North Carolina Business Litigation Report

Motions In Limine In Non-Jury Trials

Does it make any sense to make a motion in limine before a bench trial? No, not according to Judge Diaz, who ruled as follows in a short Order in Hilb Rogal & Hobbs Co. v. Sellars:

"In a jury trial, motions in limine serve the useful purpose of giving counsel advance notice of the scope of evidence that will be considered by the jury. In a bench trial, however, a pretrial ruling on the admissibility of evidence would be superfluous because the trial judge must (in any event) consider the evidence before ruling."

The Court ruled that it would not rule on motions in limine before trial, but that it would "instead allow all evidence to be tendered to the Court, subject to any objections timely raised."


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Mack Sperling
Brooks Pierce, LLP
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