February 21, 2019 Articles

Tips for Crafting Motions in Limine: The Good, the Bad, and the Underrated

Knowing that a motion in limine may be used offensively as well as defensively is only half the battle.

By Sarah E. Epperson

Attorneys often underestimate the power of a well-drafted motion in limine. A motion in limine often is viewed as a somewhat routine filing, designed to keep out unfavorable evidence—the legal profession’s equivalent of a shield, protecting the body of trial evidence from information that is harmful to your case. This view, however, is overly narrow. A motion in limine should be used by the legal profession as both a shield and a sword—to exclude unfavorable evidence as well as to pre-admit favorable evidence. When strategically and judiciously drafted, a motion in limine can be a highly effective weapon that will help you shape and control the body of evidence. This article details some of the many strategic uses and benefits of filing a motion in limine, as well as certain pitfalls, and provides tips to help you maximize your chances of success.

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