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

Webber, Charles

CharlesWebber






District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin
State Court Bio: View Bio


Contact with chambers:

  • Set forth your preferred method to contact chambers (telephone, email, etc.). Email
  • To whom may attorneys direct scheduling/logistical questions? Law clerk
  • To whom may attorneys direct substantive questions? My law clerk, although he will not answer legal questions

Motion practice:

  • Set forth your practices and procedures for scheduling motion hearings. Schedule through court administration
  • Identify any type of motion for which you do not require a hearing. 

    Stipulated/agreed motions (I will advise the parties if a hearing is needed)

  • 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 30 minutes, but may be changed based on type of motion
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attending a hearing by telephone or video conference. Please request through law clerk if desired
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to discovery motions. 

    I encourage informal conference call with court if the parties are amenable. I can provide some guidance, if not a formal ruling. If a formal motion is necessary, I strongly encourage brevity. Most discovery motions are too lengthy.

  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to stipulations of the parties, including stipulations for protective orders. I welcome stipulations from the parties, but will review all of them and advise the parties if a hearing is needed.
  • Do you have particular requirements or procedures relating to requests to amend the scheduling order? I am happy to consider stipulations to amend the scheduling order, and will advise if a hearing is needed. If the requested change is not stipulated, I welcome brevity in the submissions, as the issues are usually straightforward.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to default proceedings. 

    Make sure you have properly served all involved parties and have filed proof of the service.

  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to handling emergency motions. Request through my clerk, but please think before classifying something as an "emergency." Every motion is important to the parties; few rise to the level of "emergency."

Written submissions:

  • Do you want to receive paper courtesy copies of the parties' written submissions? 

    I appreciate receiving paper courtesy copies of briefs and affidavits that are less than 50 pages in length.

  • Set forth your practices and procedures for requests to deviate from the requirements of the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts. 

    I will consider them, but it is best to request them before you need them. For example, a request for extra pages for a brief is much better received before the brief is actually filed.

In-court proceedings:

  • Identify what technology you use in the courtroom and state whether you prefer a particular electronic format. I do not use much technology other than MNCIS to review the docket and pleadings.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney's use of technology in the courtroom and during trial. I am very open to attorneys using technology, but take steps to make sure the technology works (i.e., test it) BEFORE you come to court. 
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the submissions of additional legal authority or other materials at or after oral argument. 

    Please submit a short letter request explaining the need for the additional submission. I will decide on whether to allow the additional submission.

  • Do you permit parties to bifurcate oral argument so different attorneys address different legal issues? Yes, but it is not the most effective presentation if different lawyers divide up the argument.

     

    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 prefer not to conduct settlement conferences in cases that I am handling; I would far prefer the parties attempt to settle through a mediator or other neutral.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling motions in limine. 

    I ask that they be filed at least 14 days before trial--longer if the pretrial scheduling order requires it. They should be concise, but cite some basic authority supporting the request when possible.

  • What is your schedule for a typical trial day? 

    9 to noon with a 15-minute break, one hour for lunch, 1 to 4:30 with a 15-minute break. This is subject to change as needed.

  • Set forth your voir dire procedures. I ask basic questions and then allow the attorneys to question. I will not allow more than 45 minutes of voir dire absent unusual circumstances.
  • 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. Follow the Minnesota Trial Book--e.g., address witnesses and others by surname, not first name, unless addressing a child. Ask to approach witnesses or the bench. Attorneys may use a podium, sit, or stand at their discretion, although excessive wandering about while questioning witnesses will not be allowed.
  • Do you impose time limits with respect to opening statements and closing arguments? One hour each side absent prior approval.
  • Identify your practices with respect to the use of technology in the courtroom during trial. Up to counsel, but make sure to test it before trial so there are no delays.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to marking and using exhibits. 

    Premarking exhibits is preferred.

  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling objections. 

    Stand when making an objection. No speaking objections--keep it concise.

  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the use of deposition testimony. People may use it in accordance with the rules, but remember that it is never as interesting the jury as you might think it is. Keep the deposition testimony short.
  • May attorneys obtain daily transcripts during trial? If so, what procedure should attorneys follow? Yes. Arrange with my court reporter at least a week in advance and follow her instructions with respect to compensation and other things.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney requests to contact jurors at the conclusion of trial. I prefer that attorneys ask me before I speak to the jury after the trial (which I always do) so that I can tell them that the attorneys may want to speak with them and that it is optional.