Legal Memorandum: Appropriateness of a Summary Judgment

Issue: Under what circumstances is summary judgment appropriate under Florida law?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Summary judgment; No genuine issue as to any material fact; Judgment as a matter of law
Jurisdiction: Florida
Cited Cases: 898 F.2d 1537; 463 So. 2d 1153; 205 F.3d 1258
Cited Statutes: Fed. R. Civ. P. 56
Date: 08/01/2000

Summary judgment is appropriate when, to the court’s satisfaction, there is “no genuine issue as to any material fact” and the moving party is entitled to judgment as matter of law.  Continental Cas. Co. v. Wendt, 205 F.3d 1258, 1261 (11th Cir. 2000); Fed. R. Civ. P. 56.  Once the moving party has met the initial burden of establishing that there is no genuine issue of material fact, the burden shifts to the non-moving party to present sufficient evidence, beyond the pleadings, of the existence of such facts.  Continental Cas. Co., 205 F.3d at 1261.  The construction and interpretation of insurance policies under both Florida and federal law involves the resolution of questions of law that may be decided by the court. Jones v. Utica Mut. Ins. Co., 463 So. 2d 1153, 1157 (Fla. 1985); Montgomery v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co., 898 F.2d 1537, 1540 (11th Cir. 1990).


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