United States District Court, D. Maine
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S
MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE TRIAL TESTIMONY OF ROBERT LARSEN,
H. RICH III UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
maritime breach of contract action, the plaintiff, Maine
Windjammers (“Windjammers”), has filed a motion
in limine to bar defendant/counterclaim plaintiff
Robert Larsen, the owner of defendant/counterclaim plaintiff
Sea3, LLC (“Sea3”), from testifying regarding
work that Sea3 performed on the S/V Halie &
Matthew (the “Vessel”), including repair
costs, project estimates, labor hours, and value added to the
Vessel. See Plaintiff's Motion in
Limine To Exclude Trial Testimony of Robert Larsen,
in Part (“Motion”) (ECF No. 53). Because (i) Sea3
has presented a sufficient foundation for Mr. Larsen's
testimony regarding repair costs, project estimates, and
labor hours, and (ii) Windjammers has not cited any specific
instance in which Mr. Larsen offered an opinion regarding the
value added to the Vessel, I deny the Motion.
Applicable Legal Standard
Rule of Evidence 702 provides:
A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill,
experience, training, or education may testify in the form of
an opinion or otherwise if:
(a) the expert's scientific, technical, or other
specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to
understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;
(b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
(c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and
(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and
methods to the facts of the case.
Fed. R. Evid. 702.
contrast, “‘[i]n its purest form, lay testimony
is based on the witness' observations of the event or
situation in question and amounts to little more than a
shorthand rendition of facts that the witness personally
observed.'” Portland Pipe Line Corp. v. City of
South Portland, 288 F.Supp.3d 321, 335 n.10 (D. Me.
2017) (quoting Weinstein's Federal Evidence
§ 701.03 (2001)). Nonetheless, a lay witness may also
offer opinion testimony if his or her opinion is:
(a) rationally based on the witness's perception;
(b) helpful to clearly understanding the witness's
testimony or to determining a fact in issue; and
(c) not based on scientific, technical, or other specialized
knowledge within the ...