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Opposition to Rule 56 motion for summary judgment in United States District Court

Opposing a motion for summary judgment under rule 56 in United States District Court is the topic of this blog post. Rule 56 refers to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 which states in pertinent part that, (a) “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.” Note that Summary Judgment can only be granted when no triable issues of material fact exist.

Any party served with a Rule 56 motion should carefully review everything that the moving party served on them along with the motion in an attempt to find discrepancies or errors in the documents that might allow them to prepare an effective opposition to the Rule 56 motion.

The United States Supreme Court has stated that when reviewing a motion for summary judgment, the court must look at the inferences to be drawn from the underlying facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and that the evidence of the non-movant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor.

And the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal has stated that the gist of a summary judgment motion is to require the adverse party to show that it has a claim or defense, and has evidence sufficient to allow a jury to find in its favor on that claim or defense. Carmen v. S.F. Unified Sch. Dist., 237 F.3d 1026, 1031 (9th Cir. 2001).

“The purpose of Rule 56 is to enable a party who believes there is no genuine dispute as to a specific fact essential to the other side’s case to demand at least one sworn averment of that fact before the lengthy process of litigation continues.” Lujan v. Nat’l Wildlife Fed’n, 497 U.S. 871, 888-89 (1990).

The party opposing a Rule 56 motion for summary judgment needs to make a strong showing of at least one triable issue of material fact that supports their claim or defense that is supported by credible evidence. If the opposing party can show that they have served outstanding discovery requests on the moving party who has not responded that will increase their chances of successfully opposing the Rule 56 motion as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has stated that, “Summary judgment is especially inappropriate where the material sought is also the subject of outstanding discovery requests.” Visa Int’l Serv. Ass’n v. Bankcard Holders of Am., 784 F.2d 1472, 1475 (9th Cir.1986).

Attorneys or parties who wish to view a sample opposition to a Rule 56 motion for summary judgment that includes a memorandum of points and authorities, a separate statement of undisputed material facts, a sample declaration and proof of service by mail that is sold by the author can see below.

 

Attorneys or parties that would like more information on a Federal litigation document package containing 42 sample documents including a sample opposition to a Rule 56 motion for summary judgment can use the link shown below.

Federal litigation document package

The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is a freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995.

If you enjoy this blog post, tell others about it. They can subscribe to the author’s weekly California and Federal legal newsletter by visiting the following link: http://www.legaldocspro.net/newsletter.htm

To view over 300 sample legal documents for use in California and Federal Courts sold by the author of this blog post visit View over 300 sample legal documents for sale

Copyright 2013 Stan Burman. All rights reserved.

DISCLAIMER:

Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.

These materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

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