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Najjar v. Daleh

November 29, 2011

NAJJAR
v.
DALEH



Name of Assigned Judge Blanche M. Manning Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge

CASE TITLE

DOCKET ENTRY TEXT:

The defendants' motion in limine no. 9 is denied.

#[ For further details see text below.]

STATEMENT

On December 17, 2007, Pierre Najjar loaned $675,000 to Gus Dahleh, an officer of Mortgage Direct Company, for use in Mortgage Direct's business. In connection with that loan, Gus Dahleh signed a promissory note for $750,000 payable to Mr. Najjar and gave Mr. Najjar a check in the amount of $750,000 dated January 17, 2008, the date the promissory note was due. After January 17, 2008, Mr. Najjar presented the check to the bank and discovered that Gus Dahleh's account was closed.

Sam Dahleh (Gus' brother) subsequently signed a personal guaranty dated August 10, 2009, relating to the loan to Mortgage Direct. In the guaranty, Sam Daleh acknowledged that his "brother, Gus Daleh, and the company Mortgage Direct Company, owe Najjar $750,000 based on a December 17, 2007, Promissory Note that has matured." Sam Daleh also promised to unconditionally guarantee payment of that debt, plus interest and attorneys' fees, in one year. At the end of the document, Sam Daleh signed on two lines, one labeled "Sam Daleh, Individually" and the other labeled "Sam Daleh, as CEO and President of Mortgage Direct Company." Underneath the signature block, Sam Daleh wrote in:

*Note* This is not final agreement. We (Sam, Gus Pierre attorney's [sic] will work out changes by 08/11/09. I (Sam Daleh) signing as guarantor for the money owed to Pierre Najjar.

Sam Daleh then printed and signed his name under the handwritten addition and added the date of August 8, 2009. The parties agree that Sam Daleh made some payments by and through Mortgage Direct to Mr. Najjar.

In the defendants' motion in limine no. 9 (the court previously ruled on motions 1-8), the defendants seek to exclude the personal guaranty that was conditionally signed by Gus Daleh pursuant to Fed. R. Evid. 408. That rule is entitled "Compromise and Offers to Compromise" and distinguishes between the prohibited and permissible use of evidence relating to settlement negotiations as follows:

(a) Prohibited uses-Evidence of the following is not admissible on behalf of any party, when offered to prove liability for, invalidity of, or amount of a claim that was disputed as to validity or mount, or to impeach through a prior inconsistent statement or contradiction:

(1) furnishing or offering or promising to furnish-or accepting or offering or promising to accept-a valuable consideration in compromising or attempting to compromise the claim; and

(2) conduct or statements made in compromise negotiations regarding the claim, except when offered in a criminal case and the negotiations related to a claim by a public office or agency in the exercise of regulatory, investigative, or enforcement authority.

(b) Permitted uses-This rule does not require exclusion if the evidence is offered for purposes not ...


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