United States District Court, D. Montana, Billings Division
BRYAN M. TARTER, I Plaintiff,
THRONE LAW OFFICE, P.C., and JACOB T. HASEMAN, Defendants.
P. WATTERS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court are five motions in limine filed by Defendants
Throne Law Office, P.C, and Jacob T. Haseman. For the
following reasons, the Court denies the motions in limine.
see the background section of the Court's order granting
in part and denying in part the Defendants' motion for
summary judgment. (Doc. 31).
in limine are procedural devices to obtain an early and
preliminary ruling on the admissibility of evidence. Judges
have broad discretion when ruling on motions in limine.
Jenkins v. Chrysler Motors Corp., 316 F.3d 663, 664
(7th Cir. 2002). A motion in limine should not be used to
resolve factual disputes or weigh evidence. C &E
Services, 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." Ind. Ins. Co. v. K-Mart Corp., 326
F.Supp.2d 844, 846 (N.D. Ohio 2004). Courts have wide
discretion in considering and ruling on motions in limine.
See Luce v. U.S., 469 U.S. 38, 41 n.4 (1984).
Plaintiffs experts are not cumulative
Plaintiffs retained experts
Defendants argue the Plaintiffs experts offer cumulative
testimony on the standard of care in violation of Rule of
Evidence 403. The Plaintiff responds that while there is some
overlap, each is necessary because one is an expert
transactional attorney and one is an expert bankruptcy
attorney. The Court agrees with the Plaintiff.
Sullivan is an expert in real estate, financing, and
litigation. Sullivan's opinion on the standard of care is
that senior attorneys have a responsibility to supervise less
experienced attorneys in transaction negotiations, and the
failure to meet that standard of care here resulted in the
Defendants missing the issue of security in the negotiation.
Patten is an expert in bankruptcy law. Patten's opinion
on the standard of care is that attorneys have a
responsibility to advise clients on the risks associated with
unsecured transactions, such as not being paid in full if the
debtor files for bankruptcy, and the failure to meet that
standard of care here resulted in the Plaintiff entering an
unsecured transaction without knowing or understanding the
opinions have some overlap because they pertain to security
in transactions, but they are focused on different aspects of
the lack of security in this negotiation. Sullivan's
opinion mostly concerns how the standard of care was
breached, whereas Patten's opinion mostly concerns the
effects of the breach. Furthermore, given the complex nature
of this professional negligence action, which involves
detailed real estate agreements and bankruptcy proceedings,
the jury will benefit from hearing the opinion of an expert
in each field.
trial, if the opinions of Sullivan and Patten become
impermissibly cumulative, the Defendants are free to ...