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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.


Fourth Judicial District Judges


Moore, James

District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

State Court Bio: View Bio

Contact with chambers:

  • Set forth your preferred method to contact chambers (telephone, e-mail, etc.). Parties may contact chambers by either telephone or email
  • To whom may attorneys direct scheduling/logistical questions? All members of chambers are available to answer questions
  • To whom may attorneys direct substantive questions?  All members of chambers are available to answer questions

Motion practice:

  • Set forth your practices and procedures for scheduling motion hearings. Pursuant to my standard scheduling order, a telephone conference with the court is required before scheduling discovery motions. All other motions can be scheduled by calling chambers.
  • Identify any type of motion for which you do not require a hearing. None.
  • Do you accept telephone calls from attorneys to rule on discovery disputes that occur during depositions? Yes.
  • How much time do you allot for motion hearings? Typically motions are scheduled for 1/2 hour total. The court will schedule more time upon request.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attending a hearing by telephone or video conference. The court prefers in person attendance, but will consider telephone or video conference appearances in appropriate circumstances.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to discovery motions. A telephone conference with the court is required before scheduling any discovery motion. 
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to stipulations of the parties, including stipulations for protective orders. Stipulations can be filed electronically. A courtesy copy is appreciated.
  • Do you have particular requirements or procedures relating to requests to amend the scheduling order? The circumstances that necessitate amendment of scheduling orders are so varied that parties are probably best advised to call chambers to inquire how the court would like to proceed.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to default proceedings. Defaults are handled like any other motion.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to handling emergency motions.  Start by calling or emailing chambers.

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. An electronic courtesy copy directly to chambers is appreciated. One paper copy of voluminous exhibits would also be appreciated.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for requests to deviate from the requirements of the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts.  Call or email chambers.

In-court proceedings:

  • Identify what technology you use in the courtroom and state whether you prefer a particular electronic format. The availability of technology in the courtroom is limited, but rapidly changing. Call chambers and ask what is available.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney’s use of technology in the courtroom and during trial. See answer above.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the submission of additional legal authority or other materials at or after oral argument. Late submissions are not favored, but sometimes necessary. All parties will be given a reasonable time to respond to any late submission.
  • Do you permit parties to bifurcate oral argument so different attorneys address different legal issues?  Yes.

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. I schedule a pretrial settlement conference in civil cases about 6 weeks before the trial block. With the parties' permission, I will attempt to mediate a settlement. All necessary parties should plan to attend. If settlement is not reached a trial date certain will be established.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling motions in limine.  Motions in limine are due 2 weeks before trial. Responses are due 1 week later. In complex cases oral argument may be set a few days before trial. Every effort will be made to issue rulings before the first trial date. 

Trial:

  • What is your schedule for a typical trial day? Trials are generally scheduled from 9:00 to noon and 1:00 to 4:30 with a 20 minute break morning and afternoon.
  • Set forth your voir dire procedures. The court will conduct a brief voir dire of each member of the panel (questions are provided to the parties in advance) and then allow voir dire by the lawyers. Argument is not allowed.
  • 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. Ask to approach witnesses each time. Don't stand at the witness stand--return to counsel table/microphone to ask questions. Attorneys can argue to the court from the table or podium. Attorneys may move around the courtroom during opening statements and closing arguments. Remember, familiarity with witnesses is forbidden by the rules. Please argue to the court (or jury), not with opposing counsel.
  • Do you impose time limits with respect to opening statements and closing arguments?  No
  • Identify your practices with respect to the use of technology in the courtroom during trial. Our courtrooms are small-call ahead and tour the space so that you can set up technology in a way that helps you communicate with the jury.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to marking and using exhibits. Exhibits must be identified, marked and exchanged before trial. The court will provide a form exhibit list with the trial order. Please use it. 
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling objections. State only the basis for objections. Do not argue objections unless the court invites argument.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the use of deposition testimony. Provide the depositions to the court sufficiently in advance of their anticipated use for the court to address any objections.
  • May attorneys obtain daily transcripts during trial? If so, what procedure should attorneys follow? Yes. Make the request at the time that the trial is set so that court reporting can be arranged (it usually takes 2 reporters to be assigned to meet such a request).
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney requests to contact jurors at the conclusion of trial.  Attorneys are free to contact attorneys.

Other matters:

  • Set forth any other preferences, practices, or procedures attorneys and parties may find helpful.  The court is available to discuss trials after the case is ended. Feel free to call to set up a time.

Judicial Districts