A motion in limine asks the court for an order or ruling limiting or preventing certain evidence from being presented by the other side at the trial of the case. This motion is filed in advance of the trial. However, a motion may be entertained by the court during a trial, before the evidence in question is offered. The purpose of this motion is to prevent the interjection of irrelevant, inadmissible or prejudicial matters.
The judge may sustain an objection against allowing a statement into evidence and instruct the jury to disregard the question. However, the plaintiff’s attorney can file a motion in limine seeking to prevent the other side from asking the question at trial.
Parties may seek to exclude admissible evidence in court by filing a motion in limine, if the evidence is prejudicial to the other side as to warrant its exclusion. Furthermore, lawyers may file motions in limine to prevent the other side’s expert witness from rendering opinion to the jury. When a motion in limine is filed, the court will set a hearing to decide the issue based upon the expected testimony of the expert.
A motion in limine should be filed by the lawyer in advance of trial in order to prevent the other side from attempting to offer damaging evidence which is improperly allowed by the court.