How To Oppose a Motion in Limine

A motion to exclude evidence from a trial is usually filed by a party in a lawsuit.You can file a motion in opposition to the motion.The judge is likely to rule on the motion after holding a brief hearing.

Step 1: The motion needs to be read.

You should get a copy of the other side’s motion around the time it is filed.It could be mailed or hand delivered.You and the other side should have agreed on how you would get notice of the motions.If you get a copy of the motion, you should read it.

Step 2: The other side wants to exclude some information.

All sorts of information can be excluded from being brought up at a trial.Pick out what information the other side wants excluded from the motion.There are a number of reasons why motions in limine are brought.It is possible to refer to a car crash as afender bender.An attorney should not mention prior crimes.If a person is sued for fraud, the person might want to bring up the fact that they have previously been convicted of a violent crime.To keep out evidence that is not in line with the rules of evidence.There are rules of evidence in each state and the federal government.It is not possible to show that a person has liability insurance in order to prove that they were negligent.

Step 3: Check the deadline.

When your response is due, make a note of it.You don’t have a lot of time.Information on the timing of motions can be found in the judge’s local rules.The relevant Rules of Civil Procedure should be read if there is no information in the local rules.The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure can be read if you are in federal court.You should read your state’s Rules of Civil Procedure if you are in state court.

Step 4: Rules and court opinions can be read.

Look at the argument section of the other side’s motion in limine and find out what legal authority they cite in support of their argument.They will cite either Rules of Evidence or court opinions.Check to see if the court opinion really stands for what the other side claims.The Federal Rules of Evidence can be found online.Many states publish their rules online.You can find opinions on the internet.Click on the case law and enter the citations.206.You should have a copy of the opinion.

Step 5: There are counterarguments.

There are legitimate reasons for opposing the motion in limine.The circumstances of the case will affect your counterarguments.You can raise the following counterarguments.In a fraud trial, you could argue that the word “lying” is not more important than any other word used to describe a deliberate misrepresentation.The prejudice does not outweigh the value.The evidence could be prejudiced.The court can only exclude it if the prejudice outweighs the value.The evidence is being introduced for an alternative purpose.There is a legitimate reason for some evidence being introduced.In an automobile accident case, you could show proof of liability insurance to show that the person owned the vehicle.

Step 6: If your counterarguments are frivolous, analyze them.

It is not possible to file a frivolous motion with the court.You could be reprimanded if you do.You may be ordered to pay a financial penalty or reimburse the other side’s legal fees.If you have a reasonable argument, you should analyze your counterarguments.Do not file the motion if you don’t.

Step 7: Meet an attorney.

Should you oppose the motion in limine?You can ask the attorney questions.You can get a referral by contacting your local or state bar association.Call and schedule a meeting once you have a referral.Ask the attorney how much he charges.The attorney can read the other side’s motion.If you don’t have time to do legal research or draft your own motion, then ask if you could hire an attorney.

Step 8: The document should be formatted.

You need to draft your own motion in opposition to formally oppose the motion.Setting up your motion will make it look like other documents in your case.Set the fonts to a comfortable size and style by creating a one-inch margin on all sides.Motions are typed in 14 point Times New Roman or Arial.The paper is numbered down the left-hand side.You should read your local rules.

Step 9: The caption information should be added.

The name of the court, the parties, and the case number are included in the caption.It could also include the judge’s name.The caption information can be found in any document filed in your case.Add a title as well.It is possible to title your motion, for example, “Plaintiff’s Opposition Motion to Defendants Motion in Limine to Exclude Evidence of Liability Insurance”.

Step 10: An introduction is needed.

Do you know who you are and the purpose of your motion?You could write, for example, “Plaintiff, Ann Smith, representing herself pro se, hereby opposed the Defendant’s Motion in Limine to prevent any mention of Defendants liability insurance.”

Step 11: Make an argument.

If you want to introduce the evidence at trial, you should explain why the other side’s motion in limine should be denied.You can support your argument with citations to court rules or case opinions.You could say that the request to exclude evidence of his liability insurance should be denied.Rule 411 of the Federal Rules of Evidence allows the introduction of evidence to show that a person owns a vehicle.Rule 411 does not allow the introduction of this evidence as proof of carelessness.The evidence will not be introduced for that purpose.

Step 12: A conclusion can be added.

The conclusion should be brief.Request that the court deny the other side’s motion.You could say that the Motion in Limine to Exclude Evidence of Liability Insurance should be denied.

Step 13: Go ahead and sign your motion.

Beneath the conclusion is where you should put “Respectfully submitted” and a line for your signature.You can put your name, address, telephone number, and email address under the signature line.

Step 14: A certificate of service can be created.

You need to give the other side a copy of your motion and let the court know that you served it on their side.The method of delivery and the date you sent the copy should be mentioned.The certificate should be put on a separate sheet of paper and title it “Certificate of Service”.The sample language said: “I hereby certify that on this [Insert date], copies of the foregoing Plaintiff’s opposition to the motion in limine to exclude evidence of liability insurance was hand delivered to:”

Step 15: Make a lot of copies.

You have to file multiple copies along with the original.Read the rules of the court.You should keep a copy of all the documents in your case.A courtesy copy could be delivered to the judge’s chambers.The judge has rules.

Step 16: You can serve a copy on the other side.

You need to use the method you stated in your certificate of service to send the other side a copy of your motion.You have to give enough notice before the hearing.How much advance notice you need to give should be stated in the Rules of Civil Procedure.If you give notice by mail, some courts will require that you add on five days for the motion to arrive to the other side.You will have to mail the notice 14 days before the hearing if your rules require it.

Step 17: You can file the motion with the court.

If you want to file, take your copies to the court clerk.The filing date should be stamped on your copies by the clerk.You can file the motion electronically in federal court.The electronic system will probably notify the other side that the motion has been filed.

Step 18: Prepare by reading all of the motions.

During the hearing, the judge could ask you a question about either your motion or the other side’s motion, so you should reread them so that you understand them inside and out.Pull copies of all court cases or rules cited in the motions and make sure you are familiar with them.

Step 19: It’s a good idea to outline your argument.

The main issues you want to hit should be bullet points.The purpose of the argument is not to read from a text.You want to talk to the judge.Understand your arguments.You probably won’t get a lot of time to talk, so keep your remarks short.It’s best to have a few short, clear statements.

Step 20: You can listen to the other side.

At your hearing, the person who filed the motion in limine will go first.Listen quietly.They should not raise any arguments that weren’t raised in the motion.Make a note of the arguments and bring them to the judge when you are ready to speak.The judge can ask questions.Listen closely.The judge asks a sneak peek at what the judge is most interested in.If the judge seems particularly interested in one issue, you should speak first.

Step 21: Make an argument.

Speak confidently and clearly.The motion in limine should be denied if you make your top two or three points.Don’t guess when answering if the judge has questions.Refer to the judge as your honor or the other side as my opponent.

Step 22: Wait the decision.

After hearing argument on the motions, the judge should make a decision.You can try to appeal the issue if you lose at trial.If the judge excludes the evidence, be careful not to introduce it during the trial.You could be reprimanded or the judge could declare a mistrial.