United States District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
September 22, 2014
WILLIAM GIACONE, Plaintiff,
VIRTUAL OFFICEWARE, LLC, DAVID HAREL, Defendants.
ORDER ON DEFENDANTS’ MOTION IN LIMINE (DOC. NO. 65)
Arthur J. Schwab United States District Judge
This is a breach of contract action brought by Plaintiff, a former employee and minority shareholder of Virtual Officeware, LLC (VOW), who claims that Defendants breached his Employment Agreement in numerous respects. Plaintiff seeks to recover alleged unpaid wages pursuant to the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law (“WPCL”). 40 P.S. § 260.1, et seq. Defendants have filed Counterclaims against Plaintiff also alleging that he breached the applicable Employment Agreement, including breach of restrictive covenants. This case is scheduled for a non-jury trial to commence on December 1, 2014. Motions in Limine were due on September 8, 2014. Doc. No. 40. Pending before this Court is Defendants’ First (only) Motion in Limine to Exclude Parol Evidence (doc. no. 65) and Plaintiff’s Response in Opposition thereto (doc. no.69).
Plaintiffs seek to introduce a series of emails between Defendant Harel, and other members of VOW’s Board, relating to negotiations which occurred in the months leading up to Plaintiff’s resignation and after the employment contract that was allegedly breached was entered into between the parties. While Defendants argue that the evidence should be excluded as inadmissible parol (extrinsic) evidence and under Fed.R.Evid. 403, Plaintiff contends that the emails contain admissions of fact, against Defendants’ interest, regarding his interpretation of the Employment Agreement. After careful consideration, and after reviewing the attached emails (doc. no. 72-1), the Court will overrule Defendants’ objection to the introduction of these emails because they are relevant to the question of breach of the Employment Agreement and do not constitute inadmissible parol evidence. This Court, sitting as the fact-finder, will not confuse the issues and given several of the emails were authored by Defendant Harel, and the others were drafted by the Board of Directors of Defendant (Jim Southern and Robert Dahl - both of which are listed as may call witnesses for Defendant), the Court does not view that the introduction of this evidence would be necessarily lengthy, nor is it collateral. Rather, it relates to Defendant Harel “interpretation” of the Employment Agreement that he signed and shows that he believed that VOW ceased paying Giacone certain areas of compensation that were part of the Employment Agreement when the restructuring occurred. (See doc. no. 72-1)(“These were taken today from the contract.”)
For these reasons, Defendants’ First Motion in Limine (doc. no. 65) is DENIED.
SO ORDERED .