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FRCP 56: Summary Judgment

Motion for Summary Judgment or Partial Summary Judgment:

A party may move for summary judgment, identifying each claim or defense or the part of each claim or defense on which summary
judgment is sought.
The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The court should state on the record the reasons for granting or denying the motion.
Time to File a Motion:
Unless a different time is set by local rule or the court orders otherwise, a party may file a motion for summary judgment at any time until
30 days after the close of all discovery.
1. Supporting Factual Positions
A party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must support the assertion by:
a) Citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or
declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other
materials; or
b) Showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce
admissible evidence to support the fact.

2. Objection That a Fact Is Not Supported by Admissible Evidence:
A party may object that the material cited to support or dispute a fact cannot be presented in a form that would be admissible in
evidence. (If this were to be an issue on an exam Q, the facts would tell you the evidence would be inadmissibleyou will not be asked
to make evidentiary rulings regarding admissibility)

3. Materials Not Cited:
The court need consider only the cited materials, but it may consider other materials in the record.

4. Affidavits or Declarations:
An affidavit or declaration used to support or oppose a motion must be made on personal knowledge, set out facts that would be
admissible in evidence, and show that the affiant or declarant is competent to testify on the matters stated.

When Facts Are Unavailable to the Nonmovant:
If a nonmovant shows by affidavit or declaration that, for specified reasons, it cannot present facts essential to justify its opposition, the
court may:
o Defer considering the motion or deny it;
o Allow time to obtain affidavits or declarations or to take discovery; or
o Issue any other appropriate order.

Failing to Properly Support or Address a Fact
If a party fails to properly support an assertion of fact or fails to properly address another partys assertion of fact as required by FRCP
56(c) the court may:
o Give an opportunity to properly support or address the fact;
o Consider the fact undisputed for purposes of the motion;
o Grant summary judgment if the motion and supporting materials including the facts considered undisputed show that the movant is
entitled to it; or
o Issue any other appropriate order.

Judgment Independent of the Motion:
After giving notice and a reasonable time to respond, the court may:
o Grant summary judgment for a nonmovant;
o Grant the motion on grounds not raised by a party; or
o Consider summary judgment on its own after identifying for the parties material facts that may not be genuinely in dispute.

Failing to Grant All the Requested Relief:
If the court does not grant all the relief requested by the motion, it may enter an order stating any material fact including an item of
damages or other relief that is not genuinely in dispute and treating the fact as established in the case.

Affidavit or Declaration Submitted in Bad Faith:
If satisfied that an affidavit or declaration under this rule is submitted in bad faith or solely for delay, the court after notice and a
reasonable time to respond may order the submitting party to pay the other party the reasonable expenses, including attorneys fees, it
incurred as a result. An offending party or attorney may also be held in contempt or subjected to other appropriate sanctions.


What It
FRCP 8(a): requires a short
and plain statement showing
the pleader is entitled to

FRCP 9(b): requires pleading
with particularity.

The party with the burden must put
forth enough evidence on every
element of its claim or defense such
that a reasonable jury could find for it.
The legal standard by which a party
must convince the trier of fact.

How Is It
FRCP 12(b)(6)

FRCP 12(c)

FRCP 9(b)

FRCP 50(a) Pre-Verdict: JML
Directed Verdict

FRCP 50(b) Post-V JML a/k/a

FRCP 59 New Trial M

Per the 7
amendment of the United
States Constitution:
o No fact tried by a jury, shall be
otherwise reexamined in any Court
of the US.

When Is It
FRCP 12(b)(6) & FRCP 9(b):
o Pre-answer or anytime
before final judgment at

FRCP 12(c):
o Close of the pleadings
FRCP 56 S/J: at any time until 30
days after the close of all discovery

FRCP 50(a): anytime after a party has
been fully heard on an issue and
before the case is submitted to the jury

FRCP 50(b) and/or FRCP 59: no later
than 28 days after entry of judgment.

Can make a motion for New Trial
FRCP 59 and argue jury verdict
against the great weight of the
o But that is a legal question and
would use a FRCP 50(b) standard
otherwise whether this is met is a
question of FACT and not
generally reviewable
What The
Court Looks At

ONLY the pleadings (NO
Admissible Evidence (+ pleadings to
assess the burden of production)
All admitted evidence and records
and pleadings.

Question of Law:
o Court testing the legal
sufficiency of the
allegations (pleadings)
NOT the truthfulness of

o This is a legal question:
If all allegations are true,
could a jury find for that

Satisfying a burden of production
(having evidence on all of the
elements of the claim or defense)
means only that a trier of fact might
rationally decide the case in one's
favor--not that it must.
o However, if met and the other side
has NO contrary evidence, and the
moving partys evidence is not
based solely on statistics or opinion
then party entitled to JML.

o If not met, then other side entitled to

o All about who has the burden to
produce the evidence; do they have
enough; does other side have any
contrary evidence?

Whether this burden is met is a
question of fact, and as noted above,
if determined by a jury, is essentially

Note if a bench trial, and appeal is of
trial judges findings of fact, an
appellate court will only reverse if
clearly erroneous.

Misc. notes:
If court looks beyond
pleadings and considers any
evidence, then must treat as a
S/J burden of production
motion and rule accordingly.
If the other side has contrary evidence,
then there is a genuine dispute of
material fact (there is evidence to
weigh) and granting any of these
motions would be inappropriate.
Credibility of evidence goes to the
burden of persuasionnot burden of