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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Motions in Limine -- an example

Although there are multiple uses for motions in limine, the most basic form is to (1) exclude testimony from certain witnesses, and (2) to exclude evidence on the grounds of (a) undue prejudice, (b) lacks authenticity, (c) lacks foundations, (d) lacks relevance, or (c) is cumulative and therefore unnecessary. Occasionally, a proponent will file a motion in limine as a backhanded form of summary judgment; asking the court to deny a party the right to present an argument or facts based on the law stipulating such argument cannot be had. However, while perfectly permissible, the Courts usually frown on waiting until just before trial to make a summary argument, and are much more inclined to find a question of fact requiring the trier to hear.

I've included a recent filing in a multi-million dollar shareholder/fiduciary claim case. In this instance, note the abridged nature of the summary, the inclusion of a chart characterizing the over 400 pages of evidence, and the argument against their witness. The rule that governs motions in limine is Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 402 and 403, which gives the Court jurisdiction to include (402) and exclude (403) any evidence. Remember -- a motion in limine is an argument based on the rules of evidence. Most of the time, your motion will be heard at the pre-trial conference, but must be filed according to the scheduling order.

One last note -- be sure to provide an alternative remedy of "caution". This lays the foundation for attacking and seeking sanctions if your opponent engages in improper evidence submission during trial, after having been cautioned not to do so via your motion in limine.



Do you have a question about Court procedure, motions in limine, or pre-trial strategy? Call us! WE CAN HELP! 703-402-2723 or 1-800-579-8864.

Hanover Law, PC
Offices in Fairfax, VA and Washington, DC
www.hanoverlawpc.com Lili O'connell, Esq.
Abby Archer, Esq.
888 16th St., NW Ste 800
Washington, DC 20006
2751 Prosperity Ave, Ste 580
Fairfax, VA 22031
Sean R. Hanover, Esq.
Stephen Salwierak, Esq.
1-800-579-9864 admin@hanoverlawpc.com Charles Hatley, Esq.

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