Michele Davis

District Court Judge

Counties: Wright

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: ***JUDGES Q1d Comment TE***
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Be prepared. Know and be prepared to discuss any relevant case law, statute or rule upon which you are basing your motion.
  • 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? Final pretrial to hear motions in limine and other evidentiary issues is scheduled two weeks before trial
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? Typically two weeks before trial and before final pretrial
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? Typically two weeks before trial and before final pretrial
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? Typically two weeks before trial and before final pretrial
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? Typically two weeks before trial and before final 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 rules of civil procedure and general practice. The trial attorney must be present at pretrial as well as anyone with authority to settle the case. Also be prepared to dicuss the items included 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: Changes in the scheudling order can be handled by stipulation of the parties or if not agreed upon then by a motion to the court.
  • For changes on the date of trial: By agreement of the parties or by motion
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? ***JUDGES Q4c TE***
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: ***JUDGES Q5ccomment TE***
  • 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? 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: ***JUDGES Q5m TE***
  • Do you place a time limit on final argument? No
    If yes, If yes, what is the time limit? ***JUDGES Q5ncomment TE***
  • When do you instruct the jury? Before final 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? ***JUDGES Q5pii TE***
    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? ***JUDGES Q6d TE***

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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B. William Ekstrum

District Court Judge

Counties: Washington

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? 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: 1. Understand that unless told differently, the judge has read all materials submitted. 2. Address only the court. Follow all other rules and expectations of court decorum.
  • 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? 2-3 weeks
  • 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? As prescribed in the scheduling order, which sometimes is the pretrial date, and sometimes is a different date (often if counsel have agreed on a different date).
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? Same as for witness lists.
  • 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: Most importantly, to narrow the issues and be able to state what impediments there are to settlement and/or to give a reasonable estimate of what the trial will entail (time, issues, etc.).
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? Illness or other documented unexpected absence of attorney, party, or crucial witness; surprise issues that do not involve lack of diligence.
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 comes up rarely, but I would not tolerate racial, ethnic, or other cultural slurs or any use of language or comments evincing bigotry or similar bias. I also may limit an attorney, or at least admonish him/her if there is excessive repetitiveness or
  • 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, or more if I am aware of a specific issue that takes time.
  • 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? 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? Direct violation of the Rules of Professional Responsibility; deliberate voicing of disrespect to the court; continuous refusal to follow court instructions; possibly other reasons as well.

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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Thomas Fitzpatrick

District Court Judge

Counties: Anoka

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? 30 minutes
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? 45 to 60 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? 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? In Anoka we normally do not have pretrials on Civil Cases. That may be changing soon as we may begin blocking some Civil Cases
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? 7 to 14 days prior to trial
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? 7 to 14 days prior to trial
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? 7 to 14 days prior to trial
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? 7 to 14 days 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: I would like some explanation as to why the case cannot settle. Be prepared to discuss specific trial issues, expected number of witnesses and experts if any, length 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: I normally allow such changes if counsel agree.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? Family emergency, sickness of party or key witness.
Civil Jury Trials
  • Do you perform preliminary voir dire? Yes
  • Do you place a time limit on voir dire by counsel? No
  • Is there subject matter you will not permit counsel to ask of the jury? Yes
    If yes, please explain: I do not allow the lawyers to indoctrinate the jury regarding the law as I believe that it is my job to instruct the jury regarding the law. Do not let the lawyers reveal specific facts of the case or set up hypotheticals that commit the juror to a certa
  • 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 15 minutes
  • I normally start jury trials at: 9:00 a.m.
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15 to 20 minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: 12:00 noon
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15 to 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? 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? Violation of the rules of professional responsibility.

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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Tammi A. Fredrickson

District Court Judge

Counties: Anoka

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? No set time limit.
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? No set time limit.
  • 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? No
Pretrial Procedures
  • When do you normally set the pretrial in relation to the trial? 7 days prior to trial.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? 7 days prior to trial.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? 7 days prior to trial.
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? 30 days prior to trial.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? 30 days 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: A pretrial would likely only be scheduled on a blocked civil case or if requested by the parties on a case from the master civil trial calendar. A party wishing to have a motion heard on the pretrial date should first request permission to have that motion heard on that date.
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 the parties agree on the date and it's available according to court administration, I will grant the request.
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 expected to follow the law with regards to 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? Typically 15 minutes, unless the Court is aware of an issue which would need additional time.
  • 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: Ideally at 12 noon but will adjust to a natural break in testimony if possible.
  • 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? 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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Greg Galler

