I hate motions in limine. A motion in limine is like a condom. It is intended to stop something before it starts. Thus, lawyers file motions in limine to stop the other party from presenting prejudicial evidence to a jury. The theory is that the judge will not be able to protect the moving party at trial by simply ruling on an objection. As they say, once the jury hears the evidence, and even if an objection is sustained, the bell cannot be unrung.
Most of the time, motions in limine are picky or stupid or raise concerns that no jury in their right mind would care about anyway. Thanks to a reader of this blog, who is also an experienced trial lawyer, I came across a silly motion in limine filed by “the government” and a funny response submitted by defense counsel. The exchange is priceless.
PS Thanks to John Bourgeois! See also Howard Wasserman, WASSERMAN’S EVIDENCE, What not to do on a motion in limine (Thursday, October 31, 2013).