Erik J. Askegaard

District Court Judge

Counties: Crow Wing

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? 5-15 minutes
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? 10-20 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: 1. Parties determine who will initiate phone conference 2. Hearing in courtroom with speaker phone (chambers speaker phone not loud enough for court reporter) 3. Attorneys speak one at a time; identify self before speaking 4. No phone hearing if there will be witness(es) testifying
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: 1. Moving party addresses court first 2. Responding party addresses court 3. Short rebuttal by moving party 4. Exhibits exchanged ahead of time 5. Make sure all motion papers are timely-submitted
  • Do you like to receive courtesy copies of motion papers? No
Discovery Disputes
  • Do you require counsel to "meet and confer" before bringing discovery disputes to a hearing? Yes
  • Will you accept telephone calls from attorneys to rule on discovery disputes that occur during the course of a deposition? No
Pretrial Procedures
  • When do you normally set the pretrial in relation to the trial? no less than 2 weeks
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? At the time of the pretrial
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? At the time of the pretrial
  • 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? At the time of the pretrial
  • Do you discuss settlement of the case with the parties at the time of the pretrial? Yes
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys to follow at the time of the pretrial: Procedures set out in Section 5 of Minnesota Civil Trialbook
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? 1. Agreement by parties 2. Upon Motion for good cause shown
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: 1. questions designed primarily to educate or indoctrinate jurors 2. questions intended or designed to predispose jurors to be in favor of or against a party, a witness, or some aspect of the case 3. questions that are merely arguments of case 4. question
  • 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: 12:00 Noon to 1:15 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. to 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? 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? 1. violation of Rule 3.3 of Rules of Prof. Conduct 2. violation of Rule 3.4 of Rules of Prof. Conduct 3. violation of Rule 3.5 of Rules of Prof. 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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Paul T. Benshoof

District Court Judge

Counties: Beltrami

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 routinely allow motions by phone, but not usually hearings where testimony is required. Responsibility for arranging the teleconference is usually on the attorney who opts to appear by telephone.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Be prepared and, unless I ask otherwise, don't repeat the written submissions.
  • Do you like to receive courtesy copies of motion papers? Yes
Discovery Disputes
  • Do you require counsel to "meet and confer" before bringing discovery disputes to a hearing? Yes
  • Will you accept telephone calls from attorneys to rule on discovery disputes that occur during the course of a deposition? Yes
Pretrial Procedures
  • When do you normally set the pretrial in relation to the trial? Approximately two weeks before trial.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? At the time of the pretrial
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? At the time of the pretrial
  • 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? At the time of the pretrial
  • Do you discuss settlement of the case with the parties at the time of the pretrial? Yes
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys to follow at the time of the pretrial: [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: 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? Unavailability of witnesses, inability to complete discovery due to unforeseen circumstances, changes in a plaintiff's medical condition are common reasons.
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: Voir dire should be limited to ferreting out possible biases. Questions intended to establish the attorney's theory of the case will result in my interrupting the voir dire.
  • 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: 4:30-5:00 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: 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? 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? 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? If an attorney violates Rules of Professional Conduct, judges have an ethical duty of their own to report such violations to the Lawyers' Board. Whether sanctions, reprimands or contempt might be appropriate is entirely dependent on the facts. Contumacious behavior in court or deliberate or repeated violations of court orders are examples of behavior that could result in sanctions.

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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David Harrington

District Court Judge

Counties: Cass

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? As long as they want.
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? As long as they want.
  • 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? 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 contested hearings by phone.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Don't bother to tell me how nice it is up here in the north country. I know that.
  • 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
  • Will you accept telephone calls from attorneys to rule on discovery disputes that occur during the course of a deposition? Yes
Pretrial Procedures
  • When do you normally set the pretrial in relation to the trial? 2-4 weeks prior. Parties must be present if at all possible.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? A week out.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? A week out.
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? A week out.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? Try for a week, sometimes it's not practical
  • 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: Show up ready to talk settlement.
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: If parties agree, never an issue. If not, I will decide.
  • For changes on the date of trial: If parties agree, never an issue. If no agreement, I'll decide.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? Any number of things may come up. The best one is always, "we think we maybe can get this one resolved..."
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? No
  • Do you require counsel to be behind counsel table unless counsel has a specific reason to approach a witness? Yes
  • Do you normally require counsel to meet each morning with the court before the jury comes into the courtroom? Yes
    If yes, how many minutes before court commences? Ten
  • I normally start jury trials at: 9 a.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of Varies. 15 minimum minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: a good time based on testimony
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15 minimum minutes in the afternoon.
  • I normally finish court for the day at: varies based on testimony
  • 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: Bring both sides forward
  • 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 closing
  • 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 expect I would but haven't. I did report an attorney suffering from psychological issues once.