District Court Judge

Counties: Washington

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? Varies depending on the type of case. More time for more complex cases.
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? Varies depending on the type of case. More time for more complex cases.
  • 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: Standard rules are fine. I don't have special rules. I typically move to the issues that I think are most important to a case.
  • 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? This varies somewhat based on attorney's schedules. Typically, about two weeks.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? Generally, 7 to 10 days before trial.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? Generally, 7 to 10 days before trial.
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? Generally, 7 to 10 days before trial.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? Generally, 7 to 10 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: I am looking for what issues are left for trial. This gives me an idea as to how much time will be needed for the case. I typically have anywhere from 3 to 10 cases set on any given trial date (a trial week). If I can figure out how much time is needed, I can sometimes try more than one case in a week.
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? Yes
  • Is there subject matter you will not permit counsel to ask of the jury? Yes
    If yes, please explain: I have sometimes re-directed counsel to a different line of quesions when they go into areas that are not permitted by case law (personal promises from jurors, etc.).
  • 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 direct attorneys to be available 30 minutes before the jury arrives. We meet only if there are issues that need to be discussed.
  • 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: 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? Typically, it would need to be fairly severe behavior. I have only imposed fines in a handful of cases. I have only one time reported attorney behavior. The vast majority of attorneys I see are prepared, respectful, ethical, and a pleasure to work with.

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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Sharon L Hall

District Court Judge

Counties: Anoka

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? 10 minutes
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? 30 minutes
  • With respect to oral argument, do you prefer an attorney to not reiterate written material? Yes
  • Do you regularly conduct hearings and motions by phone? 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: Submitting motion papers on time, not interrupting opposing counsel's argument, asking whether they should sit or stand during argument, arriving at court on time or calling in if running late.
  • 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? A pretrial is not routinely set unless the case is blocked to me. If blocked, I try to set it no later than a month before trial.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? For non-blocked cases, the deadline for instructions is set by court administration in the Scheduling Order. For blocked cases, we will discuss the deadline at the pretrial conference. Usually, two weeks before trial is adequate time.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? Two weeks to seven days before trial.
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? Two weeks to seven days before trial.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? Two weeks to seven 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: They must come with settlement authority and parties/agent must be present.
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 but the agreement must be in writing.
  • 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 problems such as an attorney still being in trial elsewhere.
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? 15 minutes
  • 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: 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? 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 fails to correct behavior - i.e., if an attorney continues to interupt opposing counsel's examination of a witness, makes objections without stating grounds, talks to client loud enough at counsel table so others can hear, cell phone going off, not having witnesses lined up and ready to go, arriving late for 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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Stephen M. Halsey

District Court Judge

Counties: Wright

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? 20 minutes
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? 30 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: Lawyer initiates the call. All participants say who is speaking before they speak. No transcription.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Be concise in arguments and don't repeat written materials. Don't argue outside of the affidavits. Be respectful. Avoid the bravado or showing off for clients. Don't object unless absolutely necessary.
  • 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? 30 days
  • 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: Negotiate in good faith. Have person with settlement authority there IN PERSON.
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? Unavailability of expert witness Illness of party or attorney
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: Too lengthy to discuss
  • 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
  • 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: 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? 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? Yes
  • When, if ever, would you consider issuing sanctions, formal reprimands, holding an attorney in contempt, or reporting an attorney for unethical behavior? Dismissing charge the morning of trial, then recharging Serious violations of pretrial order

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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Thomas D. Hayes

District Court Judge

Counties: Sherburne

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? Depends on calendar and nature of case--would hope to keep under 15 / side
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? Depends on calendar and nature of case--would hope to keep under 20/ side
  • 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: I try to read pleadings in advance. If I haven't I let the attorneys know. If I have read pleadings I ask for new information. I expect that when I ask lawyers not to repeat what is in their pleadings, that the lawyers will honor my expectation. Otherwise use 2/3 of time for presentation save 1/3 for reply. Last word goes to primary moving party.
  • 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? Normally about 60 days prior. Sometimes 2nd pre-trial on eve of trial for motions/evidentiary issues.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? 30 days prior to trial.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? 30 days prior to trial.
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? 30 days before trial.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? 30 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: Have authority to settle or have someone with authority present, or at least continually available by telephone.
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? 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: Specific facts or law (exception made on burden of proof).
  • 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? 5-15 minutes
  • 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? 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? 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? Willfull conduct subverting the legal process, or clear violation of ethics, or repeated failure to appear for court, or obvious intoxication.

