United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON MOTIONS IN LIMINE
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Apogee Corporation d/b/a Impact Plastics, Inc.
(“Apogee”) and Superior Plastics Extrusion
Company, Inc. (“Superior Plastics”), have filed a
motion in limine [ECF No. 83] seeking to preclude
the introduction of documentary evidence under Rule 408 of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff, Jeffrey
Burke, has filed two separate motions in limine [ECF
Nos. 85 and 86] seeking to preclude the introduction of
certain financial evidence and requesting that the Court take
judicial notice. Mr. Burke opposes Defendants' motion,
and Defendants oppose Mr. Burke's motions.
reasons outlined below, Defendants'  Motion in
Limine is DENIED without prejudice to renewal; Mr.
Burke's  and  Motions in Limine are
DENIED AS MOOT.
Factual and Procedural Background
case arises out of a contractual dispute between Mr. Burke
and his former employers, Apogee and Superior
Plastics. Both Apogee and Superior Plastics are
owned by the same two individuals, David Kingeter and Steven
Ryan. Mr. Burke contends that the two companies were treated
as one company in his employment agreement.
Burke alleges that he purchased a five percent (5%) interest
in both Apogee and Superior Plastics as provided for in his
employment agreement. He alleges that he paid for this
interest through Defendants' retention of commission
payments and distributions over a multi-year period. Second
Am. Compl. ¶¶ 26-36, ECF No. 69. Defendants admit
that the employment agreement gave Mr. Burke the right to
purchase five percent (5%) shadow shares in Apogee; however,
they deny that Mr. Burke has actually purchased any ownership
interest in either Apogee or Superior Plastics. Answer ¶
2, ECF No. 78.
November 20, 2014, Superior Plastics issued a letter
terminating Mr. Burke's employment without cause. Second
Am. Compl. ¶ 43. According to Mr. Burke, his employment
agreement requires Apogee and Superior Plastics to repurchase
Mr. Burke's five percent (5%) ownership interest in the
event that Mr. Burke is terminated involuntarily.
Id. at ¶¶ 44-45 (alleging that,
“[p]ursuant to Burke's employment contract with
Apogee and Superior, upon the involuntary termination of
Burke's employment by one or both companies, the
companies were required to repurchase Mr. Burke's shadow
shares in equity in the companies.”).
order to enforce these alleged contractual rights, Mr. Burke
initiated this lawsuit on July 1, 2015, claiming breach of
contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and
fair dealing, and a violation of the Connecticut
Shareholders' Act, Conn. Gen. Stat. §§
33-946(a). Compl., ECF No. 1. In addition to a declaratory
judgment confirming his alleged five percent (5%) ownership
interest, Mr. Burke seeks an order compelling Defendants to
“comply with the valuation and repurchase procedures
set forth in paragraph 3(b)(iv) of Burke's employment
contract.” Second Am. Compl. at 9.
trial in this matter is currently scheduled to begin on
Monday, February 13, 2017. See Scheduling Order, ECF
No. 73. In advance of trial, both parties have filed motions
in limine seeking to limit the scope of evidence to
be introduced at trial.
Standard of Review
district court's inherent authority to manage the course
of its trials encompasses the right to rule on motions in
limine.” Highland Capital Mgmt., L.P. v.
Schneider, 551 F.Supp.2d 173, 176 (S.D.N.Y. 2008). The
purpose of a motion in limine is to allow the trial
court to rule in advance of trial on the admissibility and
relevance of certain forecasted evidence. See Luce v.
United States, 469 U.S. 38, 40 n.2 (1984); Palmieri
v. Defaria, 88 F.3d 136, 141 (2d Cir. 1996).
should be excluded on a motion in limine only when
the evidence is clearly inadmissible on all potential
grounds. Levinson v. Westport Nat'l Bank, No.
3:09-CV-1955 VLB, 2013 WL 3280013, at *3 (D. Conn. June 27,
2013). Courts considering a motion in limine may
reserve judgment until trial, so that the motion is placed in
the appropriate factual context. See Nat'l Union Fire
Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa. v. L.E. Myers Co. Grp., 937
F.Supp. 276, 287 (S.D.N.Y. 1996).
seek to preclude documentation related to settlement
negotiations between the parties, arguing that such
documentation is properly excluded under Fed.R.Evid. 408. ECF
No. 83. Mr. Burke seeks to preclude “undisclosed”
financial information pertaining to Defendants' business
operations, and he also requests that the Court take judicial
notice that documents prepared with ...