MN Wild


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.

Tenth Judicial District Judges

Meslow, Douglas B.

Chief Judge

Counties: Anoka

State Court Bio: View Bio

Contact with chambers:

  • Set forth your preferred method to contact chambers (telephone, e-mail, etc.).  email to my law clerk at
  • To whom may attorneys direct scheduling/logistical questions?  my scheduling clerk at, or 651-430-6327
  • To whom may attorneys direct substantive questions?  my law clerk Sarah Anderson at the email address indicated above

Motion practice:

  • Set forth your practices and procedures for scheduling motion hearings.  Arrange with my scheduling clerk, following the timelines and requirements set out in the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure
  • Identify any type of motion for which you do not require a hearing.  Default orders eligible for orders without hearings; default and stipulated orders in family court dissolutions without children.
  • Do you accept telephone calls from attorneys to rule on discovery disputes that occur during depositions?  I automatically grant one joint request for a telephone conference per file. The attorneys must establish a special basis for a second phone conference
  • How much time do you allot for motion hearings?  Twenty to thirty minutes is typically sufficient. I appreciate advance notice if more time will be needed.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attending a hearing by telephone or video conference.  I require attorneys to appear in person, unless special circumstances exist.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to discovery motions.  I require the attorneys to follow the Rules of Civil Procedure.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to stipulations of the parties, including stipulations for protective orders.  I will sign them without a hearing. If I have questions, my law clerk will contact the attorneys.
  • Do you have particular requirements or procedures relating to requests to amend the scheduling order?  If it is a stipulated requests, I want the reasons outlined but will approve. If opposed, I am usually open to handling the request by formal motion or telephone conference.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to default proceedings.  Consistent with the Rules of Civil Procedure. 
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to handling emergency motions.  File the appropriate pleadings and contact my scheduling clerk for date and time.

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.  I do not need courtesy copies. My law clerk and I will both have read all filed documents before the hearing.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for requests to deviate from the requirements of the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts.  None

In-court proceedings:

  • Identify what technology you use in the courtroom and state whether you prefer a particular electronic format.  N/A
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney’s use of technology in the courtroom and during trial.  Contact my scheduling clerk to be sure we are ready with any technology you will need for the hearing.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the submission of additional legal authority or other materials at or after oral argument.  Have copies available for opposing counsel. I may give opposing counsel additional time to respond to any newly offered legal authority.
  • 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.  The attorneys who will be handling the trial must be present. Clients with full settlement authority must be present or immediately available by telephone. I will usually ask the attorneys how deeply they would like me to be involved in settlement discussions.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling motions in limine.  The issues must be identified no later than the pretrial conference. The attorneys and I will discuss whether another hearing is necessary, or whether the issues can be submitted in writing. I will issue an order before the trial date.


  • What is your schedule for a typical trial day?  9:00-12:00 and 1:30-4:30, with breaks in the middle of the morning and afternoon.
  • Set forth your voir dire procedures.  Consistent with the Rules. Not a time to argue your case or sandpaper the jurors.
  • 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.  Attorneys may sit or stand, with or without a podium, as they feel most comfortable. No moving around the courtroom during examination, except a needed for the presentation of exhibits. Witnesses should not be addressed by their first names.
  • 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.  Allowed. Just make sure we know what you need.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to marking and using exhibits.  Pre-mark, identify through a witness(or offer as stipulated), show to opposing counsel, offer.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling objections.  If lengthy, I will excuse the jury. When appropriate, I may ask counsel to approach for a sidebar discussion and ruling, then make a record out of the jury's hearing during the next recess.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the use of deposition testimony.  Allowed. All objections should be stipulated to or ruled upon ahead of time.
  • May attorneys obtain daily transcripts during trial? If so, what procedure should attorneys follow?  Yes. Contact my court reporter Barb Eggerth during a recess.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney requests to contact jurors at the conclusion of  trial.  Permitted, and I will have advised the jurors they are free to respond or decline to answer questions.

Other matters:

  • Set forth any other preferences, practices, or procedures attorneys and parties may find helpful.  Out of respect for you and your clients, I believe it is my responsibility to be prepared for your hearings. As I indicated previously, that means that my law clerk and I will have read all pleadings, as well as the central cases you have citied, before all motions. I will usually begin the hearings by asking the attorneys a few questions, both to clarify issues for myself and to signal what points I believe are most important. Then I will give the attorneys time to make their arguments. Please do not simply reiterate your memorandum, but feel free to emphasize or clarify any matters you want to bring to my attention.

Judicial Districts