Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Motions in Limine Not Covered by Scheduling Order Calling for Pretrial Motions by Date Certain

From Royale Green Condominium Assn. v. Aspen Specialty Ins. Co., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66064 (S.D. Fla. July 24, 2009):

Plaintiff is technically correct in asserting that the Scheduling Order ... calls for the filing of all pretrial motions not explicitly excluded by Local Rule 7.1.A.1 by or before February 16, 2009. However, motions in limine, while not expressly prescribed by the Federal Rules of Evidence, have arisen out of "the district court's inherent authority to manage the course of trials." Luce v. U.S., 469 U.S. 38, 41 n.4 (1984). "The purpose of an in limine motion is to aid the trial process by enabling the Court to rule in advance of trial on the relevance of certain forecasted evidence, as to issues that are definitely set for trial, without lengthy argument at, or interruption of, the trial." Highland Capital Management, L.P. v. Schneider, 551 F. Supp. 2d 173, 176 (S.D.N.Y. 2008) (citing Palmieri v. Defaria, 88 F.3d 136, 141 (2d Cir. 1996)). Since this Motion in Limine was filed well in advance of trial and because the district court has inherent power to manage the course of trial, I will allow the motion....

[Footnote 1] I note also that Plaintiff's argument, taken to its ultimate conclusion could, among other things, prevent motions to amend witness lists, and could seriously hamper motions to exclude experts or for Daubert hearings. In this Case, February 6 was the close of expert discovery and February 16 was the pretrial motion deadline. If documents were produced on the last day of discovery, this would afford the receiving party only ten days to both process the documents and prepare and file any necessary motions.

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