United States District Court, District of Columbia
COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS ACTION NETWORK, INC., et al., Plaintiffs,
PAUL DAVID GAUBATZ, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY United States District Judge.
before this Court are the  Gaubatz Defendants'
Motions in Limine (“Motions”),
containing seven motions in limine presented in
summary form, and the  Plaintiffs' Responses to
Gaubatz Defendants' Motions in Limine
(“Responses”), equally in summary form. The
Gaubatz Defendants (“Defendants”) did not file a
reply to the Plaintiffs' Responses. The Court will
address the seven motions contained in the  Motions in
the order in which they were presented by Defendants.
in Limine No. 1
seek to preclude Nadhira Al-Khalili, former in-house legal
counsel to CAIR-F, from testifying regarding the contents of
the video recordings made by Chris Gaubatz.Defendants rely on
a stipulation proffered by Ms. Al-Khalili during her
deposition that “she would not offer any testimony
regarding her viewing of the video recordings made by Chris
Gaubatz.” See Motions at 2. Defendants
indicate that based on that stipulation, they declined to
further question Ms. Al-Khalili regarding this topic. See
Id. Defendants would thus be prejudiced by their
reliance on Ms. Al-Kahlili's stipulation if she were to
testify at trial regarding the contents of the video
agree that Ms. Al-Khalili “will not testify as to her
review of any of the audio-video recordings made by Chris
Gaubatz” but assert that this should not preclude Ms.
Al-Khalili from testifying as to her memory of actual events,
as opposed to her review of the audio-video recordings.
See Responses at 1. Because Plaintiffs have agreed
that Ms. Al-Khalili will not address the contents of
the audio-video recordings, which seems to be the focus of
Defendants' motion in limine, Defendants'
Motion in Limine No. 1 shall be DENIED AS MOOT. Ms.
Al-Khalili is not precluded from testifying as to her memory
of actual events.
in Limine No. 2
request that this Court bar statements by Nihad Hammad or
others on his behalf, which claim that “CAIR is like
African American Civil Rights organizations and/or Mr. Hammad
like Martin Luther King, Jr.” See Motions at 3.
Defendants claim that because these statements are
“emotionally loaded” and they “strongly
favor” the Plaintiffs, they should be disallowed
pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 403, which addresses the
exclusion of evidence based on prejudice or confusion. In
support thereof, Defendants cite to deposition testimony by
Mr. Hammad whereby he states that CAIR is a civil rights
organization working on Muslim civil rights, and indicates
his admiration for his “role model, ” Martin
Luther King. See Motions at 4-5, citing Hammad
contend that if Defendants ask CAIR witnesses about the CAIR
organization and its purposes, the witnesses should be able
to respond that it is a civil rights group. The Court
declines to preclude statements by CAIR witnesses that
compare the organization to other civil rights organizations,
in the context of such witnesses proffering their
opinion as to the organization and its purposes.
Accordingly, Defendants' Motion in Limine No. 2
shall be DENIED.
in Limine No. 3
seek to require witnesses to refer to CAIR-F and CAIR-AN
rather than CAIR or CAIR-National, consistent with the manner
in which this Court has characterized the two CAIR entities
operating out of Washington, D.C. Defendants recognize an
exception for people who “do not know the difference
between the “CAIR” entities with the effect that
their reference to “CAIR” is necessarily
generic.” See Motions at 7. Plaintiffs contend
that this request is overly broad and thus, unenforceable,
and they assert that Defendants may question witnesses
regarding any generic reference to CAIR.
Court finds that resolution of this motion requires an equal
burden on counsel for the parties and the witnesses. First,
counsel shall attempt to structure their questions to specify
the CAIR entity at issue, if the question relates to one of
the CAIR entities and not the other. Second, the witnesses
shall be instructed by counsel to make distinctions between
the CAIR entities if they are only speaking about one entity
or the other, to the extent that such witnesses can
distinguish between CAIR-F and CAIR-AN in response to
questions. These practices are to ensure that the record in
this case is clear and limit the number of objections at
trial. The Court notes that CAIR-F and CAIR-AN are the
abbreviations that will be used throughout the trial.
Accordingly, Defendants' Motion in Limine No. 3
is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.
in Limine No. 4
request that the Court require that non-D.C. based CAIR
entities be referenced by their location, such as
CAIR-Maryland and CAIR-Virginia, in order to avoid confusion.
Plaintiffs assert that because there is no explanation
offered for the request other than the need to maintain
corporate distinctions, it should be denied.
Court finds Plaintiffs' response to Defendants'
request non-responsive as it seems obvious on its face that
Defendants seek to avoid confusion regarding the various CAIR
entities. Nor have Plaintiffs indicated that this request
imposes any undue burden on counsel or ...