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Li v. Sheltzer

February 13, 2009

JAMES LI, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL SHELTZER, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lawrence J. O'Neill United States District Judge

ORDER ON MOTIONS IN LIMINE

On February 12, 2009, a pre-trial conference was held in the above captioned matter. During the pre-trial conference, the Court indicated that this case would be bifurcated between liability and damages, and also ruled on motions in limine that had been raised in the joint pre-trial statement. This order memorializes the rulings made in court on the motions in limine.

PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS

1.a. Preclude Defendants from mentioning Plaintiff's prior 42 U.S.C. § 1983 cases This motion is DENIED to the extent that limited questioning will be allowed to show a possible bias or motive by Plaintiff for his allegation that Defendant Scheltzer used a racial slur. Specifically, Defendants will be allowed to ask Plaintiff if the cases were filed, if Plaintiff lost those cases, and if his failure to allege the use of a racial slur by the defendants in those prior cases was a reason for his losses.

1.b. Preclude Defendants from offering evidence of Plaintiff's recreational gambling This motion is GRANTED.

1.c. Preclude Defendants from offering evidence of Plaintiff's admission into the UCLA Law School through affirmative action This motion is GRANTED without prejudice. However, if Plaintiff opens the door by attempting to argue that his admission to the UCLA Law School is evidence of his communication and English proficiency, then the Court will reconsider this ruling.

2. Preclude Defendants from offering into evidence documents authored by Plaintiff, that were not reviewed by Defendants in connection with Plaintiff's job applications, for the purpose of showing Plaintiff's purported difficulties with the English language This motion is DENIED to the extent that Defendants may offer such evidence to show circumstantially that Plaintiff continues to have difficulties with the English language, consistent with the difficulties relied upon by the Defendants during the application/hiring process.

3. Preclude Defendant Scheltzer's "subordinates" from asserting their opinions about Plaintiff's English proficiency during the job interview This motion is DENIED in that persons present at the interview who were subordinates of the Defendant Scheltzer may testify about Plaintiff's English proficiency during the interview.

4. Preclude Defendants from making any argument that Plaintiff's performance at this trial is demonstrative of communication difficulties during the job interview This motion is DENIED to the extent that Defendants may offer such evidence to show circumstantially that Plaintiff continues to have difficulties with the English language, consistent with the difficulties relied upon by the Defendants during the application/hiring process.

5. Preclude Defendants from asserting that Plaintiff's appellate efforts were not reasonable mitigation This motion is DEFERRED until the damages phase of trial.

6. Allow Plaintiff to offer summaries of earnings and losses from his law practice This motion is DEFERRED until the damages phase of trial.

7. Preclude Defendants from referencing Plaintiff's use of a client trust account in the conduct of his law practice in 2005, 2006, and 2007 This motion is GRANTED.

8. Allow Plaintiff to present evidence relating to an attempt to file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing Based on the agreement of the parties, this motion is GRANTED.

9. Allow Wayne Eisenhart and Norman Koplof to provide expert testimony as unretained expert witnesses Ruling on this matter is deferred. By noon (12:00 p.m.) February 18, 2009, Plaintiff will send a fax to the Court or file electronically with the Court documentation that he believes satisfies his disclosure obligations under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(2). If Plaintiff does not believe that he has complied with the disclosure requirements of Rule 26(a)(2), he will send a fax to the Court or file electronically with the Court (by the same deadline) ...


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