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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Fourth Judicial District Judges


Kappelhoff, Mark

judicial photoDistrict Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

State Court Bio: View Bio

Contact with chambers:

  • Set forth your preferred method to contact chambers (telephone, e-mail, etc.).  Chambers Email: 4thJudgeKappelhoffChambers@courts.state.mn.us
  • 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. Pre-trial motions are handled on a case-by-case basis. Motion hearings are generally held on the day they are scheduled, unless the parties wish additional time to brief the issue(s) prior to argument. 
  • Identify any type of motion for which you do not require a hearing. N/A
  • Do you accept telephone calls from attorneys to rule on discovery disputes that occur during depositions? N/A
  • How much time do you allot for motion hearings? Case-by-case basis.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attending a hearing by telephone or video conference. Case-by-case basis.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to discovery motions. N/A
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to stipulations of the parties, including stipulations for protective orders. N/A
  • Do you have particular requirements or procedures relating to requests to amend the scheduling order? N/A
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to default proceedings. N/A
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to handling emergency motions.  N/A

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

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 are welcome to 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. Pre and/or post-hearing written submissions addressing the pre-trial issue(s) can be helpful, but are not required. 
  • Do you permit parties to bifurcate oral argument so different attorneys address different legal issues? N/A

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. N/A
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling motions in limine. Prior to trial, parties should submit any motions in limine. Judge Kappelhoff generally hears oral argument on motions in limine or other trial-related motions prior to trial. The parties may brief any legal or trial-related issues before oral argument.

Trial:

  • What is your schedule for a typical trial day? Trial days are generally scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon, with a mid-morning break, and continue from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a mid-afternoon break. This schedule may be adjusted on a case-by-case basis to accommodate the schedules of the court, part
  • Set forth your voir dire procedures. During voir dire, Judge Kappelhoff will begin by asking prospective jurors questions, followed by the attorneys. Attorneys may not discuss or argue the facts of the case, propose hypotheticals, or inquire about disputed issues in the case. 
  • 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. Parties may choose to sit at either counsel table in the courtroom.

    Parties may sit or stand at counsel table when addressing the court, and they also may use the podium if they prefer.

    Attorneys may sit or stand at counsel table or move about the courtroom when examining witnesses. Attorneys are welcome to use the podium during opening statement, closing argument, or voir dire.
  • 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. Attorneys are welcome to use technology in the courtroom during trial.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to marking and using exhibits. Parties are encouraged to pre-mark exhibits. Before trial, attorneys should obtain rulings on admissibility of exhibits and consider whether stipulations can address the admissibility of any exhibits.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling objections. Attorneys should state the basis for making an objection. Attorneys may request permission to approach the bench if they wish to argue the objection. 
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the use of deposition testimony. N/A
  • May attorneys obtain daily transcripts during trial? If so, what procedure should attorneys follow? N/A
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney requests to contact jurors at the conclusion of trial.  N/A

Other matters:

  • Set forth any other preferences, practices, or procedures attorneys and parties may find helpful. Attorneys should conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times, and treat each other, all parties, and members of the court staff with respect, courtesy and civility. See Title I, Rule 2. Court Decorum; Conduct of Judges and Lawyers.