Judge's Corner

Article Index

Summary Judgment Motions - To File or Not to File? The Honorable Danielle J. Hunsaker, Washington County Circuit Court, Jason Kafoury, Kafoury & McDougal, and Joel Mullin, Stoel Rives, LLP (April 2019)

Judicial Challenges The Honorable Janet Stauffer, 7th Judicial Circuit (August/September 2017)

Use of Fictitious Names for Parties in Civil Litigation in Oregon The Honorable James Hargreaves (Senior Judge, retired), Lane County Circuit Court (June/July 2017)

The Judge's Pledge The Honorable Susan Tripp, Marion County Circuit Court (May/June 2017)

Organizing for the Courtroom The Honorable Daniel R. Murphy, Linn County Circuit Court (March/April 2017)

A Two Year Journey with Odyssey in Juvenile Court The Honorable Lindsay Partridge, Marion County Circuit Court (January/February 2017)

Lane County Streamlined Jury Trial Project The Honorable Curtis Conover, Lane County Circuit Court (November/December 2016)

20 Ways to Further Justice The Honorable Ilisa Rooke-Ley, Lane County Circuit Court (October/November 2016)

Managing Multi-Party/Complex Litigation without Driving Your Judge Crazy (and maybe even making it easier for everyone) The Honorable Henry Kantor, Multnomah County Circuit Court (September 2016)

Managing Multi-Party/Complex Litigation without Driving the Judge's Staff Crazy The Honorable Eve L. Miller, Clackamas County Circuit Court (August 2016)

Do's and Don'ts in the Courtroom The Honorable Lisa Greif, Jackson County Circuit Court (June/July 2016)

Preparation for a Status, Case Management, or Pretrial conference - or how to get more out of a non-evidentiary proceeding in criminal and family court cases The Honorable Kirsten E. Thompson, Washington County Circuit Court (April/May 2016)

Postponements The Honorable Richard Barron, Presiding Judge, Coos/Curry County Circuit Court (March 2016)

Consider Trying More Cases The Honorable Suzanne Chanti, Lane County Circuit Court Judge (February 2016)

Professionalism - It Counts Both In and Out of the Courtroom The Honorable Brian Dretke, Union County Circuit Court Judge (January 2016)

Changes to Sex Changes The Honorable Beth A. Allen, Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge (December 2015)

Top 25 Tips from a Senior Judge The Honorable Michael C. Sullivan, Senior Judge (retired), Deschutes County (November 2015)

How to Succeed at Power Point In the Courtroom The Honorable Michael McShane, US District Court (October 2015)

Effective Use of Evidence At Jury Trial The Honorable Matthew Donohue, Benton County Circuit Court (September 2015)

Making a Record for Appeal, The Honorable Charles M. Zennaché, Lane County Circuit Court (August 2015)

Access to Civil Justice in Oregon's State Courts, The Honorable David Brewer, Associate Justice, Oregon Supreme Court (July 2016)

What Jurors Want: A Look Into the Minds of Jurors, The Honorable John V. Acosta, United States Magistrate Judge (June 2015)

Handling the "Half-se" Hearing, The Honorable Mustafa Kasubhai, Lane County Circuit Court (May 2015)

Effective Voir Dire, Judge Thomas Hart, Marion County Circuit Court (April 2015)

The New Judge on the Block, Judge Lung S. Hung, Malheur County Circuit Court (March 2015)

The Gift of Finality: One PJ's Perspective, Judge Karsten H. Rasmussen, Lane County Circuit Court (February 2015)

ORCP 68 Attorney Fees - when, why and how to seek them, Judge Deanne L. Darling, Clackamas Juvenile Court (January 2015)

Difficult questions must be answered before they are asked, Judge Edward J. Jones, Multnomah County Circuit Court (December 2014)

Judicially Hosted Settlement Conferences, Judge Jamese L. Rhoades and Sr. Judge Don Dickey, Marion County Circuit Court (November 2014)

Working together to make discovery more efficient, The Honorable Youlee Yim You, Multnomah County Circuit Court (October 2014)

Court Trials - A Jury of One, The Honorable Katherine E. Tennyson, Multnomah County Circuit Court (September 2014)

Making the Most of Short Evidentiary Hearings, The Honorable Daniel R. Murphy, Linn County Circuit Court (August 2014)

Vouching, The Honorable Jay McAlpin, Lane County Circuit Court (July 2014)

Appropriate Jury Instructions Can Help Litigators Win Trials, The Honorable Paula Brownhill, Clatsop County Circuit Court (June 2014)

Evidentiary Hearings and Motion Practice in the era of Oregon e-court, The Honorable Benjamin Bloom, Jackson County Circuit Court (May 2014)

Motions in Limine - Tips for "Newer" Litigators, The Honorable Jodie Mooney, Lane County Circuit Court (April 2014)

Motions in Limine - Tips for "Newer" Litigators

The Honorable Jodie Mooney,
Lane County Circuit Court

(April 2014)

Motions in limine are often over-used and frequently ineffective. Some lawyers include everything from soup to nuts - whether they need to or not. The motions take time and potential jurors already unhappy to be missing work are made to wait even longer before voir dire can begin. To avoid frustration and unnecessary delay, each motion should be carefully considered before it is included.

Historically, motions in limine were not favored. Nielsen v. Brown, 232 Or 426, 430, 374 P2d 896 (1962) (the procedure of attempting to 'suppress' testimony before a witness is called to the stand is not to be commended). Although OEC Rule 104 tells us that, when the interests of justice require it, preliminary questions concerning the admissibility of evidence are to be determined by the court, you still won't find the word "limine" anywhere in the Oregon Revised Statutes. Current case law supports such motions. But keep in mind that they are supported as a mechanism to further efficiency and justice. State v Foster, 296 Or. 174, 674 P.2d 587 (1983) (the "motion in limine" provides a legal procedure to flush out problems before a jury is contaminated with the evidence. The old cliché, "you can't un-ring a bell," still applies).

Think hard before filing:

  • Are you simply asking the court to exclude all irrelevant evidence? or all hearsay statements?
  • Are you seeking to exclude evidence beyond the scope of the pleadings?
  • Are you filing motions that are not seriously in dispute (i.e. - re insurance) or that seek to exclude evidence that your opponent does not intend to offer?
  • Are you using a template that pre-dates your Bar number by more than 3 years? Can you reduce the number of motions to less than ten?

And, then, think a bit more:

  • Have you spoken with opposing counsel to determine any objections?
  • Have you narrowed the scope to specific and identifiable statements or evidence?
  • Which motions really matter to your case? Or, do you really think that the potential evidence would be so unfairly prejudicial that the judge should rule before hearing any evidence?
  • Have you got your list of motions down to less than five?

Then file your motions.


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