Brief Fact Summary. The Appellant, Payne (Appellant), brought a personal injury admiralty suit and identified in a pretrial memo, which the judge relied on in his pretrial report, the condition Appellant was relying on to prove his cause of action. At trial, Appellant’s attorney stated a different condition was responsible for the action. The trial court disallowed this showing as well as the presentation of two witnesses for Appellant who were not included in Appellant’s pretrial memo.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Attorneys at the pretrial stage owe a duty to the court and opposing counsel to make a full and fair disclosure of their views as to what the real issues at trial will be.
Issue. Whether a court can disallow an amendment to a pretrial memorandum that states a different basis as its cause of action and omits witnesses to be presented at trial.
Held. Yes. Attorneys at the pretrial stage owe a duty to the court and opponents to make a full and fair disclose as to what issues will arise at trial. The judge could not allow the amendment because the pretrial procedure routine in the Eastern District was enforced strictly. District court decree affirmed.
Attorneys at a pre-trial conference must make a full and fair disclosure of their views as to what the real issues of the trial will be.View Full Point of Law