Lee v. Dennison et al

Filing 129

ORDER Granting 92 Motion in Limine. Signed by Judge Kent J. Dawson on 1/17/2023. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - TRW)

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Case 2:19-cv-01332-KJD-NJK Document 129 Filed 01/17/23 Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 8 *** 9 ALEXIS LEE, 10 Plaintiff, 11 12 15 ORDER v. DINO DENNISON, et al., 13 14 Case No. 2:19-cv-01332-KJD-NJK Defendants. Presently before the Court is Defendants’ Motion in Limine No. 5 to Preclude Arguments From Plaintiff Regarding Experience With Similar Cases (#92). Plaintiff responded. (#118). 16 I. 17 This action arises from a motor vehicle accident on September 9, 2017. Plaintiff Alexis Lee Factual and Procedural Background 18 (“Lee”) was driving an economy-sized Hyundai Sonata and Defendant Dino Dennison 19 (“Dennison”) was driving a semi-truck as an employee of Defendant Knight Transportation 20 (“Knight”) when the two vehicles collided. A nearby police officer responded to the incident, 21 assessed the situation, and filed a report. Lee filed suit against Dennison and Knight for damages. 22 Defendants bring this motion in limine to preclude Plaintiff’s counsel from arguing to a jury 23 that he has previously tried similar cases because it is irrelevant and will improperly prejudice 24 the jury. 25 II. 26 A motion in limine is a procedural mechanism made in advance to limit testimony or 27 evidence in a particular area” and is “entirely within the discretion of the Court.” Diamond X 28 Ranch, LLC v. Atlantic Richfield Co., No. 3:13-cv-00570-MMD-WGC, 2018 WL 2127734, at Analysis Case 2:19-cv-01332-KJD-NJK Document 129 Filed 01/17/23 Page 2 of 3 1 *1 (D. Nev. May 8, 2018). A “motion in limine should not be used to resolve factual disputes or 2 weigh evidence.” IGT v. Alliance Gaming Corp., No. 2:04-cv-1676-RCJ-RJJ, 2008 WL 3 7084605, at *2 (D. Nev. Oct. 21, 2008). “To exclude evidence on a motion in limine, ‘the 4 evidence must be inadmissible on all potential grounds.’” Diamond X Ranch, 2018 WL 5 2127734, at *1 (quoting Indiana Ins. Co. v. General Elec. Co., 326 F.Supp.2d 844, 846 (N.D. 6 Ohio 2004)). 7 Defendants move the Court to prevent Plaintiff’s counsel from making any arguments (1) 8 referencing his previous experience, (2) the general worth of similar cases, or (3) the general 9 operations of trucking companies such as Defendant Knight Transportations. (#92, at 4). 10 Defendants argue that these arguments are irrelevant and are only intended to prejudice the jury. 11 Id. at 5-6. 12 Plaintiff filed only a limited opposition, agreeing that Plaintiff’s counsel will not refer to his 13 prior experience as evidence in this case. (#118, at 2). However, Plaintiff argues that counsel 14 should not be precluded from mentioning experience in prior cases during voir dire. Id. Plaintiff 15 argues that “in the context of evaluating a potential juror’s willingness to entertain a requested 16 amount of damages, it would be appropriate for counsel to state, for example, that in cases 17 similar to this one, counsel seeks damages of a certain amount.” Id. 18 Plaintiff cites to a Nevada Supreme Court case, in which the Court held that “it is permissible 19 for a party to use a specific award amount in questioning jurors regarding their biases toward 20 large verdicts, [and] it is the duty of the district court to keep the questioning within reasonable 21 limits. Khoury v. Seastrand, 337 P.3d 81, Nev. Adv. Op. 52 (2016). 22 The Court finds that, in accordance with the briefing of both parties, Plaintiff’s counsel is 23 precluded from offering his experience in prior cases as evidence in this case. Further, counsel 24 may propose questions to be asked of the jurors, but the Court conducts the voir dire of the 25 jurors, with the input from counsel. Therefore, in accordance with the order regarding trial, 26 Plaintiff’s counsel may submit specific questions for prior review by the Court. (#106, at ¶ 12). 27 The Court will then ask the approved questions to the prospective jurors. 28 -2- Case 2:19-cv-01332-KJD-NJK Document 129 Filed 01/17/23 Page 3 of 3 1 III. Conclusion 2 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants’ Motion in Limine (#92) is 3 GRANTED. 4 Dated this 17th day of January, 2023. 5 6 7 8 _____________________________ Kent J. Dawson United States District Judge 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -3-

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