United States District Court, D. Nevada
C. JONES, United Sties District Judge.
this Court are Defendant’s Motions in Limine Nos. 1
Through 3 (ECF No. 194), Plaintiff’s Motions to Extend
Time (ECF Nos. 195, 207), Plaintiff’s Motion for
Reconsideration (ECF No. 200), Plaintiff’s Motion to
Disqualify Counsel (ECF No. 197), and Plaintiff’s
Motion for Leave to File (ECF No. 211). The Court grants in
part and denies in part the Motions as follows:
motion in limine is a procedural device used to obtain an
early and preliminary ruling on the admissibility of
evidence. “Typically, a party makes this motion when it
believes that mere mention of the evidence during trial would
be highly prejudicial and could not be remedied by an
instruction to disregard.” Black’s Law Dictionary
1171 (10th ed. 2014). Trial judges are authorized to rule on
motions in limine pursuant to their authority to manage
trials. See Luce v. United States, 469 U.S. 38, 41
n.4 (1984) (providing that trial should be conducted so as to
“prevent inadmissible evidence from being suggested to
the jury by any means” (citing Fed.R.Evid. 103(c))).
have broad discretion when ruling on motions in limine.
See Jenkins v. Chrysler Motors Corp., 316 F.3d 663,
664 (7th Cir. 2002). However, a motion in limine should not
be used to resolve factual disputes or weigh evidence.
See C&E Servs., Inc., v. Ashland, Inc., 539
F.Supp.2d 316, 323 (D.D.C. 2008). To exclude evidence on a
motion in limine “the evidence must be inadmissible on
all potential grounds.” E.g., Ind. Ins. Co. v. Gen.
Elec. Co., 326 F.Supp.2d 844, 846 (N.D. Ohio 2004).
“Unless evidence meets this high standard, evidentiary
rulings should be deferred until trial so that questions of
foundation, relevancy and potential prejudice may be resolved
in proper context.” Hawthorne Partners v. AT&T
Tech., Inc., 831 F.Supp. 1398, 1400 (N.D. Ill. 1993).
This is because although rulings on motions in limine may
save “time, costs, effort and preparation, a court is
almost always better situated during the actual trial to
assess the value and utility of evidence.” Wilkins
v. Kmart Corp., 487 F.Supp.2d 1216, 1219 (D. Kan. 2007).
limine rulings are preliminary and therefore “are not
binding on the trial judge [who] may always change his mind
during the course of a trial.” Ohler v. United
States, 529 U.S. 753, 758 n.3 (2000); accord
Luce, 469 U.S. at 41 (noting that in limine rulings are
always subject to change, especially if the evidence unfolds
in an unanticipated manner). “Denial of a motion in
limine does not necessarily mean that all evidence
contemplated by the motion will be admitted to trial. Denial
merely means that without the context of trial, the court is
unable to determine whether the evidence in question should
be excluded.” Ind. Ins. Co., 326 F.Supp.2d at
MOTION IN LIMINE 1
first Motion in Limine requests that this Court exclude as
inadmissible hearsay the June 19, 2014 Letter from Adam
Wagoner (ECF No. 132, 76) and any testimony or statements
regarding the letter. Defendant further requests that the
Court deem inadmissible various anticipated testimony from
witnesses Deane Browne, Michael Kapetan, and Dana Smith.
Court previously found, the June 19 Letter from Wagoner does
not comply with 28 U.S.C. § 1746 and therefore fails to
provide the crucial indicium of reliability that is generally
required of all testamentary evidence. Lacking this indicium,
and otherwise failing to satisfy any of the exception or
exemption requirements to the hearsay doctrine, the letter is
inadmissible pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 802.
However, the Court declines to rule on potential testimony by
witnesses prior to trial. Therefore, the Court will reserve
ruling on the hearsay objections to testimony until trial.
Accordingly, Defendants first Motion in Limine is granted in
part and denied in part.
MOTION IN LIMINE 2
second Motion in Limine requests that this Court exclude as
inadmissible evidence of and argument about defendant’s
net worth, size, business practices, and other
characterizations. Defendant claims that such evidence is
irrelevant, lacks probative value and would be unduly
prejudicial under; therefore is inadmissible under FRE 401
and 403. While such evidence is relevant in determining
punitive damages, White v. Ford Motor Co., 500 F.3d
963, 976–77 (9th Cir. 2007), irrelevant
characterizations of a party as wealthy or the like may
inappropriately cause bias in a jury. See Dubric v. A
Cab, LLC, 2:15-CV-02136-RCJ-CWH, 2017 WL 662487, at *4
(D. Nev. Feb. 17, 2017) (noting the potential for evidence of
a defendant’s net worth to be “distracting and
prejudicial”). Accordingly, Defendant’s second
Motion in Limine is granted.
MOTION IN LIMINE 3
third Motion in Limine requests that this Court exclude
evidence and argument relating to the Plaintiff’s claim
with the Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and
Rehabilitation, Employment Security Division
(“ESD”). Defendant argues that such evidence is
barred pursuant to NRS 612.533 and Bradshaw v. Golden
Road Motor Inn, 885 F.Supp. 1370, (D. Nev. 1995).
Defendant further argues that such evidence is hearsay under
FRE 802 and ...