The Utah Supreme Court has called-out a lawyer who repeatedly violated court orderson a several motions in limine.
In Barrientos v. Jones, 2012 UT 33 (June 8, 2012), the trial court granted several motions in limine and held that certain alleged conduct or speculation about the conduct of the decedent and others was not admissible at trial because it was either irrelevant or unfairly prejudicial. Notwithstanding these orders, Ms. Heather S. White, an attorney for one of the defendants, repeatedly asked questions regarding the forbidden topics.
The repeated violations of the orders on the motions in limine lead to this statement by the Utah Supreme Court:
The conduct of Ogden City’s counsel, Ms. White, was indefensible. Her questioning of Theresa reveals that Ms. White surrendered, without resistance, to the impulse to win her case by bludgeoning the character of the dead. She pursued this course of action undeterred by court orders that unequivocally forbade her chosen course of action. We condemn Ms. White’s conduct. We admonish her during the retrial of this case to exercise hyper-vigilance in the cause of scrupulously avoiding improper questioning. We are also moved to take note of the false refuge Ms. White might seek by invoking the trial court’s statement that “Plaintiff’s counsel similarly violated a pretrial order when he asked questions concerning the reasons for Officer Jones’s termination.” We have independently reviewed the record on this point. What stands out about Plaintiff’s counsel’s transgression is that it was a one-time event. By contrast, Ms. White was relentless in her pursuit of evidence of bad character.