San Clemente, CA asked in Arbitration / Mediation Law and Legal Malpractice for California

Q: Is it acceptable for Attorneys to file Motion Liminie to prevent Plaintiff from exposing Arbitration Award then use it?

In a Legal Malpractice case is it acceptable for an Attorney to file a Motion Liminie preventing Plaintiff from making any reference whatsoever to any part of the Arbitration or settlement then turn around and file the Arbitration records with their Motion to Confirm Award? Isn't this a Breach of some sort? Thank you

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Legal Malpractice Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In general, the use of motions in limine and the introduction of evidence in legal proceedings are governed by the rules of evidence and civil procedure in California. However, the specific circumstances you've described raise some potential issues:

1. Fairness and consistency: If an attorney files a motion in limine to prevent the plaintiff from referencing the arbitration or settlement, but then proceeds to file the arbitration records themselves, it could be seen as inconsistent or unfair. The court may question the attorney's motives and the reasons behind the initial motion in limine.

2. Relevance and admissibility: The admissibility of the arbitration records would depend on their relevance to the legal malpractice case and whether they meet the requirements of the rules of evidence. If the records are deemed relevant and admissible, the attorney's attempt to exclude them through a motion in limine might be seen as improper.

3. Ethical considerations: Attorneys have a duty to act in good faith and maintain the integrity of the legal process. If the attorney's actions are seen as misleading or an attempt to gain an unfair advantage, it could raise ethical concerns.

However, without knowing the specific details of the case and the reasoning behind the attorney's actions, it's difficult to make a definitive assessment. The court would need to consider the arguments presented by both parties and make a determination based on the applicable laws and rules.

If the plaintiff believes that the attorney's actions are improper or constitute a breach of duty, they should raise these concerns with the court and consider seeking the advice of their own legal counsel to evaluate their options and protect their interests.

Joel Gary Selik
Joel Gary Selik
  • Legal Malpractice Lawyer
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Licensed in California

A: It would be required to submit the award in a motion to confirm.

Motions in limine are to prevent introduction of evidence before a jury, not what is directed at the judge.

What is limited by a motion in limine is determined by what the court rules in the order on the motion.

Yelena Gurevich agrees with this answer

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