephone hearing from information I received from the lawyers. I usually ask for some type of written submissions before the hearing; the nature of the hearing will dictate what those submissions are, but in most telephone hearings it is a short letter. I generally do not have my court reporter present, but will make arrangments if necessary.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: I prefer that attorneys stand during their presentations; I discourage people from bringing new documents or cases up at the hearing, but prefer that those materials be shared with the opposing counsel and me before the hearing begins; The attorneys should assume that I have read the documents so, unless I let them know otherwise, they can skip giving me a long recitiation of the facts.
  • 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? Usually 30-60 days.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? Usually a few days before the trial.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? [No Answer Entered]
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? [No Answer Entered]
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? [No Answer Entered]
  • 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: Have their clients present; be prepared to identifiy issues that will need to be addressed before trial.
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? hardship (funeral, unexpected unavailabilty of key witness, that kind of thing)
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: Anything that is not allowed by the general rules.
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Don't care, they can do either
  • Do you require counsel to be behind counsel table unless counsel has a specific reason to approach a witness? No
  • 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
  • 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: 12:00 Noon
  • I normally give the jury a break of 20 minutes minutes in the afternoon.
  • I normally finish court for the day at: 4:30 p.m.
  • Do you permit jurors to:
    Take Notes: [No Answer Entered]
    Keep notes during deliberation? Yes
    Ask the witnesses questions? Yes
  • 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? [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? Yes
    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? [No Answer Entered]

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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Jeannice M. Reding

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? Generally 15 minutes. Time may vary depending on issues. You may contact my clerk prior to motion to ask how much time is allotted.
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? Generally 30 minutes. Time may vary depending on issues. You may contact my clerk prior to motion to ask how much time is allotted.
  • 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: First moving party shall arrange for teleconference and shall notify opposing counsel if moving party intends to have the hearing recorded and transcribed. If first moving party does not intend to have the hearing recorded and transcribed, opposing counsel shall notify moving party if he/she intends to have hearing or motion recorded and transcribed.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Be on time. Do not read or simply restate your written argument. Be prepared to highlight important or unique parts of your argument. Be prepared to complete your argument in the time allotted.
  • 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? Yes
Pretrial Procedures
  • When do you normally set the pretrial in relation to the trial? Within 30 days of trial date.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? Counsel for parties are expected to confer before the first day of trial and reach agreement on as many jury instructions as possible, which shall be presented to the Court on the first day of trial, along with each party's proposed instructions on non-ag
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? First day of trial
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? Will vary depending on case. Generally within two weeks prior to trial date.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? Will vary dependign on case. Generally within two weeks prior to trial date.
  • 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: Prepare your client on settlement issues and be prepared to have a meaningfuly settlement discussion.
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: I often allow changes if counsel agree BUT not always. All changes must be approved by me in advance. A written request should be sent to my clerk, preferably by fax or email. If there is an agreement, all parties should submit a written fax or email.
  • For changes on the date of trial: I rarely grant such changes.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? Would be considered on a case by case basis.
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: Depending on the case, there might be subject matter which I would prohibit.
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Don't care, they can do either
  • 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? 5 to 10 minutes before. Typically I would be hearing motiosn on other cases from 8:30 to 9:00 a.m.
  • I normally start jury trials at: 9:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15 minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: 12:00 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? Generally no time limit, but a limit might be set if necessary on individual cases.
  • When do you instruct the jury? Counsels’ preference
  • 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? No
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? I try to make very clear to counsel ahead of time what kinds of behavior I will not tolerate. I have only imposed sanctions once or twice in over 12 years of holding judicial officer positions, however I would take action such as sanctions, reprimands, contempt, and reporting if necessary in response to highly inappropriate or unethical behavior.

