Florida personal injury lawyer, Guy S. DiMartino, discusses how Motions in Limine are used in a Florida personal injury or medical malpractice trial.
A motion in limine is a pretrial motion where a party asks the court to rule on an evidentiary issue. The party may ask the court to make a determination if a certain piece of evidence will be seen or not seen by the jury. Why is this important? Because all cases have warts or prejudicial issues on both sides (plaintiff and defendant), and if the court lets the parties know one way or another whether the evidence is coming in, the party can deal with the issue. Motions in limine make for an orderly trial and allow the parties to deal with prejudicial issues if necessary.
What types of things will I file motion in limine on behalf of my client
Let me give you an example. My client was convicted of a felony (murder or burglary) years before his/her injury. There is a rule of evidence that allows convictions into evidence for felonies if they are not too remote in time. We want to keep this information out. The insurance defense attorney wants this information to come into evidence hoping that the jury will hold the past conviction against the client. So, I file a motion in limine arguing that the conviction should not be admitted because it was so old that it has no bearing on how my client is today. Either way, if we can get the judge to rule on the issue, we know how to deal with it. If the judge disallows the evidence we can go on our merry way. If the judge rules that she will allow it into evidence, we will have to deal with the issue in jury selection and throughout the trial.
Personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuits are about strategy. Knowing how a judge will rule on a certain issue before trial makes for an orderly trial and provides insight on how we have to try our case.
If you have any questions about a Florida personal injury or medical malpractice claim, you can give me a call directly on my cell phone at (352) 267-9168 or fill out the internet consultation form on the right.