Mandamus Review Not Available For Pre-Trial Ruling On Motion In Limine

Although it was decided in the criminal law context, the case Ex parte King, [Ms. 1071540] (Ala. Jan. 9, 2009), may be instructive in civil cases.  In King,  the Alabama Supreme Court held that mandamus review of a pre-trial ruling on a motion in limine regarding evidence is not approrpiate.  The Court noted that there were no published opinions in Alabama covering this scenario, but, well settled propositions show that such a review is not allowed.  Evidentiary rulings are reviewed to determine whether a trial court exceeded its discretion.  These types of rulings are not approrpiate for mandamus review because  "circumstances involving alleged errors of judgment, or errors in the exercise of judicial discretion, [do] not constitute grounds for invoking supervisory mandamus."  Slip Op. p. 6, quoting Ex parte Nice, 407 So. 2d 874, 882 (Ala. 1981).