Heldt v. Tata Consultancy Services, LTD

Northern District of California, cand-4:2015-cv-01696

PRETRIAL ORDER NO. 4 RE: MOTIONS IN LIMINE. Signed by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers on 10/15/18.

Interested in this case?

Current View

Full Text

1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 CHRISTOPHER SLAIGHT, ET AL., CASE NO. 15-cv-01696-YGR 8 Plaintiffs, PRETRIAL ORDER NO. 4 RE: MOTIONS IN LIMINE 9 vs. 10 Re: Dkt. Nos. 512, 513, 515, 516, 517, 518, TATA CONSULTANCY SERVICES, LTD, 519, 521, 522, 523, 524, 526, 528, 529, 531, 11 Defendant. 532, 533, 534, 535, 536, 537, 555 12 Northern District of California United States District Court 13 The Court, having considered the remaining motions in limine submitted by plaintiffs 14 Christopher Slaight, et al. (Dkt. Nos. 515-518, 521, 525, 527, 528), and by defendant Tata 15 Consultancy Services, LTD ("TCS") (Dkt. Nos. 512, 513, 519, 522, 523, 526, 529, 531-534)1 and 16 for the reasons expressed on the record at the pretrial conference held on October 12, 2018, 17 ORDERS as follows: 18 First, as an overarching matter, the Court notes that its Standing Order cautions counsel 19 that: Parties frequently misuse motions in limine in an attempt to exclude broad 20 categories of possible evidence. Such motions are routinely denied. Any motion in limine must specify the precise exhibits or proffered testimony the party seeks 21 to exclude. 22 (See Court's Standing Order re: Pretrial Instructions in Civil Cases, paragraph 4.a.) To the extent 23 that the parties have failed to heed that advice, their motions in limine have been denied, as set 24 forth herein. Further, with respect to all rulings, if a party opens the door, the other party may 25 request consideration, but such request must be done outside the presence of the jury. 26 27 1 28 A number of motions were withdrawn by the parties prior to the pretrial conference and are thus not addressed herein. 1 I. PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS IN LIMINE Plaintiffs' Nos. 1 – 3 Re Experts: 2 No. 1 To Exclude the Expert Testimony of Edward Lazear; 3 No. 2: To Exclude Materials Not Included in Experts' Reports; No. 3: To Exclude Expert Testimony on Whether Expats Are Part of the U.S. 4 Workforce: 5 These motions are GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. 6 Defendant's experts cannot opine on legal issues. An expert may articulate their 7 understanding of a legal issue is it is relevant to or a basis upon which certain conclusions were 8 made. Further, they cannot use terms of art, such as "statistically significant," for which they have 9 not disclosed any foundation. They can opine only on materials which were disclosed to 10 plaintiffs. 11 Plaintiffs' No. 4: To Exclude Late-Produced Documents: 12 The motion is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. Northern District of California United States District Court 13 As a general matter, the Court will permit the introduction of documents listed on Dkt. No. 14 518-3 which were produced through May 31, 2018. To the extent there are documents listed on 15 Dkt. No. 518-3 which were produced after that date and that either side believes should 16 nevertheless be admitted under the five-part test for determining whether to preclude introduction 17 of evidence pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil sProcedure 37, see S.F. Baykeeper v. W. Bay 18 Sanitary Dist., 791 F. Supp. 2d 719, 733 (N.D. Cal. 2011), the parties must identify them, in chart 19 format, by no later than Friday, October 19, 2018. Namely, for each individual document 20 produced after May 31, 2018 that the parties seek to introduce, they must identify the exhibit 21 number, the date on which the document was produced, the reason(s) for the late production, and a 22 short summary explaining why the Court should permit the introduction of the document despite 23 the late production of the same. 24 Plaintiffs' No. 6: To Exclude Evidence of Two Affirmative Defenses: 25 The motion is DENIED. However, the Court cannot discern how evidence regarding the 26 statute of limitations is relevant in this trial phase. 27 \\ 28 \\ 2 1 Plaintiffs' No. 9: To Exclude Lay Opinion Evidence Regarding Stereotypes: 2 The motion is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE to object as to lack of foundation.2 3 II. DEFENDANT'S MOTIONS IN LIMINE 4 Defendant's No. 1: To Exclude Evidence of TCS's Finances and Wealth 5 The motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. 6 In general, evidence of TCS's finances and wealth is excluded. However, with respect to 7 plaintiffs efforts to "rebut[] the argument [by defendant] that TCS increased its reliance on local 8 hires due to a purported good faith effort" (see Dkt. No. 546, at 2), the Court will consider specific 9 pages of the annual report (Ex. 879) for evidence of defendant's intent. By no later than Friday, 10 October 19, 2018, plaintiffs must submit the exact pages of the annual report that they wish to use 11 in their rebuttal argument. 12 Defendant's No. 2: To Exclude Declarations of Plaintiffs and/or Third Parties Northern District of California United States District Court 13 The motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. 