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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.


Ninth Judicial District Judges

Yon, Tamara

Assistant Chief Judge

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

State Court Bio: View Bio

Contact with chambers:

  • Set forth your preferred method to contact chambers (telephone, e-mail, etc.). email
  • To whom may attorneys direct scheduling/logistical questions? law clerk
  • To whom may attorneys direct substantive questions?  law clerk

Motion practice:

  • Set forth your practices and procedures for scheduling motion hearings. Contact law clerk - we'll find a date / time for any hearings needed.
  • Identify any type of motion for which you do not require a hearing. Any matters that are stipulated (i.e. agreement to extend discovery, etc.)
  • 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? Prefer no more than an hour but we can go longer if needed.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attending a hearing by telephone or video conference. Routinely use telephone conferences for scheduling matters. Will allow telephone hearings for matters that are relatively straight-forward and which do not require exhibits or witness testimony.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to discovery motions. N/A
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to stipulations of the parties, including stipulations for protective orders. Generally go along with stipulations of the parties, including stipulations for protective orders (counsel to provide a proposed order)
  • Do you have particular requirements or procedures relating to requests to amend the scheduling order? No
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to default proceedings. N/A
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to handling emergency motions.  N/A

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. No
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for requests to deviate from the requirements of the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts.  N/A

In-court proceedings:

  • Identify what technology you use in the courtroom and state whether you prefer a particular electronic format. Varies depending on county. 
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney’s use of technology in the courtroom and during trial. Generally very flexible with this - just make sure it works.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the submission of additional legal authority or other materials at or after oral argument. N/A
  • 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. Prefer to have these 1-2 weeks prior to trial, with parties and attorneys personally appearing, in the hopes that settlement can be reached or at least issues narrowed for trial.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling motions in limine.  N/A

Trial:

  • What is your schedule for a typical trial day? Jury in at 8:30 am; trial starts at 9 am.
  • Set forth your voir dire procedures. Have standard questions prior to attorney voir dire and these are provided to counsel in advance of trial.
  • 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. Am flexible on this so long as not a distraction. No approaching a witness unless court has approved.
  • 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. Varies depending on courtroom. Allow attorneys to bring in their own technology.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to marking and using exhibits. Prefer to have this done prior to trial, to save time.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling objections. N/A
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the use of deposition testimony. N/A
  • May attorneys obtain daily transcripts during trial? If so, what procedure should attorneys follow? Depends on availability of a court reporter and length of trial
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney requests to contact jurors at the conclusion of trial.  N/A

Judicial Districts