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Estate of Petersen v. Bitters

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

July 10, 2018

ESTATE OF JOYCE ROSAMOND PETERSEN, Plaintiff,
v.
WILLIAM E. BITTERS and JOHN L. HENRY, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court on plaintiff Estate of Joyce Rosamond Petersen's (the “estate”) Motion in Limine (Filing No. 254). The estate asks the Court to preclude William E. Bitters and John L. Henry (“Henry” and collectively, the “defendants”) and their witnesses from mentioning or introducing evidence relating to fourteen different topics[1] at trial, and to allow the estate to mention and introduce evidence relating to ten different topics at trial. Given that trial is set to begin on July 10, 2018, the Court issues the following rulings.[2]

         I. TOPICS TO EXCLUDE

         A. GRANTED

         The estate's motion to exclude certain topics is granted as to the following numbered paragraphs of the Motion in Limine, as such evidence or arguments are clearly excludable or improper. The defendants and their witnesses are prohibited from referencing the following subjects or introducing evidence related to them.

         3. Defendants Should Not Be Allowed To Point Out That Ms. Petersen Is Deceased And Thus Cannot Enjoy The Money That Is Awarded To Her.

         4. Defendants Should Not Be Allowed To Mention That Money Won't Make The Anxiety, Pain, Stress Go Away Or Bring Back Ms. Petersen.

         5. Defendants Should Not Be Allowed To Discuss How Much Plaintiff's Clients Paid In Attorneys' Fees.

         6. Defendants Should Not Be Allowed To Comment On How Damages And Verdicts Hurt The Economy Or Enriches Lawyers.

         B. GRANTED IN PART/SOME MATTERS RESERVED FOR TRIAL

         The estate's motion is tentatively granted in part and denied in part as to the following numbered paragraphs, and the extent to which the paragraphs are granted or denied is explained below.

         10. Defendants Should Not Be Allowed To Admit Into Evidence Or Use Or Refer To Evidence That Was Not Previously Produced.

• This paragraph is sustained, assuming the evidence was requested in discovery and unless the defendant seeks to introduce evidence about changes in Henry's testimony.

         14. Defendant's Expert, E. Lawrence, Should Not Be Able to Attack the Credibility of Any Witness or State Any Fact Occurred Or Not, If Plaintiff's Expert is Similarly Barred by the Court's July 9 Order.

• Any expert witness may comment on the credibility and conclusions of other expert witnesses but cannot directly comment on the credibility of lay witnesses.

         C. DENIED/RESERVED FOR TRIAL

         The estate's motion is denied as to the following numbered paragraphs without prejudice to the estate's ability to raise his objections at trial in context. The admissibility of any evidence on these topics is subject ...


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