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Ralph Romantine v. Ch2m Hill Engineers

October 24, 2011

RALPH ROMANTINE,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
CH2M HILL ENGINEERS, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ambrose, Senior District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff has filed one motion in limine [Docket No. 62] and Defendant has filed seven motions in limine [Docket Nos. 63-69]. Having carefully considered the motions, the parties' responses thereto, and any replies, I find as follows:

Plaintiff's Motion In Limine [Docket No. 62]

Plaintiff moves in limine to exclude Defendant from offering as evidence certain documents designated as probable or possible trial exhibits in Defendant's pretrial statement. I will address each exhibit individually.

Defendant's probable exhibit number 1 is a letter from George Alexander to Plaintiff, dated July 7, 1999. Plaintiff argues that it should be excluded as irrelevant, since it addresses a job offer from Defendant's predecessor to Plaintiff in 1999, nine years before the events giving rise to this lawsuit. Defendant argues that the document is relevant to the circumstances of Plaintiff's hiring and the scope of his employment.

I agree with Defendant that the document is relevant to the issue of Plaintiff's employment by Defendant. Accordingly, Plaintiff's motion is DENIED with respect to Defendant's probable exhibit number 1.

Defendant's probable exhibit number 2 is a letter from Fred Marsh to Plaintiff, dated December 19, 2003. This letter is subsequent job offer to Plaintiff from Defendant, and is similarly relevant to the issue of Plaintiff's employment by Defendant. Accordingly, Plaintiff's motion in limine to exclude Defendant's probable exhibit number two is DENIED.

Defendant's probable exhibit number 3 consists of a series of press releases by various companies reporting on the impact of the economy on their businesses in 2007-08 time period. Plaintiff seeks to exclude these documents on the grounds that they are hearsay and unauthenticated business records. Defendant argues that the documents are admissible to show the general perception during the time that the economy and marketplace were in significant decline.

These documents appear to be a small and random collection of news articles from the time period narrowly focused on certain companies' projections and reports. None of these companies is a defendant herein, nor are they necessarily related to the subject matter of this lawsuit. More importantly, there is no evidence before me that these documents were ever viewed by any employee of Defendant at the time or in connection with its decision to terminate Plaintiff. Defendant's witnesses can certainly testify as to their perceptions of the economy and their business at the time, and the basis for those perceptions, but they may not introduce these news articles or any others like them absent some evidence that they viewed those articles at the time period in question and that the news articles impacted their decision-making. Accordingly, I find that Defendant's probable exhibit 3 is irrelevant and GRANT Plaintiff's motion in limine to exclude it.

Defendant's probable exhibit 11 consists of handwritten notes by Alexander Gearhart. Plaintiff argues that they should be excluded as hearsay. I agree with Defendant that these notes constitute recorded recollections under Federal Rule of Evidence 803(5) and may be read into the record as evidence, but received as an exhibit only if offered by Plaintiff. Accordingly, Plaintiff's motion with respect to Defendant's probable exhibit 11 is DENIED.

Defendant's probable exhibit 13 consists of Defendant's anti-discrimination policy. Plaintiff argues that this exhibit duplicates Defendant's probable exhibit 12 and is therefore redundant and irrelevant. Defendant has not opposed Plaintiff's motion with respect to this document. Accordingly, Plaintiff's motion to exclude Defendant's probable exhibit 13 is GRANTED.

Defendant's probable exhibit 14 is a copy of Defendant's termination policy. Plaintiff argues that it is irrelevant because it does not address age discrimination. Defendant argues that it is relevant to show that its decision to terminate Plaintiff's employment was made in conformance with its policies and procedures, which negates an inference of age discrimination. I agree with Defendant that its termination policies are relevant to this action, and therefore, Plaintiff's motion to exclude probable exhibit 14 is DENIED.

Defendant's possible exhibit 3 is a statement by John Neville. Plaintiff moves to exclude it as hearsay. Defendant clarifies that he will introduce the exhibit only if Plaintiff calls Mr. Neville as a witness and if necessary for cross-examination. Defendant has identified no exception to the hearsay rule which applies to this unsworn statement, nor have I found one. Accordingly, I GRANT Plaintiff's motion to exclude Defendant's possible exhibit 3. I note that, after the conclusion of Mr. Neville's direct testimony, Defendant may seek to introduce the statement if at that time Defendant can demonstrate a proper basis to do so under the Federal Rules of Evidence.

Defendant's possible exhibit 4 is an email by Mike McKelvy, dated April 2, 2008. Plaintiff argues that it should be excluded as hearsay and for lack of relevance. The email addresses business strategy and direction, and Defendant argues that it would be introduced to establish the effect upon the recipients, including Plaintiff, regarding the possibilities for opportunities to transfer. Accordingly, I find the document is arguably relevant and, given ...


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