Motion in Limine to Exclude Witnesses from Suggesting the Plaintiff Is a Dishonest Liar

TestyfingBelow is a sample motion to limine with a fun title: Motion in Limine to Exclude Witnesses from Testifying, Explicitly or Suggestively, that Plaintiffs are Liars, Dishonest, Untruthful or Exaggerating their Injuries

The gist of the motion is that Maryland law prohibits any witness, expert or otherwise, to give an opinion as to whether they believe another witness to be telling the truth. Defendants always want their medical expert to comment on the credibility of the victim or to suggest they are malingering. This motion tries to take down this defense strategy before it gets started.

CATHRYN JONES, et al.. :
Plaintiffs,
v. : Case No.: C-02-CV-17-000494
DARRELL GREEN :
Defendant.

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PLAINTIFFS' MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE WITNESSES FROM TESTIFYING, EXPLICITLY OR SUGGESTIVELY, THAT PLAINTIFFS ARE LIARS, DISHONEST, UNTRUTHFUL OR EXAGGERATING THEIR INJURIES

Plaintiffs, by and through their undersigned attorneys, hereby move that the Court grant Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine to Exclude Witnesses from Testifying, Explicitly or Suggestively, that Plaintiffs are Liars, Dishonest, Untruthful or Exaggerating their Injuries, and in support thereof state as follows:

  1. This case concerns a rear-end car collision that occurred between Plaintiff and Defendant.
  2. The black-letter law in Maryland is that "[t]estimony from a witness relating to the credibility of another witness is to be rejected as a matter of law." Bohnert v. State, 312 Md. 266, 278 (1988). In fact, "[w]e have insisted that, in a jury trial, the credibility to be given a witness and the weight to be given his testimony be confined to the resolution of all of the jurors." Id. Thus, it "is the settled law of this State that a witness, expert or otherwise, may not give an opinion on whether he believes a witness is telling the truth." Id. See also, Bentley v. Carroll, 355 Md. 312, 332-34 (1999) (finding that trial judge "erred as a matter of law by refusing to strike the testimony of defense expert witness, Dr. John Henderson, that the plaintiff had exaggerated her complaints," and noting "that courts in Maryland are improper for the introduction and interpretation of 'lie detectors,' 'polygraphs,' or any like measurement of a witness's veracity.")
  3. This rule also prohibits experts from resolving discrepancies between contradictory evidence. Bohnert v. State, 312 Md. 266, 278 ("it is not the function of an expert to resolve conflicting evidence… The rationale for excluding conclusions based on the resolution of contested facts is that the conclusion requires a judgment which invades the province of the jury as the finder of facts").

WHEREFORE, for the foregoing reasons, Plaintiffs request respectfully that the Court grant this Motion in Limine and preclude witnesses who testify in this trial, including any experts, from testifying, explicitly or suggestively, that Plaintiffs are liars/lying, dishonest, untruthful or exaggerating their injuries.

Respectfully submitted,
Miller & Zois, LLC

_____________________________
Ronald V. Miller, Jr.

Miller & Zois, LLC
1 South Street, Suite 2450
Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone: 410-553-6000
Fax: 844-712-5151
Attorneys for Plaintiff

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I HEREBY CERTIFY that on this 9th day of May 2018, a copy of the foregoing was mailed, first class, postage prepaid to the attorneys of record

_____________________________
Ronald V. Miller, Jr.

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, MARYLAND
CIVIL DIVISION

CATHRYN JONES, et al.. :
Plaintiffs,
v. : Case No.: C-02-CV-17-000494
DARRELL GREEN :
Defendant.

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ORDER

Having considered Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine to Exclude Witnesses from Testifying, Explicitly or Suggestively, that Plaintiffs are Liars, Dishonest, Untruthful or Exaggerating their Injuries, Defendant's Response, if any, and any oral arguments having been heard, it is this _____ day of ___________________, 2018 hereby ORDERED,

  1. That Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine is hereby GRANTED and, therefore, all witnesses are precluded from testifying at trial as to the credibility/veracity of the Plaintiffs, including any explicit or suggestive testimony that Plaintiffs are liars/lying, dishonest, untruthful, or exaggerating their injuries.

JUDGE
Anne Arundel County Circuit Court

More Thoughts on Maryland Law

The Maryland rule is consistent with the long-standing common-law prohibition against expert testimony on the credibility of a witness. This logical underpinning is that jury is adequately in the best position to make the call on the victim's credibility. So having expert testimony addressing credibility not only unnecessary but it unduly invades the jury's province.

Our rule is the traditional rule. Unlike Maryland, the Federal Rules of Evidence and some states do not support the common law prohibition on expert testimony addressing credibility.

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