United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
D. Mariani United States District Judge
before the Court are Plaintiffs following motions in limine:
1. Motion to Preclude the Testimony and Opinions of
Defendants' Expert David J. Schretlen, PH.D, ABPP/CN
2. Motion to Preclude Defendants' Expert V. Benjamin
Nakkache, M.D., F.A.C.S, From Testifying as to Irrelevant
Matters (Doc. 195);
3. Motion to Preclude Defendants' Expert Leon Feazell
Court will address each request in turn. Before doing so,
however, the Court notes at the outset that it exercises its
discretion to rule in limine on evidentiary issues "in
appropriate cases." In re Japanese Bee. Prods.
Antitrust Litig., 723 F.2d 238, 260 (3d Cir.1983),
rev'd on other grounds sub nom. Matsushita Elec.
Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 106
S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986). While motions in limine
may serve as a useful pretrial tool that enables a more
in-depth briefing than would be available at trial, a court
may defer ruling on such motions "if the context of
trial would provide clarity." Frintner v.
TruePosition, 892 F.Supp.2d 699, 707 (E.D. Pa. 2012)
(citing Japanese Elec. Prods., 723 F.2d at 260).
in limine often present issues for which final decision is
best reserved for a specific trial situation."
Walden v. Georgia-Pacific Corp., 126 F.3d 506, 518
n. 10 (3d Cir 1997). Thus, certain motions, "especially
ones that encompass broad classes of evidence, should
generally be deferred until trial to allow for the resolution
of questions of foundation, relevancy, and potential
prejudice in proper context." Leonard v. Stemetech
Health Scis., inc., 981 F.Supp.2d 273, 276 (D. Del.
2013). Specifically, "pretrial Rule 403
exclusions should rarely be granted.... [A] court cannot
fairly ascertain the potential relevance of evidence for Rule
403 purposes until it has a full record relevant to the
putatively objectionable evidence." In re Paoli R.R.
Yard PCS Litig., 916 F.2d 829, 859 (3d Cir. 1990)
(emphasis original). Finally, it is important to note that
"in limine rulings are not binding on the trial judge,
and the judge may always change his mind during the course of
a trial." Ohlerv. United States, 529 U.S. 753,
758 n.3, 120 S.Ct 1851, 146 L.Ed.2d 826 (2000).
these principles in mind, the Court now turns to
Standard for Assessing Expert Testimony
Rules of Evidence, and Rule 702 in particular, assign the
trial Court "the task of ensuring that an expert's
testimony both rests on a reliable foundation and is relevant
to the task at hand." Daubert v. Merrell Dow
Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 597 (1993).
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 702, A witness who is
qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience,
training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion
or otherwise if:
(a) the expert's scientific, technical, or other
specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to
understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;
(b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
(c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and
(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and
methods to the facts of the case.
Fed. R. Evid. 702. The inquiry under Rule 702 is "a
flexible one." Daubert v. MerrellDow
Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 594 (1993). The
overarching subject of the Rule is "the scientific
validity and thus the evidentiary relevance and reliability -
of the principles that underlie a proposed submission."
Id. at 594-595.
Rule 703 is instructive.
An expert may base on opinion on facts or data in the case
that the expert has been made aware of or personally
observed. If experts in the particular field would reasonably
rely on those kinds of facts or data in forming an opinion on
the subject, they need not be admissible for the opinion to
be admitted. But if the facts or data would otherwise be
inadmissible, the proponent of the opinion may disclose them
to the jury only if their probative value in helping the jury
evaluate the opinion substantially outweighs their
Fed. R. Evid. 703.
in assessing a proffer of expert testimony under Rule 702, a
Court must also take into consideration other applicable
rules, including Rules 703, 706, and 403. Daubert,
509 U.S. at 595.
Motion to Preclude the Testimony and Opinions of
Defendants' Expert David J. ...