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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First Judicial District Judges

Knutson, David

District Court Judge

Counties: Dakota

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.  Call or email to obtain permission to schedule a hearing. Have an approximate day, week or month in mind for the hearing.
  • 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, may not rule on motion on a telephone conference, but willing to discuss with the parties.
  • How much time do you allot for motion hearings?  Whatever amount of time the attorneys request
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attending a hearing by telephone or video conference.  Arrange with my law clerk to obtain permission to appear by phone.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to discovery. motions.  Attorneys should resolve all discovery issues. Court is willing to have a telephone conference to discuss and strongly suggest an outcome.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to stipulations of the parties, including stipulations for protective orders.  Court is willing to review stipulated protective orders as long as the order doesn't infringe on the public's expected right to open access to all court records.
  • Do you have particular requirements or procedures relating to requests to amend the scheduling order?  Check with the court clerks to find out availability of court dates before scheduling any hearing date changes.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to default proceedings.  Schedule default proceedings just as any other motion hearing.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to handling emergency motions.  Contact law clerk.

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, I don't want to receive courtesy copies. The court clerks notify the judge team that documents have been filed in cases to which we are assigned.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for requests to deviate from the requirements of the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts.  Set up a telephone conference to discuss with court and all parties.

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.  Attorneys may use technology in the courtroom
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the submission of additional legal authority or other materials at or after oral argument.  Permission is usually granted as long as both parties are in agreement.
  • 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.  All parties must attend and must have authority to settle.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling motions in limine.  Prior to trial, depending on the complexity and nature of the motions, may be 2 weeks in advance of trial, or the day of trial. Will accommodate counsel.


  • What is your schedule for a typical trial day?  Start promptly at 9, break for 15 minutes in morning and afternoon. Lunch from 12 noon to 1:30, conclude for the day at 4:30. Must be respectful of the jury's time.
  • Set forth your voir dire procedures.  Court does minimal questioning of the jury to begin. Will consider any questions that counsel wants court to ask. Will impose reasonable limits on counsel voir dire.
  • 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 request to move about the courtroom and use table or podium or sit or stand with permission of the court.
  • Do you impose time limits with respect to opening statements and closing arguments?  Haven't need to, but would if necessary.
  • Identify your practices with respect to the use of technology in the courtroom during trial.  Inform court of expected uses of technology.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to marking and using exhibits.  Civil cases may be pre-marked as agreed upon by counsel.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling objections.  Will entertain brief arguments, if longer arguments, then should ask permission to approach to discuss and determine whether jury should be excused.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the use of deposition testimony.  Can be read or video played.
  • May attorneys obtain daily transcripts during trial? If so, what procedure should attorneys follow?  Make request well in advance of trial. Requires significant planning.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney requests to contact jurors at the conclusion of trial.  May do so, but must respect the jurors' time and not impose on them.

Other matters:

Set forth any other preferences, practices, or procedures attorneys and parties may find helpful.  None