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CLEM v. ERLBAUM

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


May 17, 1984

THOMAS E. CLEM and REBECCA J. CLEM
v.
MICHAEL ERLBAUM and ELISABETH ERLBAUM

The opinion of the court was delivered by: LUONGO

MEMORANDUM

 LUONGO, Ch.J.

 This case arises from the breach of Agreements of Sale for several parcels of real estate. On April 18, 1984, I heard argument on plaintiffs' Motion In Limine to exclude testimony of alleged communications during compromise negotiations and I granted plaintiffs' motion.

 Currently before me is defendants' Motion to Certify the order granting plaintiffs' motion as a final judgment pursuant to Fed.R. Civ.P. 54(b). *fn1" Defendants maintain that the exclusion of this evidence has the effect of precluding recovery on their counterclaim.

 While evidentiary rulings may appear to counsel to be determinative of the case outcome, the federal policy against piecemeal litigation prevents me from acting on this subjective view. My Order of April 18 was an interlocutory ruling on evidence, not a final judgment on a distinctly separate claim. It may not be certified under Rule 54(b).

 Although I have not been requested to do so, I have also considered whether I may or should certify the issue involved in plaintiffs' Motion In Limine for appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 1292(b). *fn2" I conclude that such certification would be inappropriate for two reasons. First, I do not believe there is substantial ground for difference of opinion on the issue involved in the Motion In Limine. Second, and more weighty, rather than advance the ultimate termination of litigation, the certification of this issue would delay ultimate termination. This case is ready for trial and awaits only the disposition of this motion to be scheduled.

 I will deny defendant's Motion for Certification and move this case promptly to trial. In the event that the outcome of that trial is unfavorable to defendants, they will be able to appeal all the issues involved at one time rather than in a piecemeal fashion.

 ORDER

 This 17th day of May, 1984, after consideration of defendants' Motion to Certify this Court's April 18, 1984, Order under Rule 54(b) it is

 ORDERED that defendants' Motion is DENIED.


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