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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Stoney Hiljus

District Court Judge

Counties: Kanabec County

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? About 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: ***JUDGES Q1d Comment TE***
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: ***JUDGES Q1e TE***
  • 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? 30 days
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? By the pretrial
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? By the pretrial
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? By the pretrial
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? By 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: ***JUDGES Q3h TE***
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: Changes allowed if the parties agree
  • For changes on the date of trial: Changes allowed generally if the parties agree. Otherwise by formal motion.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? ***JUDGES Q4c TE***
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 limited to its purpose, not to indoctrinate the jury to the party's case.
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? No, it's up to Counsel.
  • 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 if there are any issues for the record
  • 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? No
  • If counsel asks to approach to argue a ruling, do you generally: Allow brief argument at the bench with jury present and if issue requires a more accurate record or more time, than excuse the jury
  • Do you place a time limit on final argument? No
    If yes, If yes, what is the time limit? ***JUDGES Q5ncomment TE***
  • 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? ***JUDGES Q6d TE***

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 C. Hoffman

District Court Judge

Counties: Anoka but soon to be in Washington County

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? Usually as long (assuming no other calendar constraints) as they need assuming in is not repetitive.
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? Usually as long (assuming no other calendar constraints) as they need assuming in is not repetitive.
  • 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: If I do conduct such a motion, (which be normally involve a true emergecy or a motion based upon an immediate need, I would request the attorneys (both) contact my law clerk or reporter and advise as to the need and timing of the motion. If I decide to do it on the phone it would be incumbant upon the attorneys to confirm the time and place a conference call with the my chambers being contacted last.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Add to my current answer the following: Additionally, as a result of the fact that Washington County is now an e-filing county I request that copies of motions and affidavits be separately provided by e-mail to my law clerk, Lora Kasper.
  • 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? Pre-trials are typically set in the scheduling order to occur after the discovery process has been completed and several weeks before the trial date.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? At some point before trial, but if the lawyers are aware of novel or unique instruction or that the law is unsettled in the area it is incumbant upon Counsel to advise the Court of that fact so that the important task of describing the legal case for the
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? See above. The verdict form and how it is crafted in many respects is more important that the JIGS.
  • 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: To disclose and be able to discuss unique issues about JIGS, the special verdict form; witness issues; unique or undecided areas of the law that might be involved.
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: A change in the trial date is possible with a written request or motion to the Court and a reasonable explanation justifying the change. Please note however that I cannot guaranty when the new trial date will be set and in the case of multi-party litigation I am typically reluctant to change the trial date due to the complexity of managing trial counsel litigation calendars.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? It would depend upon the justification. It should be noted that my experience is that trial times that are scheduled and confirmed are a precious resource and it is difficult to justify a date change when the court has based its future schedule on confirmed trial dates.
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: Things that are clearly objectionable like trying to commit the jury to a position - - things like that.
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Based upon preference of counsel.
  • 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? Only if it is necessary and normally it would be discussed the day before.
  • 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., unless a witness needs to be finished
  • 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 discussion at the bench with the jury present and allow counsel to make a record outside of the presence of the jury.
  • Do you place a time limit on final argument? Yes
    If yes, If yes, what is the time limit? Normally I have not put time limited but in complex cases or cases where I know counsel will be lenghy I have discussed limits.
  • 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? 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? Direct or indirect insulant behavior towards the court or counsel or witnesses after appropriate warnings have been given but ignored.

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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Jonathan Jasper

District Court Judge

Counties: Wright

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? varies
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? varies
  • 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: Stand. Be respectful to court and opposing Counsel. Argue your legal point, do not call names or nitpick other side's argument. No what you want to argue, so that you can present it without needless repetition. I try to read everything in advance, so be concise and timely with written materials.
  • 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? 30
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? Usually two weeks in advance of trial.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? Usually two weeks in advance of trial.
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? Usually two weeks in advance of trial.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? Usually two weeks in advance 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 normally allow such changes if Counsel agree.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? The earlier the request is made, the more likely it is to be granted. My primary concern is the efficient use of the judicial resources. Counsel should be warned that a change of trial date puts you back to the first available (usually distant) date.
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: Case dependent.
  • 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 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: 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? No
  • When, if ever, would you consider issuing sanctions, formal reprimands, holding an attorney in contempt, or reporting an attorney for unethical behavior? Wasting court or opposing counsel time by not being prompt or not being prepared. Appearing in my courtroom is simply a matter of being respectful.