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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Lois Lang

District Court Judge

Counties: Itasca

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? Total of 30 minutes for all parties.
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? Total of 60 minutes for all 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? 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: Generally, i do not allow contested dispositive motions by telephone.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Be courteous, respectful and 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? 30 days before trial.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? Pretrial date
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? Pretrial date
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? Pretrial date
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? Pretrial 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: I would like attorneys to be prepared to discuss settlement. I require a personal appearance in court by the attorneys who will try the case, the parties who control settlement decisions and any insurance claims person with authority to settle the claim.
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: Generally by agreement of all parties. If no agreement, a motion must be served and filed.
  • For changes on the date of trial: Generally by agreement of all parties. If the case is old, I require a good cause showing be made even if parties agree to change the trial date.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? Unavailability of key witness, illness, etc.
Civil Jury Trials
  • Do you perform preliminary voir dire? Yes
  • Do you place a time limit on voir dire by counsel? No
  • Is there subject matter you will not permit counsel to ask of the jury? No
    If yes, please explain:
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Sit
  • Do you require counsel to be behind counsel table unless counsel has a specific reason to approach a witness? Yes
  • Do you normally require counsel to meet each morning with the court before the jury comes into the courtroom? 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: 12:00 Noon
  • I normally give the jury a break of 20 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: Allow parties to approach the bench, if a long comlicated issue, I will send the jury out.
  • 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 closing arguments, have split instructions if requested.
  • After argument and instructions, do you:
    Require counsel to be available by telephone? Yes
    Request that counsel remain at the courthouse during deliberations of the jury? No
    Take a verdict without counsel present and inform them after the verdict by telephone of the result? Yes
Sanctions of Counsel
  • Have you ever sanctioned counsel with imposition of a fine? No
    Or jail? No
  • Have you ever held counsel in contempt of court? No
  • Have you ever reported an attorney for unethical behavior? No
  • When, if ever, would you consider issuing sanctions, formal reprimands, holding an attorney in contempt, or reporting an attorney for unethical behavior? If an egregious violation of court rules or court order occurs and the attorney has been clearly told or warned that a particular action or statement is not allowed.

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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Kurt J. Marben

District Court Judge

Counties: Pennington, Red Lake, Polk, Mahnomen, and Norman

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? 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 allow hearings by phone if there will be testimony. The party or attorney asking to appear by telephone must make arrangements for the teleconference.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: No specific procedures
  • 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? 14 - 21 days
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? At the time of the pretrial
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? At the time of the pretrial
  • 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? At the time of the pretrial
  • Do you discuss settlement of the case with the parties at the time of the pretrial? Yes
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys to follow at the time of the pretrial: I require the attorneys to have their clients or person wtih settlement authority at the pretrial. I will hear arguement on motions in limine, but will normally reserve my ruling until time of 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? This is decided on a case by case basis by the Court.
Civil Jury Trials
  • Do you perform preliminary voir dire? Yes
  • Do you place a time limit on voir dire by counsel? No
  • Is there subject matter you will not permit counsel to ask of the jury? Yes
    If yes, please explain: I instruct counsel at the time of the pretrial concerning the questions that I will generally permit them to ask the jury. If they have questions about a specific subject matter, they must discuss it with the Court before voir dire.
  • 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? 30 minutes
  • I normally start jury trials at: 9:00 a.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15 minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: 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: Retire to chambers of the court to discuss the issue.
  • Do you place a time limit on final argument? No
    If yes, If yes, what is the time limit? [No Answer Entered]
  • When do you instruct the jury? Before argument
  • After argument and instructions, do you:
    Require counsel to be available by telephone? Yes
    Request that counsel remain at the courthouse during deliberations of the jury? No
    Take a verdict without counsel present and inform them after the verdict by telephone of the result? Yes
Sanctions of Counsel
  • Have you ever sanctioned counsel with imposition of a fine? Yes
    Or jail? No
  • Have you ever held counsel in contempt of court? No
  • Have you ever reported an attorney for unethical behavior? No
  • When, if ever, would you consider issuing sanctions, formal reprimands, holding an attorney in contempt, or reporting an attorney for unethical behavior? [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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Jon A. Maturi

