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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Third Judicial District Judges


Duncan, Karen

judicial photoDistrict Court Judge

Counties: Steele

State Court Bio: View Bio

Contact with chambers:

  • Set forth your preferred method to contact chambers (telephone, e-mail, etc.). via call or email to court administration  
  • To whom may attorneys direct scheduling/logistical questions?  court administration general phone or email address
  • To whom may attorneys direct substantive questions?  Court Reporter

Motion practice:

  • Set forth your practices and procedures for scheduling motion hearings.  Contact court administration for mutually agreeable time slot.
  • Identify any type of motion for which you do not require a hearing.  To amend scheduling order by agreement; any other agreed upon relief.
  • Do you accept telephone calls from attorneys to rule on discovery disputes that occur during depositions?  If there has been prior notice of the date in which the parties anticipate such a need may arise.
  • How much time do you allot for motion hearings?  Typically 30 minutes, but additional time will be blocked when requested.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attending a hearing by telephone or video conference.  By advance written request, approved by Court.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to discovery motions. Can attempt informal phone conference, otherwise set formal motion hearing.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to stipulations of the parties, including stipulations for protective orders.  Written stipulations which include the proposed order can be handled in writing.
  • Do you have particular requirements or procedures relating to requests to amend the scheduling order?  Can be handled in writing by written agreement.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to default proceedings.  Schedule through court administration.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to handling emergency motions.  Get time slot through court administration.

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.  Assuming the written submissions are timely filed, there is no need to provide paper copies.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for requests to deviate from the requirements of the General Rules of Practice for the District Courts. In writing, in advance of hearing.

In-court proceedings:

  • Identify what technology you use in the courtroom and state whether you prefer a particular electronic format. The technology is ever-changing and sometimes fickle. It's best to address tech needs by contact with court administration.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney’s use of technology in the courtroom and during trial. Any specific questions or concerns can be addressed at the pretrial.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the submission of additional legal authority or other materials at or after oral argument. Follow the rules and seek permission if you want to file something additional after the hearing.
  • 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.  Attorneys must be able to contact decision-makers. Request a chambers conference if it will be helpful.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling motions in limine.  We try to get them done at the pretrial so as not to waste trial time.

  • What is your schedule for a typical trial day?  8:30 to 4:30 with an hour and 15 to thirty minutes for lunch.
  • Set forth your voir dire procedures.  Discuss at pretiral.
  • 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. Attorneys sit, unless addressing the Court. Witnesses are addressed by last names, not first names. Podium is available for opening, closings, voir dire should an attorney wish to use it. Request to approach your witness the first time you need to, request to approach adverse witness each time you need to. No gum chewing. Ever.
  • Do you impose time limits with respect to opening statements and closing arguments?  Generally not.
  • Identify your practices with respect to the use of technology in the courtroom during trial. Address it at pretrial so we can be efficient.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to marking and using exhibits.  Mark them in advance with case number and add the date it is offered.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures for handling objections. State the brief basis for the objection. You will be invited to the bench if additional discussion is needed.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to the use of deposition testimony.  Don't put the jury to sleep.
  • May attorneys obtain daily transcripts during trial? If so, what procedure should attorneys follow?  No.
  • Set forth your practices and procedures with respect to attorney requests to contact jurors at the conclusion of trial.  I generally tell the jurors that the attorneys may wish to contact them for feedback after the trial, and that they are welcome to talk with the attorneys , or not, as they choose.

Other matters:

  • Set forth any other preferences, practices, or procedures attorneys and parties may find helpful.  Be on time. If something comes up and you need a delay, promptly advice the courtroom clerk. Be polite.