Oregon Civil Litigation: The Motion in Limine

A "Motion in Limine" is a pre--trial motion available to each party. Essentially, this is a written request to the court that certain facts be That of the evidence, and not be introduced to the jury. Many of the motions presented to the court come from lessons learned in past trials, or a basic understanding of the rules evidence that each party will often agree upon without argument.

In our experience, the defense attorney retained doctors will often attribute our clients' ongoing medical problems to some other, unknown cause. They will not be sure what is causing our client's current problems, but will not hesitate to speculate on what "may" be causing ongoing symptoms or limitations. If an expert is going to give an opinion in court, it cannot be based on speculation, but instead probability. We often asked the court ahead of time to prevent this kind of speculation.

Other expert opinions are based on "junk science." This means that the opinion is based on research or other data that are not generally accepted in the scientific community. In some cases, defense attorneys have called biomechanists as expert witnesses to testify that certain forces in a collision cannot cause injury. Many courts have called this testimony into question, and have refused to allow the testimony because it is generally unreliable.

Other motions in limine deal with straightforward issues, like the personal opinion of an attorney, or reference to incidents in the media that are completely unrelated to the issues the jury is facing in a particular case.

These motions are simply preventative tools aimed at getting our client a fair trial.

If you have questions about the process, call us at 503-325-8600. Frankly, many cases do not go to trial, but when they do, we are ready.