Lorilland Tobacco Co. v. Elston Self Service Wholesale Grocs., Inc., Case No. 03 C 4753, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Oct. 21, 2009) (Gottschall, J.).

Judge Gottschall ruled upon the parties’ motions in limine in this Lanham Act case regarding the alleged sale of counterfeit Newport cigarettes. Of particular interest, the Court denied in part plaintiff’s motion to exclude evidence of the religious belief of any party or witness. In order to ensure that “no anti-Muslim prejudice infect[ed] the jury’s deliberation," the Court allowed one defendant to state once that he was a Christian. The Court also noted that it would reconsider its order if plaintiff suggested a reasonable way for the Court to resolve the issue in voir dire.

The Court also agreed to read the jury a statement regarding the fact that the health of one defendant prevented his attendance at trial and that the jury should not hold his absence against him or consider it in their deliberations.

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