United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Thomas Marten, Judge
matter is before the court on defendants' motions to
amend the pretrial order (Dkt. 106) and for rulings on
certain issues of law (Dkt. 108). Plaintiffs filed a motion
in limine (Dkt. 110) in anticipation of the upcoming trial.
For the reasons stated below, defendants' motions are
denied. Plaintiffs' motion is granted in part, denied in
part without prejudice, and taken under advisement until
Defendants' Motion to Amend the Pretrial Order
pretrial order was entered on March 7, 2017. On March 30,
2017, the Board of Directors of K & L Tank Truck Service,
Inc. (“K & L”) met and passed a resolution
declaring any contract-if it should be determined that such a
contract existed-with plaintiff John Brown for lifetime
employment to be void.
argue that in Kansas, “a contract between a
corporation's director and the corporation is voidable at
the instance of the corporation or the stockholders if not
properly approved or ratified by the corporation.”
(Dkt. 107, at 2). Defendants move to add this alternative
defense to the pretrial order.
court may modify the order issued after a final pretrial
conference only to prevent manifest injustice.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(e). Defendants bear the burden to demonstrate
manifest injustice. Smith v. Bd. of Cty. Comm'rs of
Cty. of Lyon, 216 F.Supp.2d 1209, 1218 (D. Kan. 2002).
filed their motion to amend on November 1, 2017. The
parties' trial is scheduled to begin on November 28,
2017. Defendants could have filed this motion earlier and
therefore, fails to show manifest injustice under these
circumstances. Furthermore, plaintiffs will be prejudiced if
defendants are allowed to add an alternative defense this
late in the case. Defendants' motion is denied.
Defendants' Motion for Rulings on Undecided Issues of
request the court to rule on undecided issues of law.
Plaintiffs oppose defendants' request and argue
defendants are attempting to file a second motion for summary
motion essentially asks for reconsideration of Judge
Lungstrum's rulings made in his Memorandum and Order
(Dkt. 98). Judge Lungstrum granted summary judgment on
several claims; but held that summary judgment was not proper
as to whether defendant Alfonso Martinez had actual authority
to bind K & L to a contract for lifetime employment.
Judge Lungstrum declined to grant summary judgment on
plaintiffs' claim of apparent authority because
defendants failed to raise it in their opening brief.
Furthermore, Judge Lungstrum did not rule on the issue of
ratification because a jury must first resolve the issue of
apparent authority. The court will not reconsider Judge
Lungstrums's rulings. Plaintiffs are correct that
defendants may request judgment as a matter of law under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 50(a) at the close of plaintiffs' evidence.
Defendants' motion is denied.
Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine
motion in limine addresses 26 separate issues, and is largely
generic. In many instances, plaintiffs raise general issues
of law or requests that defense counsel be directed to follow
the federal rules of civil procedure and evidence.
purpose of an in limine motion is to aid the trial process by
enabling the Court to rule in advance of trial on the
relevance of certain forecasted evidence, as to issues that
are definitely set for trial, without lengthy argument at, or
interruption of, the trial.” Altman v. New Rochelle
Pub. Sch. Dist., No. 13 CIV. 3253 (NSR), 2017 WL 66326,
at *5 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 6, 2017) (quoting Palmieri v.
Defaria, 88 F.3d 136, 141 (2d Cir. 1996)). Courts look
with disfavor on motions in limine “the gist of which
is that the opposing party should be required to comply with
the rules of evidence . . . without identifying specific
evidence which there is reason to believe may be
introduced.” Graham v. Union Pac. R. Co., 2008
WL 4643292, at *1 (E.D. Ark. Oct. 17, 2008). Thus, such a
motion “seeking to prohibit generic, unspecified
‘prejudicial' testimony [is] not useful, and is
properly denied.” United States v. Enns, No.
15-10045-JTM, 2015 WL 8770006, at *1 (D. Kan. Dec. 14, 2015).
their motion, plaintiffs ask the court to exclude or
(1) testimony from any witness not timely disclosed;
(2) evidence of any prior litigation involving plaintiffs;
(3) reference to counsel's personal beliefs or opinions
regarding the lawsuit or ...