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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Jenny Walker Jasper

District Court Judge

Counties: 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? No set amount of time
  • 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: I have already read the filed documents. I appreciate a brief summary of the argument and response to other other parties filings.
  • 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? no set date.
  • 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? 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 allow changes if counsel agree AND have cleared proposed trial dates with Court Administration.
  • 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 the parties agree and have checked with court Administration.
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? 30 minutes
  • 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 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: 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? 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? Willful violation of the Courts order or ignoring the Courts rulings

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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Lawrence Johnson

District Court Judge

Counties: Anoka

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? 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: ***JUDGES Q1d Comment TE***
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Speaks to the Court, not the attorney. Speak to your points. No points are awarded for disparaging the other attorney.
  • 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 normally only held in complex cases or by request.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? First day of pretrial.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? First day of pretrial
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? Per trial guidelines
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? Per trial guidelines
  • 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: Someone with settlement authority must be present.
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: Regularly granted with agreement of other parties. Otherwise, request by motion.
  • For changes on the date of trial: One continuance regularly granted with agreement of other parties. Otherwise by motion prior to date of trial.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? Unavailability of necessary party or attorney which could not have been anticipated.
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: Review Judge Gordon Schumacher's article on jury selection.
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Either. If standing, at the 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? No
    If yes, how many minutes before court commences? ***JUDGES Q5fcomment TE***
  • 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: Yes
  • Do you place a time limit on final argument? No
    If yes, If yes, what is the time limit? ***JUDGES Q5ncomment TE***
  • 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? 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? If the offfense was extremely serious or if the offense was repeated after a warning.

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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Tad Jude

District Court Judge

Counties: Washington

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? Varies with complexity
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? 30 minutes to an hour
  • 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: ***JUDGES Q1d Comment TE***
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: ***JUDGES Q1e TE***
  • 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? One month
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? Before trial
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? Before trial
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? One week prior to trial
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? Two weeks 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: ***JUDGES Q3h TE***
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: Submit a stipulated proposed order.
  • For changes on the date of trial: Submit agreement of parties or reason for change.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? ***JUDGES Q4c TE***
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: ***JUDGES Q5ccomment TE***
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? No preference
  • 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
  • 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: Allow counsel to approach.
  • Do you place a time limit on final argument? No
    If yes, If yes, what is the time limit? ***JUDGES Q5ncomment TE***
  • When do you instruct the jury? ***JUDGES Q5o TE***
  • 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? Depends on circumstances.

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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Kristin C. Larson

District Court Judge

Counties: Anoka

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? 5 minutes
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? 15 minutes approximately
  • 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? [No Answer Entered]
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? This relates to cases blocked to me only. 30-45 days.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? 7 days before trial.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? 7 days before trial.
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? 14 days prior to trial unless otherwise ordered by the Scheduling Order.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? 14 days prior to trial unless otherwise ordered by the Scheduling Order.
  • 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? Yes
    If yes, please explain: Anything not relevant to making an informed challenge for cause or to discerning whether a juror can be fair and impartial.
  • 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 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? 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 hope this never happens. Repeatedly disobeying court directives or rulings comes to mind.

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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Ellen Louise Maas

District Court Judge

Counties: Washington

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? It varies. Depending upon the quality of the written submissions, my hearings have ranged from 10 to 40 minutes.
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? Again, this depends upon the complexity of the case, the number of parties/Counsel and the quality of writing. 30 minutes to two days.
  • 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: If Counsel and the parties stipulate, I have convened hearings via conference call. My courtreporter records the hearing, if requested. One attorney is designtated as the "lead" counsel for purposes of assuming complete responsibility for arranging the conference call.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Confirm before the hearing that all written submissions were indeed filed and in the Court's file. With the budget constraints and attendant staff shortages, Counsels' submission frequently are not in the file by the time of the hearing. I would encourage Counsel to confirm with the judge's law clerk whether the judge would appreciate receiving a courtesy copy of any written motion papers. I always appreciate receiving courtesy copies.
  • 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? That is established through Washington County Court Administration. I encourage parties to submit stipulated pre-trial orders, after securing a trial
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? That is usually spelled out in the pre-trial order. Typically, 20 - 30 days before the scheduled trial.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? That should be filed along with the proposed jury instructions
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? Unless otherwise stipulated, 20 - 30 days before the trial.
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? Unless otherwise stipulated, 20 - 30 days before the 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 with settlement authority and be prepared to discuss settlement.
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? 1.Counsel or party unavailability with advance notice and detailed request in writing. 2. Discovery misconduct.3.Some stipulations.
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: It depends upon the case. This is usually discussed before voir dire and stipulated by counsel or decided by the court.
  • 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? Only if requested the night before or if something comes up at the last minute.
  • 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: As close to 12:00 noon as possible.
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15 - 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: [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? 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? 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? [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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Krista K. Martin

