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David Payne, et al v. Schneider National Carriers

April 26, 2011

DAVID PAYNE, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
SCHNEIDER NATIONAL CARRIERS, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS/CROSS-CLAIM
PLAINTIFFS/ CROSS-CLAIM DEFENDANTS.
JEFF FOSTER TRUCKING, INC., THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFF,
v.
DALE STUMBO, THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Murphy, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This case, in which trial currently is set to begin on August 2, 2011, at 8:00 a.m., the undersigned judge presiding, is before the Court on two motions in limine brought by Defendant/Cross-Claim Plaintiff/Cross-Claim Defendant/Third-Party Plaintiff Jeff Foster Trucking, Inc. ("Jeff Foster") (Doc. 192 and Doc. 196). In the motions in limine Jeff Foster requests that the Court take the following actions:

(1) exclude in limine before trial evidence or argument concerning settlement offers or negotiations;

(2) exclude in limine before trial evidence or argument concerning liability insurance, including the fact that Jeff Foster had liability insurance on the date of the accident giving rise to this case and that Jeff Foster and/or its liability insurance carrier is watching the trial, and prohibit questioning of jurors at voir dire about whether they or their family members work in the claims department of an insurance company;

(3) exclude in limine before trial evidence or argument that any witness appearing in this case has a questionable character or is associated with persons of such character;

(4) exclude in limine before trial evidence or argument concerning the size of the law firm representing Jeff Foster, and prohibit any objection or statement by an attorney in this case to the effect that any other attorney in the case has committed misconduct or any other speech or behavior by an attorney regarding the behavior, conduct or demeanor of any other attorney in the presence of the jury;

(5) exclude non-party witnesses from the courtroom during trial, except when testifying;

(6) exclude in limine before trial evidence or argument concerning the ethnicity, religious beliefs, character, and background of Plaintiffs David and Sherrie Payne and in particular any evidence or argument to the effect that, in light of their ethnicity, religious beliefs, character, and background, Mr. and Mrs. Payne would not exaggerate their claims in this case;

(7) exclude in limine before trial evidence or argument concerning the relative wealth or poverty of the parties to this case;

(8) exclude in limine before trial evidence or argument during closing statements that mischaracterizes the testimony of witnesses, and prohibit counsel from making improper comments about the exclusion of evidence by the Court, addressing jurors by name, suggesting that Jeff Foster's counsel have withheld evidence and that Jeff Foster or its attorneys lack integrity, and commenting as to the truth or credibility of evidence based upon personal opinion or on personal knowledge of parties or witnesses;

(9) exclude in limine before trial evidence not previously disclosed or produced in discovery; and

(10) exclude in limine before trial expert opinions by witnesses in this case that have not been disclosed previously in discovery.

Having considered the matter carefully, the Court rules on Jeff Foster's in limine requests in the following manner:

(1) With respect to Jeff Foster's in limine request (1), the request is GRANTED. See Fed. R. Evid. 408 (in general, evidence of settlement negotiations and offers is ...


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