While many of my friends were attending Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour,” I was at a trial in New Jersey. As I watched video clips of these friends, doused in glitter and singing at the top of their lungs while I burned the midnight oil, I couldn’t help but resonate with the lyrics to one song in particular: “Look What You Made Me Do.” What could this revenge song have to do with a civil trial you ask? Late-night preparation and arguments over certain evidentiary items that the other side would not agree to, despite the apparent irrelevance (in my humble opinion) of such evidence in the case.
Evidentiary fights are part of any legal proceeding, particularly at trial. But there are multiple mechanisms we can use in the months and weeks leading up to trial to address many of these issues, including motions in limine, Daubert hearings, and oral arguments to address exhibits or other evidentiary objections. One mechanism that may be overlooked in civil trials is requesting a specific Rule 104 hearing.