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


Harris, JaPaul

District Court Judge

Counties: Ramsey

State Court Bio:  View Bio

Contact with Chambers

  • Set forth your preferred method to contact chambers (telephone, email, etc.)  Preferred: E-mail (2ndjudgeharrischambers@courts.state.mn.us) or phone is (651) 266-9262
  • To whom may attorneys direct scheduling/logistical questions?   Law Clerk
  • To whom may attorneys direct substantive questions?  Law clerk or court reporter at judgeharrischambers@courts.state.mn.us or phone is (651) 266-9262

Motion Practice

  • Set forth your practices and procedures for scheduling motion hearings.  Depending on the nature of the motion please contact my law clerk or court administration to schedule motion hearings.
  • Do you accept telephone calls from attorneys to rule on discovery disputes that occur during depositions?             Yes, but not repeated calls.
  • How much time do you allot for motion hearings? As much time as the parties need. Motion hearings are scheduled for 1/2 to 1 hour time blocks.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attending a hearing by telephone or video conference.  The Court will consider telephone and video conference on a case-by-case basis. For Zoom hearings parties should observe the Court’s rules, practices, and etiquette as if they are appearing before the Court physically in the courthouse.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to discovery motions. Discovery should be complete prior to the trial. All issues surrounding discovery should be the subject of a motion in limine. Prior to raising the issue with the Court parties are required to meet and confer.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to stipulations of the parties, including stipulations for protective orders.  Agreed upon stipulations should presented to the court. All issues surrounding should be the addressed in a motion in limine.

Written Submissions

  • Do you have particular requirements or procedures relating to requests to amend the scheduling order?            The Court will not generally amend a scheduling order unless you contact the court with a sufficient basis in accordance with the process outlined in the scheduling order.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to default proceedings. Be prepared to demonstrate proper notice and present a sufficient case if requesting to proceed by default.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to handling emergency motions. Follow all applicable rules; contact law clerk for scheduling and for conferences.
  • 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.    Please e-mail a courtesy copy of written submissions to 2ndjudgeharrischambers@courts.state.mn.us. Courtesy copies of written submissions are appreciated. Word or PDF versions are acceptable.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for requests to deviate from the requirements of the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts. Generally not approved. However the court will consider any request 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.   Use of computer and other technology is encouraged.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney's use of technology in the courtroom and during trial.  Use and familiarity with court technology is very helpful. Attorney's are encouraged to test the court technology prior to trial and the court will accommodate any request of that nature.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the submissions of additional legal authority or other materials at or after oral argument.  Appreciated if relevant and necessary for the court in making a decision. Attorney must file it and serve opposing counsel.
  • 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.  All necessary parties are expected to participate in the settlement conference. If the conference takes place at the Courthouse, please keep my chambers informed of progress so that I can be available if the parties would like to go on the record to memorialize any agreements.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling motions in limine.  The parties should meet and confer and determine which if any motions, they mutually agree. The court should be informed of the agreement. All other arguments occur at a motion hearing.

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. The court begins by asking individual questions followed by group questions. Each party may ask further questions.
  • The parties should not duplicate the court's voir dire. The parties are to follow all applicable rules and the law, not attempt to try your case, and be respectful of the jurors and each other.
  • 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. The parties should adhere to the Rules of Decorum. The parties should stand when addressing the court (unless told otherwise), the parties should ask permission before approaching, and the witnesses should be referred to by last name and title.
  • Do you impose time limits with respect to opening statements and closing arguments?  No, unless specifically address in motion in limine.
  • Identify your practices with respect to the use of technology in the courtroom during trial.  I encourage the use of technology at trial.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to marking and using exhibits.  The attorneys should consult and agree to exhibit range, and pre-mark exhibits with court reporter to the extent possible.
  • 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. NO SPEAKING OBJECTIONS.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the use of deposition testimony.  Deposition testimony should be discussed with court prior to hearing or trial.
  • May attorneys obtain daily transcripts during trial? If so, what procedure should attorneys follow?  Discuss with court reporter prior to hearing.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney requests to contact jurors at the conclusion of trial.  After the conclusion the parties are free to speak with jurors, unless otherwise instructed.

Other Matters

  • Set forth any other preferences, practices, or procedures attorneys and parties may find helpful.  The mission of the Minnesota Courts is to provide justice through a system that assures equal access for the fair and timely resolution of cases and controversies. In service of this mission, Judge Harris is committed to providing an inclusive, bias-free environment. All who enter the courtroom must be treated with respect, dignity, and professionalism at all times. Judge Harris’ courtroom is a place where court users, attorneys, and court employees can all expect to be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect, regardless of their race, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and other aspects of background and identity.