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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Denise D. Reilly

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

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? 15 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: Scheduling conferences are often conducted by phone, but not transcribed on the record. With fewer than 3 participants, the Court may initiate the teleconference. With more participants, the Court asks the parties to set up the teleconference. With a showing of exceptional and compelling circumstances, the Court may permit telephonic appearances at motion hearings.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: [No Answer Entered]
  • 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? No
Pretrial Procedures
  • When do you normally set the pretrial in relation to the trial? Varies widely.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? 3 days prior to trial or 3 days prior to start of trial block. Provide actual jury instructions not simply a list of JIG numbers.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? 3 days prior to trial or 3 days prior to start of trial block.
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? Two weeks prior to start of trial block
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? Two weeks prior to start of trial block
  • 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: Raise any and all preliminary issues. Be prepared to stipulate to exhibits and issues in order to streamline trial. Be prepared to address any objections in deposition testimony. Be prepared to participate in substantive settlement discussions in the event of a jury trial. Be prepared to discuss jury instructions and special verdict forms.
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: Any changes must be made with Court approval either through teleconference or by order made on stipulation. The Court will not change the trial date or the dispositive-motion deadline absent a teleconference with the parties and a demonstration of compell
  • For changes on the date of trial: I rarely grant such changes.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? Compelling circumstances showing a true need to change a date - e.g., counsel has a trial date certain in another case or a medical emergency. The Court advises the parties to inform the Court of any conflicts with the trial block and attempts to work aro
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: Nothing irrelevant to the case at hand.
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Don't care, they can do either
  • 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? Depends on what issues are going to be addressed. Could be anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes
  • I normally start jury trials at: 9:00 a.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of 10-15 minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: 12:00 Noon
  • I normally give the jury a break of 10-15 minutes in the afternoon.
  • I normally finish court for the day at: Between 4:30 or 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: 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? [No Answer Entered]
  • When do you instruct the jury? Counsels’ preference
  • 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? Yes
  • 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? In egregious circumstances evidencing a complete lack of respect for the rulings of the Court or the Rules of Professional Responsibility or when they use their position in the legal system to bludgeon and threaten and harass parties, counsel and the Court.

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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Susan M. Robiner

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? 20-30 minutes
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? 20-30 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? No
    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: [No Answer Entered]
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: PLease do try to avoid repeating what is contained in you written materials and take the opportunity to develop your most important arguments rather than surveying each of the arguments you raised in writing.
  • 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? 30-45 days before trial in civil matters with some exceptions
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? Three days before trial usually
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? Three days before trial usually
  • 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? Exchanged between parties a week before 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: Be prepared to address all issues identified in the order for pretrial - including issues resolved, status of settlement, anticipated witnesses, length of trial, unusual evidentiary issues. Have an idea of how involved you want the court to be in settlement discussions.
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: If you want a continuance of any court imposed deadline, first contact the other side to seek consent. If both counsel agree, I will usually grant unless a pattern develops or the continuance sought is excessive. If the other party's consent cannot be o
  • 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? Unforseen circumstances that arise despite the diligence and good intentions of the parties and counsel.
Civil Jury Trials
  • Do you perform preliminary voir dire? No
  • Do you place a time limit on voir dire by counsel? [No Answer Entered]
  • Is there subject matter you will not permit counsel to ask of the jury? [No Answer Entered]
    If yes, please explain: [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you require counsel to be behind counsel table unless counsel has a specific reason to approach a witness? [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you normally require counsel to meet each morning with the court before the jury comes into the courtroom? [No Answer Entered]
    If yes, how many minutes before court commences? [No Answer Entered]
  • I normally start jury trials at: [No Answer Entered]
  • I normally give the jury a break of [No Answer Entered] minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: [No Answer Entered]
  • I normally give the jury a break of [No Answer Entered] minutes in the afternoon.
  • I normally finish court for the day at: [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you permit jurors to:
    Take Notes: [No Answer Entered]
    Keep notes during deliberation? [No Answer Entered]
    Ask the witnesses questions? [No Answer Entered]
  • If counsel asks to approach to argue a ruling, do you generally: [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you place a time limit on final argument? [No Answer Entered]
    If yes, If yes, what is the time limit? [No Answer Entered]
  • When do you instruct the jury? [No Answer Entered]
  • After argument and instructions, do you:
    Require counsel to be available by telephone? [No Answer Entered]
    Request that counsel remain at the courthouse during deliberations of the jury? [No Answer Entered]
    Take a verdict without counsel present and inform them after the verdict by telephone of the result? [No Answer Entered]
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? Where there has been clearly sanctionable behavior after counssel has been provided the opportunity to cure his/her conduct.

