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


Wahl, Edward

wahlDistrict Court Judge

Counties: Hennepin

State Court Bio: View Bio

Contact with chambers:

  • Set forth your preferred method to contact chambers (telephone, email, etc.). Telephone or email to clerks.
  • To whom may attorneys direct scheduling/logistical questions? Law clerks
  • To whom may attorneys direct substantive questions? Law clerks

Motion practice:

  • Set forth your practices and procedures for scheduling motion hearings. Call law clerks to schedule dates. Be sure to call well in advance of motion deadline; dockets are busy.
  • 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, but not usually repeatedly.
  • How much time do you allot for motion hearings? As much time as appears necessary.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attending a hearing by telephone or video conference.Zoom protocol applies.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to discovery motions. Parties must actually meet and confer. Then they must send brief, but specific letters to the court, which will be the basis for a telephone conference. Most disputes settle using this method; those that do not may seek a formal motion.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to stipulations of the parties, including stipulations for protective orders. Stipulations must be clear and definite; counsel should execute them and file them with the court.
  • Do you have particular requirements or procedures relating to requests to amend the scheduling order? Requests must be made in writing, with good cause shown.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to default proceedings. Follow M R Civ P 55 and Minn R Gen Prac 117 and all other relevant rules. The court expects proof of notice to be demonstrated.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to handling emergency motions. Follow all applicable rules; contact law clerks for scheduling and for conferences.

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. Yes, please: two copies of motions, memos and supporting documents.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for requests to deviate from the requirements of the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts. Requests must be made in writing and in advance.

 

In-court proceedings:

  • Identify what technology you use in the courtroom and state whether you prefer a particular electronic format. We accept all reasonable technology proposed by counsel.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney's use of technology in the courtroom and during trial. All reasonable use of technology is allowed.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the submissions of additional legal authority or other materials at or after oral argument. Obtain permission at hearing in advance or by writing in advance.
  • Do you permit parties to bifurcate oral argument so different attorneys address different legal issues? After discussion.

     

    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. We are adaptive. Pretrial settlement conferences are conducted as is useful, usually well in advance of trial. Responsible decision makers must attend. The court discusses an appropriate role with the parties and pursues its agreed role.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling motions in limine. We schedule them reasonably in advance of trial to meet the needs and posture of the case. Parties should exchange briefs and schedule oral argument as appropriate.
  • What is your schedule for a typical trial day? 9-12; 130-430. 20 minute breaks morning and afternoon.
  • Set forth your voir dire procedures. The court will inquire about standard objective information from each juror individually and then will ask group questions. The court welcomes suggestions for specific questions in specific cases. Counsel may inquire as they wish.
  • 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. Counsel may be seated or may use a podium. Counsel should maintain a respectful distance from the witness and from the jury, and must have court permission to approach witness, jury, or bench. Movement must conform to these guidelines, but pacing is distracting.
  • Do you impose time limits with respect to opening statements and closing arguments? Counsel generally may choose their own limits, which the court shares with the jury. No one ever criticized a speech for being too short.
  • Identify your practices with respect to the use of technology in the courtroom during trial. All reasonable technology is allowed. Discussions in advance are welcomed.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to marking and using exhibits. Exhibits should be pre-marked and stipulated to as much as possible.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling objections. State the objection and cite the rule if possible. Discussion and argument, if any, will occur outside the jury's hearing.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the use of deposition testimony. Testimony must be submitted in advance and subject to objection. The manner of oral presentation should be discussed.
  • May attorneys obtain daily transcripts during trial? If so, what procedure should attorneys follow? Yes. Arrange with reporters in advance-- dailies may require multiple reporters for quick production.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney requests to contact jurors at the conclusion of trial. Counsel may contact jurors; jurors' participation is optional.

Other matters:

  • Set forth any other preferences, practices, or procedures attorneys and parties may find helpful. Most of these considerations are general and may be modified in specific cases. All subjects benefit from advance disclosure and discussion; surprises are disruptive.