District Court Judge

Counties: Itasca

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? 10 to 15 miutes
  • 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: Only use for "simple" motions or if can't moton must be heard in a short time. Moving paarty is responsible for putting the teleconf. together. Record is made by my court reporter, usually in the courtroom through a speaker phone.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Nothing unusual. Comply with the rules.
  • Do you like to receive courtesy copies of motion papers? Yes
Discovery Disputes
  • Do you require counsel to "meet and confer" before bringing discovery disputes to a hearing? Yes
  • Will you accept telephone calls from attorneys to rule on discovery disputes that occur during the course of a deposition? Yes
Pretrial Procedures
  • When do you normally set the pretrial in relation to the trial? 2 to 4 weeks
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? Pretrial to trial date depending on the case.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? See # 16
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? Pretrial to 10 days prior to trial depending on the case.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? See # 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: Have motions in limine ready to be heard. Be prepared to discuss other evidentiary issues. Have person with authority to settle present of available.
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? Availablity of attorney, witnesses or discovery issues beyond the control of both parties.
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 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? 30 to 15 minutes
  • I normally start jury trials at: 8:30 to 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 to 5:00 p.m.
  • Do you permit jurors to:
    Take Notes: Yes
    Keep notes during deliberation? Yes
    Ask the witnesses questions? [No Answer Entered]
  • 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? 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? [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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Earl E. Maus

District Court Judge

Counties: Crow Wing

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? 15 - 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: submitt written materials prior to hearing, several days in advance if possible
  • 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? No
  • 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? 2 weeks, but we only have pre-trials if requested
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? 2 weeks prior to trial or at pre-trial if there is one
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? 2 weeks prior to trial or at the pre-trial if there is one
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? 4 weeks prior to trial or at the pre-trial if there is one
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? 1 week prior to trial
  • Do you discuss settlement of the case with the parties at the time of the pretrial? Yes
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys to follow at the time of the pretrial: [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 normally allow such changes if counsel agree.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? Unavailable witness, newly discovered evidence, illness
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: dependent on the 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? 15-30, depending on the complexity of the case
  • I normally start jury trials at: 9:00 a.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15-20 minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: 12:00 noon
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15-20 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: Retire to chambers of the court to discuss the issue.
  • 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? [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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Paul Rasmussen

District Court Judge

Counties: Clearwater and Hubbard

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? 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: Make request to appear by phone to Court Administrator. Requests are forwarded to me for a decision on the request. If granted the moving party will be required to set up the call.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Confer with opposing counsel regarding dispensing with the motion hearing and presenting the issues for a decision based on the written submissions. A formal motion hearing is often not necessary.
  • 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 to 30
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? A few days prior to the pretrial
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? SAA
  • 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? At the time of the pretrial
  • Do you discuss settlement of the case with the parties at the time of the pretrial? Yes
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys to follow at the time of the pretrial: Be prepared to follow the pre-trial procedures found in Section 5 of the Minnesota Civil Trialbook.
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? Family and medical emergencies for attorneys, parties and necessary witnesses.
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: Repetative questions
  • 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? 30
  • I normally start jury trials at: 8:30 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: 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: Refuse to permit counsel to argue until a later time.
  • 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? [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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Anne Rasmusson

District Court Judge

Counties: Mahnomen County

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 generally prefer counsel to be present at the hearing. I do not typically allow motions by phone that involve testimony. The attorney who wishes to appear by phone must first obtain permission from the Court and pay the fee. Frequently, the parties will discuss the issue prior to raising it with the Court. The Court usually initiates the telephone call. My court reporter will record the testimony the same as hearings where counsel is present.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Email me a courtesy copy of the pleadings prior to the hearing as I am often traveling from county to county. This is particularly important with late filings. Be prepared.
  • 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? 14-21 days prior to trial
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? A week prior to the pretrial so that any issues can be addressed at the pretrial.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? A week prior to the pretrial so that any issues can be addressed at the pretrial.
  • 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? At the time of the pretrial.
  • Do you discuss settlement of the case with the parties at the time of the pretrial? Yes
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys to follow at the time of the pretrial: I require the attorneys to have their clients or a person with settlement authority present at the pretrial.
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: I will normally allow changes if counsel agree.
  • For changes on the date of trial: Such changes are not allowed without a written request or motion to the Court.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? This is decided on a case by case basis; however, finding trial dates is difficult and there would need to be strong circumstances to warrant the change.
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: This depends on the type of case, but I will not allow questions that are irrelevant, too personal or questions that are intended to establish a theory of the case. Voir dire questions are discussed at the pretrial.
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Counsel can either sit or stand.
  • 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? 30 minutes
  • I normally start jury trials at: 9:00 a.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15 minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: Noon
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15 minutes in the afternoon.
  • I normally finish court for the day at: 4:30 -5:00 p.m.
  • Do you permit jurors to:
    Take Notes: Yes
    Keep notes during deliberation? Yes
    Ask the witnesses questions? N/A
  • If counsel asks to approach to argue a ruling, do you generally: Depending on the issue, there may be a discussion at the bench in the presence of the jury, discussion in chambers or argument in court outside the presence of the jury.
  • 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 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? Each case is based upon the facts and circumstances of the situation. The Court is required to report unthical behavior, so I will report it when I see it. I will impose sanctions if it is appropriate in situations where claims have been made in bad faith or without a reasonable legal basis for the position.

