IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF ALASKA
June 28, 2012
PAUL BLAKESLEE, PLAINTIFF,
SHAW INFRASTRUCTURE, INC., DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sharon L. Gleason United States District Judge
ORDER RE MOTION FOR REMEDIAL ORDER AND TO SHOW CAUSE
Before the court at docket 158 is Shaw's motion for a remedial order regarding the plaintiff's deposition designations. Shaw correctly notes that the Pretrial Order in this case requires a party who intends to offer a witness's testimony by deposition in lieu of live testimony to "specify the inclusive pages from the deposition which are proposed to be offered."*fn1 Mr. Blakeslee's deposition designations include the entirety of six depositions, designating from page 1, line 1 to the end of each deposition.*fn2 Shaw estimates that these depositions total nearly 20 hours of testimony.*fn3 Shaw's motion asserts the designation of the entirety of these depositions violates the requirement of the Pretrial Order, particularly in light of the numerous in limine rulings that have been entered in this case. On the same day that it filed this motion, Shaw also filed extensive objections by page and line to the plaintiff's deposition designations; among the objections are assertions that certain designated portions of each of the depositions are precluded by the in limine rulings previously ordered by the court.*fn4
In its opening memorandum in support of the motion, Shaw sought to either require the plaintiff to appear and show cause why he should not be sanctioned for the making of the blanket designations, or alternatively, Shaw asserted that Mr. Blakeslee should be ordered to "immediately designate the deposition testimony that he actually will use at trial, with sufficient time for Shaw to consider its counter-designations."*fn5
Mr. Blakeslee opposed the motion at docket 174. He asserts that he plans to use the entirety of each of the designated depositions at trial, as permitted by federal Civil Rule 32, and hence designated each in its entirety.*fn6
In reply at docket 178, Shaw maintains that use of the entirety of these depositions would run counter to the in limine orders entered in this case.
While Rule 32 permits a party to use some or all of a deposition at
trial, that rule expressly limits the admissibility of deposition
testimony to what "would be admissible under the Federal Rules of
Evidence if the deponent were present and testifying."*fn7
The in limine rulings issued in this matter are
determinations as to admissibility under the Federal Rules of
Evidence. As such, they apply here so as to preclude the admission of
certain portions of the depositions. This court interprets the
designations as a clear election to play the entirety of each of these
videotaped depositions to the jury during the approximate three days
of trial time that the plaintiff has represented to this court he
needs for his case in chief. Thus, each of these depositions will be
played to the jury in its entirety during the plaintiff's case in
chief, excepting only those portions as to which this court sustains
the defendant's objection to admissibility pursuant to the Federal
Rules of Evidence, including as previously delineated in the in limine
With respect to the plaintiff's deposition designations, the court's pretrial task, which is certainly not atypical in civil litigation, is to rule on each of Shaw's objections to the depositions that Mr. Blakeslee has designated. In so doing, this court will apply the Federal Rules of Evidence and the in limine rulings in this action that have interpreted those rules with respect to certain topics. The goal is that prior to trial, an edited, fully admissible version of each designated deposition is prepared consistent with those rulings for presentation to the jury.*fn8
Likewise, it is this court's intent to rule on each of Mr. Blakeslee's objections to Shaw's deposition designations in advance of trial so that edited versions of those designations consistent with this court's rulings are prepared for the jury as well.
Upon reviewing the parties' deposition designations and objections
that have been filed to date, this court has determined that in ruling
on the objections it could well be of considerable assistance to the
court for each party to provide a response to the
other party's objections. Specifically, this court seeks the
plaintiff's specific response to each of the objections that the
defendant filed to the plaintiff's deposition designations at docket
156, by page and line. And this court seeks the defendant's specific
response to each of the objections that the plaintiff has made to the
defendant's designations at docket 157, by page and line. To provide
just one example, the defendant has objected to page 5, line 7 through
page 6, line 14 of Gary Barkhurst's deposition as both irrelevant and
exceeding the limitation in the order at docket 121.*fn9
(Docket 156 at 1) The plaintiff's response to this objection
should either withdraw this testimony, or set forth why the plaintiff
asserts the testimony is relevant and why it does not exceed the
limitations in the order at docket 121. This request for additional
briefing is not an opportunity for either party to designate any
additional designation testimony.
Each party shall file and serve responses to the other party's objections to deposition designations in a manner consistent with this order by July 5, 2012.
Shaw's motion for a remedial order is GRANTED to the extent set forth above that directs each party to file responses to the other party's objections to depositions designations. Shaw's request for sanctions is DENIED.