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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Second Judicial District Judges


Gilligan, Thomas A.

Gilligan, ThomasDistrict Court Judge

Counties: Ramsey

State Court Bio: View Bio

Contact with Chambers

Motion Practice

  • Set forth your practices and procedures for scheduling motion hearings. Contact my scheduling clerk Anna Vue via email or phone.
  • Identify any type of motion for which you do not require a hearing. Most discovery disputes or scheduling issues.
  • Do you accept telephone calls from attorneys to rule on discovery disputes that occur during depositions? No. I expect that attorneys will work these types of disputes out on their own.
  • How much time do you allot for motion hearings?  Dispositive motions = one hour. Non-disposive motions = half hour.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attending a hearing by telephone or video conference. Must ask for permission in advance and show good cause. 
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to discovery motions. Meet and confer in person or by phone. Follow the MSBA Professionalism Aspirations. Schedule a phone call if no resolution. Movant should submit a one page letter to chambers to frame the issue to be resolved.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to stipulations of the parties, including stipulations for protective orders. Reach agreement, prepare and sign a stipulation, file the stipulation and proposed order and submit to chambers. 
  • Do you have particular requirements or procedures relating to requests to amend the scheduling order? Meet and confer in person or by phone, make good faith efforts to reach agreement. If agreement, file and submit to chambers proposed amendments with a cover letter explaining the reason for the amendment request. If no agreement, schedule phone hearing. 
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to default proceedings. File sufficient information to the court to prove entitlement to default. For consumer credit defaults, follow Standing Order.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to handling emergency motions. Follow standard scheduling practices as indicated above, but flag the urgency of the motion. 
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. No. Submit meaningful and comprehensive proposed Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order in Word to 2ndjudgegilliganchambers@courts.state.mn.us
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for requests to deviate from the requirements of the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts. Request permission in advance and show good cause. 
In Court Proceedings
  • Identify what technology you use in the courtroom and state whether you prefer a particular electronic format.  Display equipment and document camera are available upon request in advance of hearing.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney's use of technology in the courtroom and during trial. Technology in the courtroom is welcome. Attorneys or staff should plan to set up in advance and be well-versed in its use.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the submissions of additional legal authority or other materials at or after oral argument. Request permission in advance and show good cause. 
  • Do you permit parties to bifurcate oral argument so different attorneys address different legal issues? No.
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. Please refer to my scheduling order. I typically treat this hearing as a settlement conference between the lawyers and their clients. I typically limit my involvement to addressing pretrial and trial issues and setting expectations for trial. 
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling motions in limine. Follow the pretrial order for filing. I assume that all motions in limine can be heard on the morning of trial, unless otherwise indicated by the parties.
Trial
  • What is your schedule for a typical trial day?  Begin at 9, mid-morning break, lunch-break from 12pm to 1 or 1:30pm depending on trial, mid-afternoon break, break for evening 4:30 to 5:00pm depending on trial.
  • Set forth your voir dire procedures. Don't duplicate the court's voir dire, follow the rules and the law, don't try your case, economize and be proportional, be respectful 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. Follow the MSBA Professionalism Aspirations, ask to approach, podiums are available, don't block the jury's view of evidence or witnesses, attorneys may be seated during voir dire or interrogation, address witnesses formally.
  • Do you impose time limits with respect to opening statements and closing arguments? No. Economize and be proportional. Be respectful of the jurors.
  • Identify your practices with respect to the use of technology in the courtroom during trial. Technology is encouraged. Set up in advance and know how to use it.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to marking and using exhibits. Stipulations are encouraged. Jurors and the court appreciate when attorneys agree to submit joint, stipulated exhibits. Contact court reporter regarding numbering in advance of trial. For all in trial/non-stipulated exhibits, they must have been identified as potential exhibits to the opposing side in advance of trial. Have marked by court reporter. Address authenticity, identification and foundation with appropriate witness and be prepared to demonstrate evidentiary basis for admission. Offer exhibit.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling objections. State simply the evidentiary rule or doctrine upon which the objection is based. I may ask counsel to approach if I need further information.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the use of deposition testimony. For impeachment, identify page and line, ask permission to approach witness and inquire. For video, address objections/excisions in advance of presentation with opposing counsel. Ask for opportunity for ruling for unresolved objections in advance of presentation. Have video equipment ready in advance of presentation. Provide court with the original transcript, which the court will mark up contemporaneously with its presentation.
  • May attorneys obtain daily transcripts during trial? If so, what procedure should attorneys follow? Yes. Contact court reporter in advance of trial at 651-266-8216.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney requests to contact jurors at the conclusion of trial. Be respectful of the jurors time and interest in privacy. 
Other Matters
  • Set forth any other preferences, practices, or procedures attorneys and parties may find helpful. Being a trial attorney is difficult, stressful work. Don't compound the difficulty or stress by treating opposing counsel, parties, witnesses, jurors or court staff poorly. Be good to each other. Compromise where you can. Don't burn bridges. Ask only for what you need. Take the long view. Be generous in scheduling. Follow the MSBA Professionalism Aspirations.