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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Seventh Judicial District Judges


Weiler, Leonard

judicial photoDistrict Court Judge

Counties: Morrison

State Court Bio: View Bio

Contact with chambers:

  • Set forth your preferred method to contact chambers (telephone, e-mail, etc.).  Law Clerk 
  • 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.  Court Clerk
  • Identify any type of motion for which you do not require a hearing.  Substantive motions require a hearing. Minor scheduling or discovery disputes may be resolved by an informal, telephonic conference. 
  • Do you accept telephone calls from attorneys to rule on discovery disputes that occur during depositions?  No
  • How much time do you allot for motion hearings?  Usually seeks input from counsel. Routine motions should take no more than 20-30 minutes. More complex motions will be granted additional time upon request. Counsel should be realistic in their requests.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attending a hearing by telephone or video conference.  Counsel should be physically present for a hearing.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to discovery motions.  See above regarding all motions. 
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to stipulations of the parties, including stipulations for protective orders.  Stipulation will be reviewed and typically approved. If there is an issue, the Court Clerk will contact counsel to set a telephonic conference to address concerns. 
  • Do you have particular requirements or procedures relating to requests to amend the scheduling order?  Scheduling Stipulations are typically approved and will be incorporated into a Scheduling Order. If counsel seek to amend, counsel will some kind of written explanation for the proposed amendment. 
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to default proceedings.  Administrative defaults can occur provided pleadings support the relief request. At all default hearings counsel must make his/her record to warrant the relief sought. 
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to handling emergency motions.  I am conservative in granting ex parte relief. Counsel should contact Court Clerk to seek an emergency motion hearing date. Typically this can be obtained in a short time-frame.

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.  I do not want copies of written submissions. If a written submission is filed less than 3 business days prior to a hearing, and a decision is needed at the time of the hearing, then counsel may want to provide a courtesy copy. I will be frank about my opportunity to review documents in advance of the hearing.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for requests to deviate from the requirements of the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts.  Requests should be submitted in writing.

In-court proceedings:

  • Identify what technology you use in the courtroom and state whether you prefer a particular electronic format.  My court room will support all technology. No format is preferred.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney’s use of technology in the courtroom and during trial.  If it will be used counsel must make sure their technology is adaptable to the courtroom well in advance of the scheduled hearing.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the submission of additional legal authority or other materials at or after oral argument.  There will be no submission of additional authority or materials after oral argument unless the record remained open for this purpose. Once the hearing is concluded, the case is under advisement upon the record.
  • Do you permit parties to bifurcate oral argument so different attorneys address different legal issues?  Bifuration of oral argument will be allowed but only one attorney is typically authorized to address an issue.

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.  During settlement conferences counsel who will try the case will be required to be present and to have settlement authority. I will offer assistance in resolution if it is viable at the conference. 
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling motions in limine.  They are preferred to be addressed prior to the day of trial.

Trial:

  • What is your schedule for a typical trial day?  Begin at nine. Any usual housing keeping matters maybe addressed at 8:30. Mid-morning break for 15 minutes. Break for lunch at 12:00. Return at 1:00. Mid-afternoon break for 15 minutes. Adjourn at 4:30.
  • Set forth your voir dire procedures.  I typically asks standard voir dire questions. Counsel should limit follow-up questions to those designed to evaluate a juror's qualifications. If counsel opine a question is improper, opposing counsel should ask to approach and address the court at a side bar. 
  • 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 move within the courtroom provided it is not distracting. Counsel must seek permission to approach witnesses. Use of a podium is permitted for Opening Statements and Closing Arguments. Attorneys should sit at all other times. Attorneys should address all others in the Courtroom with formality during trial, i.e. Mr. or Ms. 
  • 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.  There are no practice/restrictions on technology provided permission to use is sought in advance. Counsel and parties must comply with the District Policy regarding technology.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to marking and using exhibits.  Exhibits must be marked in advance and outside the presence of the jury. Publishing of exhibits during trial maybe granted upon request. 
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling objections.  Counsel need not stand to make an objection. Counsel must state the objection and the legal authority, i.e. relevancy, Rule 402. I typically allow opposing counsel to make a brief response to the objection. Any other argument raised will likely result in calling for a side bar with admonishment to counsel outside the hearing of the jury. Any further arguments and or court response will be placed on the record during the next break.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the use of deposition testimony.  Counsel must comply with the rules. 
  • May attorneys obtain daily transcripts during trial? If so, what procedure should attorneys follow?  I will defer to the Court Reporter regarding transcript availability.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney requests to contact jurors at the conclusion of trial.  There are none.

Other matters:

  • Set forth any other preferences, practices, or procedures attorneys and parties may find helpful.  N/A