United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
K. EPPS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
in turn below are pretrial matters raised in the proposed
pretrial order (doc. no. 85), Claimant LaTasha
Jefferson's motions in limine (doc. no. 87), and the
Realignment of the Remaining Parties
continues to assert the parties should be realigned to
reflect dismissal of State Farm Life Insurance Co. and the
burden of proof. As the May 18, 2017 Order explains,
“realignment is neither necessary nor appropriate,
” (doc. no. 50, p. 1), and the Court
DENIES the renewed request.
Valerie Smith's Standing
counsel agreed at the pretrial conference, Claimant Valerie
Smith does not have standing because the beneficiary form on
which she relies designates her as a successor beneficiary of
the interplead funds. The Court hereby
DISMISSES her as a party.
Occurrences Subsequent to Decedent's Death
requests any “evidence regarding any events occurring
after [the decedent's] death be excluded because such
evidence is irrelevant to the issue of the validity of the
change of beneficiary.” (Doc. no. 87, p. 2.) The Court
generally agrees for the reasons stated on the record at the
pretrial hearing. If any claimant believes an exception to
this general rule exists, arguments shall be made in a
detailed evidentiary offer of proof at trial outside the
presence of the jury.
Criminal Convictions of Jefferson
Federal Rules of Evidence prohibit introduction of a
misdemeanor conviction to prove a person acted in accordance
with a particular character or trait or to attack a
witness's character for truthfulness. Fed.R.Evid.
404(a)(1); 609(a). The Rules carve out narrow exceptions for
crimes “the court can readily determine that
establishing the elements of the crime required proving-or
the witness's admitting-a dishonest act or false
statement” or the use of a conviction to prove
“motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan,
knowledge, identity, absence of mistake, or lack of
accident.” Fed.R.Evid. 609(a)(2); 404(b)(2). Neither
exception applies here.
David Turner and Beverly Wilcher Whitaker argue evidence
regarding Jefferson's charges and convictions should be
admitted because she failed to disclose them when asked at
her deposition. See Fed.R.Evid. 608(b) (allowing
inquiry into specific instances of witness conduct “if
they are probative of the character for truthfulness or
untruthfulness”). “While reference to these
individual crimes is inadmissible, [the witness]'s
untruthfulness during her deposition will assist the jury in
judging her creditability.” McCranie v. Hoffman
Elec. Co., No. CV 408-011, 2010 WL 11534308, at *2 (S.D.
Ga. Mar. 31, 2010). Accordingly, the Court GRANTS IN
PART Jefferson's motion. Turner and Whitaker
“may reveal to the jury that [she] lied during her
deposition about past criminal convictions, but may not
reveal to the jury the specific crimes or offenses for which
she was arrested, absent an independent basis for their
Medical Testimony by Lay Persons
requests a prohibition of lay witnesses testifying regarding:
(i) the decedent's “medical diagnoses or
treatment;” and (ii) “statements made by the
decedent's doctors, nurses or other healthcare
providers.” (Doc. no. 87, p. 5.) A lay witness's
opinion is inadmissible to the extent it is based upon
scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge rather
than direct observations and perceptions. See
Fed.R.Evid. 701. The Court will not issue a blanket
prohibition regarding hearsay, and instead will consider
objections to specific questions at trial under Fed.R.Evid.
802. Accordingly, the Court GRANTS IN PART
Jefferson's motion in limine as to medical testimony by
Negotiations and ...