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 Kara Haro, MSBA staff liaison to the Civil Litigation Section.

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Eighth Judicial District Judges

Beckman, Stephanie

District Court Judge

Counties: Meeker

State Court Bio: View Bio

Contact with chambers:

  • Set forth your preferred method to contact chambers (telephone, email, etc.). Email, Telephone then U.S. Mail
  • To whom may attorneys direct scheduling/logistical questions? Law Clerk if I have one then to Court Administration
  • To whom may attorneys direct substantive questions? Law Clerk if I have one or then to Court Reporter

Motion hearings:

  • Set forth your practices and procedures for scheduling motion hearings. Law Clerk if a Scheduling Order is in place or to Court Administration if not had a Scheduling Order yet.
  • Identify any type of motion for which you do not require a hearing. I allow informal telephone conference calls for most issues: All must agree that the call is not recorded and it is to try to resolve issues, last, it may or may not result in an Order being issued.
  • Do you accept telephone calls from attorneys to rule on discovery disputes that occur during depositions? I do accept calls on discovery disputes. If I am not available, and requested by the attorneys, I will have an informal telephone conference call at a later date/time with them on the issues.
  • How much time do you allot for motion hearings? 30 minutes unless more is requested.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attending a hearing by telephone or video conference. I used to required opposed hearings to be in person but now with virtual courtroom, I would consider a request to appear by video in most cases.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to discovery motions. The rules should be followed. Good faith attempts to resolve the disputes must be made. An informal conference call can be attempted with me to attempt to resolve then a formal motion with specifics on what is requested, attempts made and reasons denied.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to stipulations of the parties, including stipulations for protective orders. A cover letter explaining the stipulation is helpful then I almost always approve a stipulation including a protective order.
  • Do you have particular requirements or procedures relating to requests to amend the scheduling order? I do not. If a case is getting old, I may not allow the amendment and instead have another scheduling conference with the attorneys to discuss the amended dates and the case.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to default proceedings. The rules should be followed. If the party appears at the hearing, I may allow them a chance to answer or file in a determined timeframe. If they fail, I may enter default without another hearing.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to handling emergency motions. I prefer the proposed Order in a Word document. I will hold a hearing. If it is ex parte, I want to know why it could not be served first or a hearing held first.

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 want paper copies.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for requests to deviate from the requirements of the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts. That I do informal telephone conference calls to resolve issues or discuss matters. The calls are not recorded and the call may or may not result in an Order being issued depending on the circumstances.

In-court proceedings:

  • Identify what technology you use in the courtroom and state whether you prefer a particular electronic format. I use Benchworks for note taking, Word and Adobe/PDF.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney's use of technology in the courtroom and during trial. Contact my Law Clerk or Court Reporter ahead of time to be prepared and show up early to be ready.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the submissions of additional legal authority or other materials at or after oral argument. If you request this, and I allow, I will provide you with dates for submission.
  • Do you permit parties to bifurcate oral argument so different attorneys address different legal issues? I do allow bifurcation on arguments and issues but I would like a clear record prior to the argument starting if possible.

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 only required those needed for settlement in person at the Settlement Conferences otherwise at the Pretrial I do not require clients or those with settlement authority. I have not had a request for video but would consider it.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling motions in limine. The Scheduling Order should be followed for filing the motion, all exhibits to be pre-marked and memorandum filed in a timely manner. I have no specific practices.
  • What is your schedule for a typical trial day? I meet with the attorneys at 8:30 with trial to start at 9:00am. We take at least 2 breaks during the day and stay as long as everyone is comfortable before recessing for the day.
  • Set forth your voir dire procedures. I discuss with the attorneys at the pretrial and take input from them as well.
  • 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, which is the local culture. Attorneys may move during trial after making the request and a podium and technology may always be used. Witnesses, unless a child or special permission is requested, should be by the surname or professional title.
  • Do you impose time limits with respect to opening statements and closing arguments? I do not impose time limits but may discuss the expectations with attorneys.
  • Identify your practices with respect to the use of technology in the courtroom during trial. I will discuss with the attorneys but I encourage the use of technology. Juries have given feedback that they appreciate its use.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to marking and using exhibits. I prefer exhibits to be pre-marked and an exhibit list provide. I request the attorneys meet and confer to stipulate to all exhibits they are able to ahead of the trial
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling objections. State ground for objection without argument. I allow the other side to respond then I will rule on the objection. If a more in depth record is required, we wait until a break or do a bench conference.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the use of deposition testimony. I discuss and work this out with attorneys on the case.
  • May attorneys obtain daily transcripts during trial? If so, what procedure should attorneys follow? It is most likely not feasible to get daily transcripts.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney requests to contact jurors at the conclusion of trial. I have not practices or procedures for the contacting of jurors and leave that to the attorneys and their professionalism.