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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Warren R Sagstuen

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

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? No
    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: [No Answer Entered]
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: [No Answer Entered]
  • 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
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? First day of trial
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? First day of trial
  • 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? three days before 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: [No Answer Entered]
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: [No Answer Entered]
  • 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? The presiding judge has taken on that duty for himself
Civil Jury Trials
  • Do you perform preliminary voir dire? [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you place a time limit on voir dire by counsel? [No Answer Entered]
  • Is there subject matter you will not permit counsel to ask of the jury? [No Answer Entered]
    If yes, please explain: I am not on an assignment that deals with civil jury trials, so I have not completed this portion of the survey.
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you require counsel to be behind counsel table unless counsel has a specific reason to approach a witness? [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you normally require counsel to meet each morning with the court before the jury comes into the courtroom? [No Answer Entered]
    If yes, how many minutes before court commences? [No Answer Entered]
  • I normally start jury trials at: [No Answer Entered]
  • I normally give the jury a break of [No Answer Entered] minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: [No Answer Entered]
  • I normally give the jury a break of [No Answer Entered] minutes in the afternoon.
  • I normally finish court for the day at: [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you permit jurors to:
    Take Notes: [No Answer Entered]
    Keep notes during deliberation? [No Answer Entered]
    Ask the witnesses questions? [No Answer Entered]
  • If counsel asks to approach to argue a ruling, do you generally: [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you place a time limit on final argument? [No Answer Entered]
    If yes, If yes, what is the time limit? [No Answer Entered]
  • When do you instruct the jury? [No Answer Entered]
  • After argument and instructions, do you:
    Require counsel to be available by telephone? [No Answer Entered]
    Request that counsel remain at the courthouse during deliberations of the jury? [No Answer Entered]
    Take a verdict without counsel present and inform them after the verdict by telephone of the result? [No Answer Entered]
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? [No Answer Entered]

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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Mary Vasaly

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

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? No
  • 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:
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: I don't require any specific procedures. Rather than reiterate everything in the motion papers, I prefer attorneys to focus on the most critical factual and legal issues.
  • 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? 6-8 weeks in advance
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? Attorneys should exchange drafts in advance and submit disputed instructions on the first day of trial.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? First day of trial
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? This will be addressed in the trial order. Generally, they must be exchanged approximately one-two weeks prior to trial and filed with the court 5 days before trial.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? Same as above. They should be submitted in three-ring notebooks.
  • 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: Attorneys should be prepared to discuss settlement. Attorneys should be prepared to narrow the issues and discuss any evidentiary issues they are aware of at that time.
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: I will allow changes for good cause. Parties should try to obtain consent of opposing parties before approaching the court with a request.
  • For changes on the date of trial: Changes on the date of trial of disfavored. I will allow changes for good cause.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? I would allow a change for good cause.
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: I do not allow attorneys to attempt to educate the jury about the issues in the case. Voir dire is to be used to elicit information from the jury, not to provide them with information.
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? It is their choice.
  • 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? Depending on the circumstances, 15-30 minutes.
  • I normally start jury trials at: 9:00 a.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15 minutes minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: 12:00 p.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15 minutes 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: I may allow a limited bench conference or if more time is needed, allow argument during a break.
  • 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? At the close of the evidence.
  • 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? N/A
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?

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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Mark Wernick

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? Ten minutes
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? Fifteen 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? No
    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: [No Answer Entered]
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Nothing outside of the General Rules of Practice
  • 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? N/A
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? [No Answer Entered]
  • When are jury instructions due? I generally do not schedule a pretrial in the absence of a request from the lawyers. Jury instructions and motions in limine are due one week before trial.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? See above. Generally, one week before trial.
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? Witness lists must be filed the day of trial. I assume the parties have exchanged witness lists long before then.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? Same as # 18
  • 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: [No Answer Entered]
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: I will liberally allow changes that do not affect the trial date.
  • 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? The most persuasive reason for continuing a case is that an important witness is unavailable or there has been some other unanticipated delay which would render a trial unfair if not continued.
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: I subsribe to the Minnesota Supreme Court Jury Task Force recommendations.
  • 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? No
    If yes, how many minutes before court commences? [No Answer Entered]
  • I normally start jury trials at: 9:15 a.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of 20 minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: 12:00 Noon
  • I normally give the jury a break of 20 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: Send the jury out of the courtroom and have argument in open court.
  • 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? Counsels’ preference
  • 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? It is hard to generalize. I can only say that I would give a lawyer ample warning of what misconduct I believe is worthy of a sanction.

The Civil Litigation Judges Courtroom Preferences is a public service of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Civil Litigation Section. Questions or comments may be directed to Jennifer Carter, the MSBA staff liaison to the section.

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