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Goldman Sachs Trust Company, N.A v. Falls

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division

March 20, 2018

GOLDMAN SACHS TRUST COMPANY, N.A., as Executor of the Estate of RALPH L. FALLS, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
RALPH L. FALLS, III, Defendant.

          ORDER

          LOUISE W. FLANAGAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the court on plaintiff's oral motion for reconsideration in part of the court's previous ruling on defendant's motion in limine (DE 66) to exclude designated deposition testimony. Upon careful consideration of the motion and the record in this case, the instant motion is denied.

         BACKGROUND

         In the parties' proposed pretrial order, filed March 7, 2018, in pertinent part, plaintiff designates pages 11:10 to 26:12 of the deposition of defendant, and defendant objects to a portion thereof, from 23:13 to 26:12, on the basis that it contains “Attorney colloquy.” (Proposed Pretrial Order (DE 105) at 14-15).[1] Defendant previously moved to exclude the same deposition excerpts on the basis that they include “discussions between counsel of record, ” (Def's Mem. (DE 67) at 3), which motion was fully briefed in advance of prior pretrial conference in this matter on January 3, 2017. There, the court decided that motion as follows:

Now I've gotten to the motion -- defendant's motion to exclude designated deposition testimony. I'm denying defendant's motion to exclude the son's deposition testimony subject to a few limitations as it relates to the involvement of the local attorney. So we have this lawyer who says some convoluted things. One of them is:
“[T]here's an admission in this case that the debt exists and that the argument is that there's a setoff . . . . but at this point the question --there is a legal acknowledgment of a debt, and Lynn can correct me if I'm wrong.”
These statements are not so deliberate, clear and unambiguous as to constitute a binding judicial admission, they're pretty vague, the ones that I've read. It's only deliberate, clear and unambiguous statements that may be considered judicial admissions. So statements by counsel in the son's affidavit [sic], without more, are not admissible as evidence and they're not admissible as judicial admissions and I'm excluding them, but statements made by the son are admissible evidentiary statements which may be subject to further explanation by him or through other evidence. So in large part, Mr. Falls, III's motion to exclude his deposition testimony is denied. In that small part concerning Mr. Wrobel it is allowed.

         In its order entered January 5, 2017, memorializing the rulings made at pretrial conference, the court summarized its decision as follows:

[T]he court GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART defendant's motion to exclude deposition testimony (DE 66), excluding only statements made by counsel for plaintiff Ralph L. Falls, III, regarding admissions [sic] legal principles raised by the facts in the case. Among other statements by counsel, the court held that the statement and response from page 58, line 22, to page 59, line 8, was inadmissible.

         Plaintiff seeks reconsideration of the court's order at prior pretrial conference granting defendant's motion in limine in part, particularly arguing that the following statements therein constitute judicial admissions:

MR. WROBEL: . . . . I think there's an admission in this case that the debt exists and the argument was that there's a setoff. . . . [T]here is a legal acknowledgment of the debt, and Lynn can correct me if I'm wrong.

(Ralph Falls, III, deposition (DE 67-1) at 25:16 - 26:3; see Transcript of Pretrial Conference (DE 113) at 45; Pl's Mem. in Opp. (DE 71) at 5). Plaintiff notes that the court's order memorializing rulings entered January 5, 2017, did not reference specifically this deposition testimony.

         COURT'S ...


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