Sprint Nextel Corporation v. Middle Man, Inc., The et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER granting 229 Motion in Limine. Signed by Chief Judge J. Thomas Marten on 03/08/2017. (aa)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
SPRINT NEXTEL CORPORATION,
Case No. 2:12-cv-02159-JTM
THE MIDDLE MAN INC.,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter came before the court on Middle Man’s motion in limine (Dkt. 229)
to exclude evidence of Brian Vazquez’s 2004 conviction for obstruction of a law
enforcement officer by making false statements. The court orally granted the motion on
the record and gave the parties additional explanation in an email. This written
memorandum will supplement the court’s prior ruling.
Middle Man argues the conviction should be excluded as irrelevant, prejudicial,
beyond the ten-year limit of Fed. R. Evid. 609(b), and because Sprint failed to give
adequate notice of its intent to use the conviction. In response, Sprint argues the
evidence is admissible under Rule 609 despite the age of the conviction because it
involved false statements to a government agency, and the probative value therefore
outweighs any prejudice to defendant, and because Sprint gave adequate notice of the
Rule 609(a)(2) requires a court to admit evidence of convictions involving
dishonesty, regardless of punishment. The false statement conviction was clearly a
misdemeanor, the consequence of giving an officer his brother's name during the course
of an arrest, and the sentence was probation, which Mr. Vazquez successfully
completed. Rule 609(b) strongly supports excluding the conviction. It places an
advisory ten-year limit on the age of conviction or finishing a sentence, and the
guidance in the Advisory Committee Notes suggests the evidence should be allowed
only in extreme cases. This was not an extreme case, and the danger of unfair prejudice
is exacerbated by the clear implication that The Middle Man is in some manner
defrauding Sprint. To allow Sprint to present this evidence to the jury is not probative
of any issue relating to the meaning of the "Terms and Conditions" of phone ownership
and restrictions on sale -- the evidence is much more likely to emphasize Sprint's
suggestion of dishonest dealings against The Middle Man.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED this 8th day of March, 2017, that defendant’s
Motion in Limine (Dkt. 229) is GRANTED.
_____s/ J. Thomas Marten______
J. THOMAS MARTEN, JUDGE
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