The Fourth Department determined the order granting defendant's motion in limine was appealable because the order limited the theories available for use at trial, not merely the admissibility of evidence (which would not be appealable). The Fourth Department found that the motion in limine should not have been granted because it effectively precluded plaintiffs from introducing evidence of continuous representation which may have tolled the statute of limitations in this legal malpractice action:
In the order on appeal, the court granted defendants' motions to preclude plaintiffs from introducing evidence that any of the defendants represented plaintiffs with respect to any issue other than an issue in the context of a medical malpractice action against a physician. The effect of that order was to limit plaintiffs to introducing evidence that, in 1994, one of the defendants made a statement to Gary M. Dischiavi (plaintiff) indicating that the medical malpractice action was not viable.
We note at the outset that, although the parties do not address the appealability of this order determining a motion in limine, we conclude that plaintiffs may appeal from the order at issue … . “Generally, an order ruling [on a motion in limine], even when made in advance of trial on motion papers constitutes, at best, an advisory opinion which is neither appealable as of right nor by permission” … . This Court has noted, however, that “there is a distinction between an order that limits the admissibility of evidence,' which is not appealable . . . , and one that limits the legal theories of liability to be tried' or the scope of the issues at trial, which is appealable” … . Here, the order precluded the introduction of the vast majority of the evidence on the issue whether defendants continued to represent plaintiffs so as to toll the statute of limitations, and thus it is appealable because it limits the scope of the issues at trial … . Dischiavi v Calli, 2015 NY Slip Op 01116, 4th Dept 2-6-15