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

Janisch, Karen

judicial photoDistrict 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 chambers or law clerk with counsel for all parties and all self-represented litigants copied on the communication.
  • To whom may attorneys direct scheduling/logistical questions? law clerk assigned to the case
  • To whom may attorneys direct substantive questions? If a substantive issue needs to be addressed, contact the law clerk assigned to the case to either set up a telephone conference with all parties or schedule a motion hearing

Motion practice:

  • Set forth your practices and procedures for scheduling motion hearings. Contact law clerk by phone or email for hearing dates, inform all parties of hearing date immediately. For discovery motions, an informal telephone conference is required before obtaining a hearing date.
  • Identify any type of motion for which you do not require a hearing. Uncontested procedural motions to amend pleadings, change caption, extend time periods.
  • 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? 30 minutes. If numerous motions are consolidated or issues are numerous, a party can request that the court schedule a 1 hour hearing.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attending a hearing by telephone or video conference. During the pandemic remote attendance may be required by phone or video. Otherwise remote appearance may be granted when appropriate where distance or other circumstances provide.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to discovery motions. The scheduling order directs that a party with a dispute must arrange an informal telephone conference on the issues before a hearing can be set.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to stipulations of the parties, including stipulations for protective orders. Stipulations for protective orders will be considered. During the pandemic stipulations for amendment of the scheduling order are considered. Otherwise, stipulations that would impact dispositive motion or trial dates require a telephone conference
  • Do you have particular requirements or procedures relating to requests to amend the scheduling order? see above-
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to default proceedings. Default motions requiring that he moving party secure and provide notice of a hearing date. Well plead facts are accepted, but proof of non-liquidated damages must be established as well as any facts not sufficiently plead to establish claim and relief
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to handling emergency motions. Unless an ex parte order is justified (rare), service of the complaint and motion must be made immediately. The Court will set a hearing with input from all parties.


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. See trial order for submissions related to trial.
  • For motion practice, courtesy copy should be made when filing exceeds 50 pages. (this practice is suspended during pandemic)

In-court proceedings:

  • Set forth your practices and procedures for requests to deviate from the requirements of the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts. Typically, the request should be made by correspondence with reflects discussion with other parties. Contact the court's law clerk to see whether further telephone conference or motion is appropriate.
  • Identify what technology you use in the courtroom and state whether you prefer a particular electronic format. Proposed orders should be emailed in word format. The courtroom includes a computer for the judge. Presentation of video or display for jurors requires that he party bring their own technology. Coordinate with all parties for trial presentation.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney's use of technology in the courtroom and during trial. Identify what will be used at final pretrial. Coordinate if possible with other parties to increase efficiency, all videos, demonstrative evidence etc must be timely disclosed
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the submissions of additional legal authority or other materials at or after oral argument. A party moving for dispositive or non-dispositive relief must raise must identify the issues and authorities in the initial moving papers. Additional authority should be rare, and should be disclosed and raised at earliest time
  • 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. 1-2 weeks before the start of the trial block the court will hold a pretrial conference with the attorneys and parties to address trial procedures and settlement status. Trial dates within the trial block will be discussed with the parties and attorneys should be aware of their own, their clients and their witnesses availabilities.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling motions in limine. Motions in limine on significant issues are heard at the pretrial and must be briefed as non-dispositive motions
  • What is your schedule for a typical trial day? 9-12 and 1:30 to 4:30
  • Set forth your voir dire procedures. Parties should not "educate" the jury or seek agreement on positions, facts or issues in the trial. Voir dire should focus on the qualification of the jurors.
  • 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. Questioning should be from counsel table while seated unless otherwise provided by the Court. The podium used for voir dire, openings and closings.
  • 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. See prior response
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to marking and using exhibits. See trial order
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling objections. Objection should be stated and grounds stated. If the court needs additional input or if argument is needed on more complex issue as to approach.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the use of deposition testimony. See rule on use. The original transcript provided to the Court when first used at trial. Court will mark as a court exhibit in the record.
  • May attorneys obtain daily transcripts during trial? If so, what procedure should attorneys follow? See Trial Order
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney requests to contact jurors at the conclusion of trial. Not provided for at the time of trial or immediately after verdict