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Civil Litigation Section

Judges' Courtroom Preferences

In Minnesota, there are currently 293 district court judges who preside over matters in ten judicial districts. While the Minnesota Rules of Court provide attorneys with significant information applicable to court proceedings, each judge may have his or her individual preferences with respect to motion practice and courtroom conduct.

In an effort to assist attorneys who may be appearing before a judge for the first time, the MSBA Civil Litigation Section Governing Council provided all district court judges with a brief questionnaire. The responses that we received are organized here by judicial district and the judge’s name. We hope you find these responses to be helpful in your preparation for district court appearances.

For information about this project or to report an error in any judicial directory listing, contact Jennifer Carter, MSBA staff liaison to the Civil Litigation Section.


Fifth Judicial District Judges

Moore, Gordon

District Court Judge

Counties: Nobles County

State Court Bio: View Bio

Contact with chambers:

  • Set forth your preferred method to contact chambers (telephone, e-mail, etc.).  Email contact is preferred
  • To whom may attorneys direct scheduling/logistical questions?  Law Clerk Adam Hinz and/or Court Reporter Kate Harmsen
  • To whom may attorneys direct substantive questions?  Law Clerk Adam Hinz and/or Court Reporter Kate Harmsen

Motion practice:

  • Set forth your practices and procedures for scheduling motion hearings.  For routine hearings, scheduling should be done through court administration. In emergencies, it can be done through contact with my law clerk.
  • Identify any type of motion for which you do not require a hearing.  Default dissolutions which do not require a hearing.
  • Do you accept telephone calls from attorneys to rule on discovery disputes that occur during depositions?  If the situation is urgent and I am available, yes.
  • How much time do you allot for motion hearings?  Dispositive Motions - 30 minutes unless special request made for more; injunction hearings, 30 minutes unless testimony request granted; non-dispositive, generally 15 minutes.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attending a hearing by telephone or video conference.  Approval needs to be sought in writing by filing a letter with the court administrator. If a conference call with the court has been granted, one of the attorneys needs to set it up and dial in absent agreement with the court.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to discovery motions.  Efforts to resolve the dispute prior to the hearing must be shown, and must be bona fide.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to stipulations of the parties, including stipulations for protective orders.  If all parties have signed, file it with court administration for routing to me for signature. If there is a language dispute, matter can be handled by informal conference.
  • Do you have particular requirements or procedures relating to requests to amend the scheduling order?  No - if all are in agreement, generally such requests are approved without hearing.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to default proceedings.  Advance notice to the court is appreciated (if not already given through a default scheduling request)
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to handling emergency motions.  Efforts to notify opposing party in advance must be shown. Contact Law Clerk or Court Reporter for scheduling.

Written submissions:

  • Do you want to receive paper courtesy copies of the parties’ written submissions? If you do, set forth the number and preferred format of courtesy copies and identify any document type you do not want to receive.  Not required, but one paper copy of memoranda and affidavits is appreciated.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for requests to deviate from the requirements of the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts.  Good cause in writing must be demonstrated.

In-court proceedings:

  • Identify what technology you use in the courtroom and state whether you prefer a particular electronic format.  MNCIS, Benchworks, Outlook, Word for computer programs; court uses ITV frequently for hearings as well as technology for interpreters, such as the DCI system.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney’s use of technology in the courtroom and during trial.  Laptops/tablets allowed provided they are not distracting or noisy. Phone usage only to check calendars/court-related messages.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the submission of additional legal authority or other materials at or after oral argument.  Copies need to be provided to opposing counsel and the court.
  • Do you permit parties to bifurcate oral argument so different attorneys address different legal issues?  Yes, with advance notice.

Pretrial procedures:

  • Describe your preferred procedures for pretrial settlement conferences, including the timing of such conferences, persons who must attend, whether persons may attend by telephone or video conference, and how you participate in settlement discussions.  Timing of settlement conferences varies and is generally discussed at the scheduling conference. Attorneys and non-insurance company clients must attend unless otherwise ordered; persons with settlement authority must be available by phone. The level of Court involvement in settlement negotiations in my cases depends on attorney requests, typically.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling motions in limine.  Generally heard at pretrial unless complex and time-consuming.

Trial:

  • What is your schedule for a typical trial day?  8:30 meet in chambers 9:00 start 10:30ish break 12-1:00 noon break 2:30ish break 4:30 wind up for day unless in final arguments or deliberations or with a witness that has to conclude testimony that day.
  • Set forth your voir dire procedures.  Court starts first before turning over to the attorneys, level of court involvement depends on the case.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to courtroom decorum, including movement in the courtroom, use of a podium, whether attorneys should sit or stand, and how to address witnesses.  Permission to approach bench or witness necessary; Attorneys may sit when examining witnesses, unless using a podium; Attorneys may stand and move around courtroom during final arguments.
  • Do you impose time limits with respect to opening statements and closing arguments?  No, but I reserve the right to if the time granted is being abused.
  • Identify your practices with respect to the use of technology in the courtroom during trial.  Permitted, as long as court is aware in advance of the technology and has 
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to marking and using exhibits.  Premarking with court reporter involvement encouraged. Exhibit list must be provided to court in advance. Exhibits should remain at the bench unless being used in witness questioning or publishing to the jury.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling objections.  In a jury trial, counsel must approach the bench for any argument or offers of proof so those can occur outside the presence of the jury.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the use of deposition testimony.  Depositions can be read or played for witnesses with consent of all parties; identity of any deposition readers need to be disclosed to court in advance.
  • May attorneys obtain daily transcripts during trial? If so, what procedure should attorneys follow?  Not really an option, given my current reporter is an electronic reporter. A request for a segment of testimony could be made directly to the reporter after the end of the court day to see if there is time to produce it.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney requests to contact jurors at the conclusion of trial.  Discouraged practice generally, but any such requests must comply with the rules and be in writing.

Other matters:

  • Set forth any other preferences, practices, or procedures attorneys and parties may find helpful.  I have a very engaged and proactive court reporter who is a wealth of knowledge about what's happening on my calendar and docket; she would be the best source of up-to-date public information. I appreciate well-written legal memoranda and will read them in the advance of motions. I operate best on the "no surprises" policy. . . when in doubt, contact us with questions.

Judicial Districts