District Court Judge

Counties: Pine

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? 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? 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? 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: 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 Answer Entered]
    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 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? 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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John McBride

District Court Judge

Counties: Chisago

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? It depends upon the calendar and how many cases are set.
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? It depends upon the calendar and how many cases are set.
  • 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: Listen to the Judge. When they are told to keep their arguments short and concise and not repeat what is in the brief, do so.
  • 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 a month of trial
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • 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? No
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys to follow at the time of the pretrial: Come prepared to talk settlement. Unfortunately, I generally do not have time to assist in negotiations.
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? Significant scheduling conflict
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: May not argue their case or discuss facts to any degree.
  • 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? 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: 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? No
  • When, if ever, would you consider issuing sanctions, formal reprimands, holding an attorney in contempt, or reporting an attorney for unethical behavior? For the most egregious of 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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Douglas B Meslow

District Court Judge

Counties: Anoka

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 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: I'm OK with attorneys standing or sitting during argument, whichever makes them more comfortable. I have read the materials before the hearing, so it is important that the attorney not repeat everything in the brief. I will often start by asking questions based upon the materials submitted, before any argument by the attorneys. I will then give the attorneys a chance to emphasize their key arguments or expand on points based upon the questions I have asked.
  • 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 60 days
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? 2 weeks before trial
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? 2 weeks before trial
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? 2 weeks before trial
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? 2 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: Come prepared to discuss the case with estimates of the time of trial and an indication of any motions or unusual issues the court should be prepared to address before trial begins. Plan to discuss settlement; I won't force an agreement, but I do expect genuine exploration of settlement.
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: I will routinely approve if a written stipulation is signed by all parties.
  • For changes on the date of trial: I expect a stipulation agreed by all parties and a good reason, or a request by one or more parties and a VERY good reason.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? If the attorneys believe that an agreement is likely if given more time, I am likely to postpone the trial date. If the request is due to a scheduling conflict for an attorney or witness, my likelihood of granting the request will depend on the reason and the timeliness of the request, as well as the position of opposing counsel. If the request is due to lack of diligence in pursuing discovery, I am unlikely to grant the request. If a previous request has been granted, I am very unlikely to grant a second request.
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 must be designed to explore the fitness of jurors to serve--not education of jurors on the facts or law pertaining to the case. I will interrupt counsel if I believe improper questions are being asked during voir dire.
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? Either is acceptable, although counsel seem more comfortable sitting.
  • 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 minutes, depending on whether there are issues to discuss outside the jury's presence.
  • 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 90 (anticipating the attorneys and I will be discussing issues for 30-45 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: Allow them to approach
  • 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? Most instructions are before final 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 caution attorneys for unprofessional behavior (late appearance, improper argument, rudeness to opposing counsel) and that seems to address the problem. If the behavior were to continue, I would report the offending attorney. My practice is to give attorneys the opportunity to modify their behavior before reporting them to the Board.

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 Miles

District Court Judge

Counties: Washington

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 per side (30 total)
  • 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: NA
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: File papers on a timely basis.
  • 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? See scheduling order
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? [No Answer Entered]
  • 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: Upon arriving at the courthouse, begin settlement discussions at once.
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? Will 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? 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 to 20 minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: 12:00 noon
  • I normally give the jury a break of 15 to 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? After argument
  • After argument and instructions, do you:
    Require counsel to be available by telephone? Yes
    Request that counsel remain at the courthouse during deliberations of the jury? No
    Take a verdict without counsel present and inform them after the verdict by telephone of the result? Yes
Sanctions of Counsel
  • Have you ever sanctioned counsel with imposition of a fine? Yes
    Or jail? No
  • Have you ever held counsel in contempt of court? No
  • Have you ever reported an attorney for unethical behavior? Yes
  • When, if ever, would you consider issuing sanctions, formal reprimands, holding an attorney in contempt, or reporting an attorney for unethical behavior? Failures to appear; persistent disregard of court orders, rules. Counsel are expected to comply with Professionalism Aspirations.