14 Other than the Fischer custodian declaration, all remaining declarations which were created 15 in the context of litigation are excluded.3 See United States v. Smith, 893 F.2d 1573, 1581 (9th Cir. 16 1990) (holding that "a prior consistent statement is admissible [pursuant to Fed. Rule Evid. 17 801(d)(1)(B)] only if it was made before the witness had a motive to fabricate") (internal citations 18 omitted) (emphasis supplied). 19 Defendant's No. 3: To Exclude Evidence of Unrelated Lawsuits 20 The motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. 21 The EEOC charges of Nasser Nahshal, Steven Webber (Exs. 1623, 1781) are excluded. 22 Plaintiffs may seek to admit the email chain (Ex. 531)4 and the quarterly reports (Exs. 201, 203), 23 24 2 The Court will issue a separate order addressing plaintiffs' motions in limine numbers 7 (Dkt. No. 525) and 8 (Dkt. No. 527). 25 3 Plaintiffs' withdrew declarations of Bradley, Giovanni, Margol, Ocampo, Huffman, 26 Kannellopolous, Guy, Grant, Calles, Nwizubo, and Grant. (See Dkt. No. 547.) The Court notes that plaintiffs may use declarations at issue in this motion to refresh the recollection of a witness. 27 4 Sufficient authority which provides that although discrimination on the basis of 28 citizenship is not prohibited by Title VII on its own, when such discrimination has the purpose or effect of discriminating on the basis of national origin, it violates the portion of Title VII that 3 1 once those reports have been redacted to eliminate information about pending litigation. 2 Moreover, the motion is DENIED IN PART AS MOOT as to the demonstrative (Ex. 1540).5 3 Defendant's No. 4: To Exclude Evidence of Discovery Disputes 4 The motion is RESERVED IN PART as to the document containing production metadata (Ex. 5 1622). The motion is GRANTED IN PART as to the email regarding custodians (Ex. 1562) and the 6 joint discovery letter brief related to the testimony of Surya Kant (Ex. 1575). 6 See Barcamerica 7 Intern. USA Trust v. Tyfield Importers, Inc., 289 F.3d 589, 593 n. 4 (9th Cir. 2002) (noting that 8 statements and arguments of counsel are not evidence); EOTT Energy Operating Ltd. Partnership v. 9 Winterthur Swiss Ins. Co., 257 F.3d 992, 999 (9th Cir. 2001) (finding counsel's assertions made at oral 10 argument are not part of the factual record). 11 Defendant's No. 5: To Exclude Evidence of Arbitration and Separation Agreements 12 The motion is GRANTED. Northern District of California United States District Court 13 Defendant's No. 6: To Exclude Demonstrative Exhibit 1520 14 The motion is DENIED as untimely.7 15 Defendant's No. 8: To Exclude Deposition Testimony of Paul Devenny 16 The motion is DENIED as untimely. 17 Defendant's No. 9: To Exclude Evidence, Inquiry, or Argument with Respect to 18 Uncertified Discrimination Claims and Claims of Non-Class Members The motion is GRANTED IN PART as to evidence of discrimination in hiring and DENIED IN 19 PART as to the remaining evidence, including evidence non-hiring discrimination against non- 20 21 22 prohibits national origin discrimination. See Espinoza v. Farah Mfg. Co., Inc., 414 U.S. 86, 92 (1973); see also Lopez v. Arrowhead Ranches, 523 F.2d 924, 927 (9th Cir. 1975); Rai v. IBM 23 Credit Corp., No. C 01-02283-CRB, 2002 WL 1808741, at *4 (N.D. Cal. 2002). Accordingly, evidence of citizenship discrimination may have relevance in showing national origin 24 discrimination and may be admitted (assuming proper foundation). 5 Plaintiffs withdrew the second email chain (Ex. 1482) pursuant to an email from counsel, 25 dated October 11, 2018. 6 26 Plaintiffs' withdrew the joint discovery letter brief related to a privilege log dispute (Ex. 1576). (See Dkt. No. 549.) 27 7 Plaintiffs' motion to strike defendant's motions in limine Nos. 6, 8, and 12 is DENIED AS 28 MOOT in light of the Court's rulings herein as to those motions. 4 1 class members. To the extent that parties cannot agree whether a particular piece of evince relates 2 to hiring discrimination, they may raise the issue with the Court at trial. 3 Defendant's No. 10: To Exclude Evidence, Inquiry, or Argument Regarding Contents 4 of Unsworn Pleadings The motion is GRANTED.8 5 Defendant's No. 11: To Exclude Evidence Regarding Alleged Visa Fraud 6 The motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. 7 Plaintiffs may not introduce evidence of visa fraud in their case in chief. However, if 8 defendant raises the issue of visa compliance, the Court will allow plaintiffs to introduce rebuttal 9 evidence. To the extent plaintiffs intend to offer documents for a purpose other than to address 10 alleged visa fraud, the parties are encouraged to redact as necessary so exhibits can be admitted 11 without offending content. 12 Northern District of California United States District Court Defendant's No. 12: To Exclude Plaintiffs' Exhibit 1482 13 The motion is DENIED AS MOOT as plaintiffs have withdrawn Exhibit 1482 pursuant to an 14 email from counsel, dated October 11, 2018. 15 This Order terminates Docket Numbers 512, 513, 515, 516, 517, 518, 519, 521, 522, 523, 16 524, 526, 528, 529, 531, 532, 533, 534, 535, 536, 537, and 555. 17 IT IS SO ORDERED. 18 19 Dated: October 15, 2018 20 YVONNE GONZALEZ ROGERS 21 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE 22 23 24 25 26 27 8 The Court notes that Exhibits 1562 and 1575 are also the subject of defendant's motion 28 in limine No. 4. 5