Pacific Northwest Solar v. Northwestern Corporation, A Delaware Corporation
ORDERED: This Order supplements and memorializes rulings made on the record at the final pretrial conference on October 3, 2019, as to the scope of John Alke'stestimony admissible at trial and resolves all issues raised in Plaintiffs Motion in Limine Re: NWE's State of Mind. (See order for complete details and information.) Signed by Judge Sam E Haddon on 10/9/2019. (HEG)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
PACIFIC NORTHWEST SOLAR,
A DELAWARE CORPORATION
DBA NORTHWESTERN ENERGY,
On May 8, 2019, the Court issued its Order1 reciting:
Pending before the Court are: (1) Plaintiffs
Motion to Strike and Exclude NWE's Undisclosed
Documents and Untimelty [sic] Discovery,2 filed April
16, 2019; (2) Plaintiffs Motion in Limine Re: NWE's
State ofMind, 3 filed April 16, 2019; and (3) Defendant
NorthWestern Corporation's Motion in Limine to
Doc. 220 at 1-3.
Exclude Trial Testimony from Ryan N. Meyer,4 filed
April 25, 2019.
The Court's November 15, 2017, Scheduling
Order stated: "[a]ll pretrial motions, other than discovery
motions, shall be filed and fully briefed on or before:
January 11, 2019." 5
No request to extend the pretrial motions deadline
was sought or granted. The pending motions all were
filed over three months after the fully briefed motions
Plaintiffs Motion to Strike and Exclude
NWE's Undisclosed Documents and Untimelty [sic]
Discovery6 is DENIED.
Plaintiffs Motion in Limine Re: NWE's
State ofMind7 is DENIED.
Defendant NorthWestern Corporation's
Motion in Limine to Exclude Trial Testimony from Ryan
N. Meyer 8 is DENIED.
Doc. 68 at 2-3.
Nothing in this Order addresses or resolves any
issue relevant to questions of admissibility of evidence at
The Court's Order9 of May 8, 2019, was amended by the Court's Order 10 of
May 3 1, 201 9.
On May 31, 2019, Plaintiff filed Plaintiffs Motion in Limine Re: NWE' s
State ofMind 11 reciting, inter alia:
Plaintiff, Pacific Northwest Solar, LLC move in
limine for an order preventing the North Western Corp.
("NWE") from introducing evidence or eliciting
testimony regarding NWE's state-of-mind, motive,
and/or subjective belief regarding its ability to perform
under the PP As. 12
A hearing to address issues presented in Plaintiffs Motion in Limine Re:
NWE's State ofMind 13 was conducted on September 11, 2019.
Doc. 245 at I 0, stating in part: "Any motions in limine directed to remaining trialrelated issues may be filed on or before May 31, 2019. If a motion in limine is
filed, the opposing party shall have to and including June 14, 2019, to file a brief
in response, at which time the motion or motions will be deemed submitted for
Doc. 241 at I.
Additional briefs directed to each party's "position as to which components
of Mr. Alke's testimony are appropriate for consideration by the Court in
addressing Plaintiffs Motion in Limine Re: NWE's State of Mind and which
components should be ruled to be inadmissible at trial" 14 were filed. 15
This Order supplements and memorializes rulings made on the record at the
final pretrial conference on October 3, 2019, as to the scope of John Alke's
testimony admissible at trial and resolves all issues raised in Plaintiffs Motion in
Limine Re: NWE's State ofMind. 16
Mr. Alke will not be permitted to testify or to offer
opinion on any legal matters, period.
He will not be entitled, either directly or indirectly, to offer
opinions about what actions the Public Service Commission took,
beyond allowing him to state, if he would choose to do so, that the
Public Service Commission made rulings, either one or a series of
rulings, that suspended the QF 1 tariff rate as that rate would apply to
the four contracts in this case.
He will not be permitted to offer testimony or opinions as to
why the Public Service Commission took whatever position it took.
Nor will he be permitted to testify as to a basis or rationale for the
Doc. 274 at 2 (footnote omitted).
See Docs. 283 and 288.
Public Service Commission's actions.
And certainly he will not be permitted to testify as to Mr.
Alke's opinion or the opinion of North West Energy as to the legal
effect of any of the rulings made by the Public Service Commission.
And I would not allow him, consequently, to talk about the
facts or background upon which the Public Service Commission acted
or it didn't act in reaching whatever decisions it made.
I will allow him, as we have previously discussed, to testify
that the Public Service Commission made the decision, affirmed in
several Orders, to suspend the QFl rates that had been contracted
between the parties and that it did so as of June 12, 2016. 17
DATED this .j_!aay of October, 2 0 1 ~ ~ ,
. ~ E . HADDON
United States District Judge
Doc. 298 at 45-46 (Final Pretrial Conference Tr., 45: 4 - 46:5, Oct. 3, 2019).
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