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 Solien

District Court Judge

Counties: Aitkin

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? 15
  • 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: requesting attorney to pay cost and set it up
  • 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? 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? 10 days
  • 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? At the time of the pretrial
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? At the time of the pretrial
  • Do you discuss settlement of the case with the parties at the time of the pretrial? Yes
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys to follow at the time of the pretrial: [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 normally allow such changes if counsel agree.
  • 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? 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: 9:00 a.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15-20 minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: 12:00 noon
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15-20 minutes in the afternoon.
  • I normally finish court for the day at: 4:45 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? 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? 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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Robert D. Tiffany

District Court Judge

Counties: Hubbard, Clearwater

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? 5-10 minutes or as needed.
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? 10-15 minutes or as needed.
  • 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: Hearings without testimony are sometimes permited via telephone. The requesting party must secure prior approval, coordinate phone conference, and pay District fee. No testimony by phone conference if preferred. If phone testimony is requested and granted, atto0rney producing the witness proceeds at own risk without in-court appearance, i.e., witness unable to view exhbits, court's ability ti visually observe demeanor, etc.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Identify issues that are resolved ro already abreed upon. State the specific relief sought. Explain why the relief should be granted. Be prompt. Be professional. Be prepared.
  • 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 prior to trial.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? 10-15 days prior to trial.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? At the time of the pretrial
  • 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? At the time of the pretrial
  • Do you discuss settlement of the case with the parties at the time of the pretrial? Yes
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys to follow at the time of the pretrial: Follow the Civil Trial Handbook. Follow Rule 16 Order.
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? Genuine unavailability of parties or expert witness. Scheduling conflicts for trial counsel. Please provide court file number if making a request for a new 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? No
    If yes, please explain: [No Answer Entered]
  • 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? At least 30 minutes before start time on first day of trial. As appropriate for subseuent days.
  • I normally start jury trials at: Day 1, 8:30 a.m., counsel -- chambers conference. Subsequent days, 8:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m. as appropriate. 9:00 a.m. jury selection begins.
  • 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: 4:30-5:00 p.m., depending on where an examination of a witness falls and the expected duration of the trial.
  • 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: Refuse to permit counsel to argue until a later time.
  • 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? 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? When the facts are appropriate, I would not hesitate to issue sanctions.

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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Tamara Yon

District Court Judge

Counties: Polk, Pennington, Marshall, Norman, Red Lake, Mahnomen (and sometimes Roseau)

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? Generally 20 minutes each side is sufficient.
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? It depends. I've allowed each party to take an hour on complicated matters (if the case was separately scheduled).
  • 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: The attorney who wants to appear by phone must obtain permission first and pay the fee. If the matter is contested, I prefer the parties / lawyers to appear in person. Depending upon the county, the attorney appearing by phone sometimes initiates the call or sometimes the court does it. My court reporter records the testimony the same as in "live" hearings.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Since I travel around, I have attorneys copy me on the motion papers by email. Nothing else comes to mind.
  • 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 10 - 14 days
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? I want them filed and exchanged a week before the pretrial, so that both sides and I have time to look them over. That way, we can hash them out AT the pretrial.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? I want them filed and exchanged a week before the pretrial, so that both sides and I have time to look them over. That way, we can hash them out AT the pretrial.
  • 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? At the time of the pretrial
  • Do you discuss settlement of the case with the parties at the time of the pretrial? Yes
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys to follow at the time of the pretrial: [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: 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? If there is a request to delay the trial, and the jury has already reported, I need a pretty good excuse (and it must be something unforeseen) . . . we are underfunded as it is and having a jury report for nothing is a waste of time and money.
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 legally out of bounds . . . to date, attorneys in my cases have not pushed that limit.
  • 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? Yes if there is something to discuss (doesn't always happen). Usually 15 minutes is all we need.
  • 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 or close to it
  • I normally give the jury a break of 20 minutes in the afternoon.
  • I normally finish court for the day at: 4:30 - 5:00 p.m.
  • Do you permit jurors to:
    Take Notes: Yes
    Keep notes during deliberation? Yes
    Ask the witnesses questions? No
  • If counsel asks to approach to argue a ruling, do you generally: 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? 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? Anything that is out of bounds in the ethical rules; most concerning is lying, deceitful 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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