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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Kathleen A. Mottl

District Court Judge

Counties: Wright

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? 20 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? 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? 15-30 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: Be prepared to argue any motions in limine or special verdict forms, providing specific instructions and caselaw, if applicable. Be prepared to have a meaningful, working pretrial.
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? Emergency such as an illness or other extraordinary reason for the delay.
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: case by case analysis
  • 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? 10-15 mintues
  • 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 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? 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? I reported the attorney for unethical behavior because their attorney license was suspended and the attorney was appearing before me arguing a case, even though they knew their license was suspended.

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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Alan F Pendleton

District Court Judge

Counties: Anoka

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 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? 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 conduct formal motions by phone but I encourage telephone conferences with attorneys to discuss problems areas with me (not on the record). I have found that many smaller issues or problem areas can be resolved informally over the phone without the need for a formal motion.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: They can assume I have read all submitted materials and skip covering background or non-contested fact issues. I prefer the attorneys focus on the disputed issues. I give them limited time to argue so they should take advantage of what little time they have. Except for motions for summary judgement my normal practice is to rule on all disputed issues from the bench.
  • 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? In Anoka we do not routinely schedule Pre Trial hearings in civil lawsuits. Trial dates are scheduled approx 9 months after the date of filing.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? one week before trial. If a pretrial hearing is held (which we do in special cases) the date for submissions is addressed.
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? same as above for jury instructions
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? usually four weeks before trial
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? four 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: Because pre trials are usually only scheuduled in complex or special assignment civil cases I put a great deal of importance on them. we will disucss all pretrial motions and I will go over a long list of substantive and procedural issues. I almost always issue a lenthly pretrial order following the hearing.
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? Yes
    If yes, please explain: I follow the Supreme Court task force on Voir Dire issued in 2001 specifically referencing the reports attached exhibit on acceptable voir dire preactices authored by Judge Shumacher.
  • 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? only to determine if there is any thing to address on the record. approx 15 minutes before start time
  • 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? [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? To many variables to consider. It all depends on the particular circumstances of the case.

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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James T. Reuter

District Court Judge

Counties: Pine

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? 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: I do allow telephonic motions to reduce redemption periods in foreclosure actions and in default credit card collection matters where the judgement being sought is minimal.
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: Confirm that the Court has recieved their memorandum of law. If it was received, it was read, so don't repeat whats in 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? No
Pretrial Procedures
  • When do you normally set the pretrial in relation to the trial? 60 to 90 days
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • 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: They should have individuals with the authority to settle with them at the pretrial.
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? I take the position the the lawyers are zealously advocating for their clients, if they need additional time to prepare the case, I'll give it to them. The lawyers both have to agree to a continuance otherwise I'm reluctant to continue a cxase.
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: As long as the inquiry is focused on detecting bias or prejudice I'll allow wide leway.
  • 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 15 minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: as close to 12:00 Noon as possible. I will finish a witness's testimony if feasible
  • 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
  • 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? 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? When necessary to prtect the dignity of the court. Or the court becomes aware that an attorney has violated the code.

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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Geoffrey Tenney

District Court Judge

Counties: Wright

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? 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? 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? 60
  • 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? [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? 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? 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? 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 B. Varco

District Court Judge

Counties: Sherburne

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? as long as is necessary
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? as long as is necessary
  • 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: Be prompt, be polite and be prepared to answer questions. Please do not repeat the written submissions as I will have read them prior to your oral presentation.
  • 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? Trial dates are set after pretrial aand that can be within 7 days if the parties desire.
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? No
  • When are jury instructions due? at least 7 days prior to trial, but that time may be expanded if they are complicated, disputed or unusual
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? swame as jury instructions
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? same as jury instructions
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? same as jury instructions
  • 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: Prior to pretrial the parties should have made a good faith effort to resolve the dispute and people with settlement authority should attend the pretrial
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,parties agreement,where the case is preempted by another matter,e.g. a speedy trial demand by an in custody defendant.
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 would not allow statements or questions about improper or prejudicial matters or are not attempts to discover the juror's qualification to serve.
  • 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? As much time as is necessary to resolve any issues that have arisen since adjournment; usually 5-10 minutes is enough
  • I normally start jury trials at: 8:30 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: 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? When the lawyer's conduct 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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