In Minnesota, there are nearly 300 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 survey. The responses that we received are organized on the right by judicial district and then alphabetically by 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.

Fourth Judicial District Judges | Courtroom Preferences

Sagstuen, Warren R.

Senior District Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

State Court Bio: View Bio

Motion Practice
  • How long do you normally allow per party for argument of non-dispositive motions? 15 minutes
  • How long do you normally allow per party for oral argument of dispositive motions? 30 minutes
  • With respect to oral argument, do you prefer an attorney to not reiterate written material? Yes
  • Do you regularly conduct hearings and motions by phone? No
    If yes, please describe the procedure you would like attorneys to use to do so, including how testimony is to be transcribed and who puts the teleconference together: [No Answer Entered]
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys in your courtroom to follow at motion hearings: [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you like to receive courtesy copies of motion papers? Yes
Discovery Disputes
  • Do you require counsel to "meet and confer" before bringing discovery disputes to a hearing? Yes
  • Will you accept telephone calls from attorneys to rule on discovery disputes that occur during the course of a deposition? Yes
Pretrial Procedures
  • When do you normally set the pretrial in relation to the trial? 14
  • Do you normally hear motions in limine at the pretrial? Yes
  • When are jury instructions due? First day of trial
  • When are proposed special verdict forms due? First day of trial
  • When do you require that final witness lists be exchanged and filed? At the time of the pretrial
  • When do you require that final exhibit lists be exchanged and filed? three days before trial
  • Do you discuss settlement of the case with the parties at the time of the pretrial? Yes
  • State any specific procedures you would like attorneys to follow at the time of the pretrial: [No Answer Entered]
Continuances and Changes in the Scheduling Order
  • For changes in the scheduling order, except date of trial: [No Answer Entered]
  • For changes on the date of trial: Such changes are not allowed without special written request or a motion to the court.
  • Under what circumstances would you consider granting a change in the trial date? The presiding judge has taken on that duty for himself
Civil Jury Trials
  • Do you perform preliminary voir dire? [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you place a time limit on voir dire by counsel? [No Answer Entered]
  • Is there subject matter you will not permit counsel to ask of the jury? [No Answer Entered]
    If yes, please explain: I am not on an assignment that deals with civil jury trials, so I have not completed this portion of the survey.
  • Do you require counsel to sit or stand during questioning of witnesses? [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you require counsel to be behind counsel table unless counsel has a specific reason to approach a witness? [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you normally require counsel to meet each morning with the court before the jury comes into the courtroom? [No Answer Entered]
    If yes, how many minutes before court commences? [No Answer Entered]
  • I normally start jury trials at: [No Answer Entered]
  • I normally give the jury a break of [No Answer Entered] minutes in the morning.
  • I normally take a lunch break at: [No Answer Entered]
  • I normally give the jury a break of [No Answer Entered] minutes in the afternoon.
  • I normally finish court for the day at: [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you permit jurors to:
    Take Notes: [No Answer Entered]
    Keep notes during deliberation? [No Answer Entered]
    Ask the witnesses questions? [No Answer Entered]
  • If counsel asks to approach to argue a ruling, do you generally: [No Answer Entered]
  • Do you place a time limit on final argument? [No Answer Entered]
    If yes, If yes, what is the time limit? [No Answer Entered]
  • When do you instruct the jury? [No Answer Entered]
  • After argument and instructions, do you:
    Require counsel to be available by telephone? [No Answer Entered]
    Request that counsel remain at the courthouse during deliberations of the jury? [No Answer Entered]
    Take a verdict without counsel present and inform them after the verdict by telephone of the result? [No Answer Entered]
Sanctions of Counsel
  • Have you ever sanctioned counsel with imposition of a fine? No
    Or jail? No
  • Have you ever held counsel in contempt of court? No
  • Have you ever reported an attorney for unethical behavior? No
  • When, if ever, would you consider issuing sanctions, formal reprimands, holding an attorney in contempt, or reporting an attorney for unethical behavior? [No Answer Entered]