Legal Memorandum: Denial of a Motion for Summary Judgment

Issue: When will a party’s motion for summary judgment be denied?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Summary judgment; Genuine issues of material fact
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)
Date: 05/01/2007

A party, when moving for summary judgment, must demonstrate both the absence of any genuine issues of material fact and that they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law.  See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).  “This burden remains with the moving party regardless of which party would have the burden of persuasion at trial.”  Aman v. Cort Furniture Rental Corp., 85 F.3d 1074, 1080 (3d Cir. 1996).

When determining whether the moving parties have carried this burden, the court must regard the facts asserted by the non-moving party, supported by evidence, as true.  See id. at 1080.  All inferences to be drawn from such underlying evidence “must be viewed in light most favorable to the party opposing the motion.”  Id. at 1080-81 (emphasis added).  Any doubt as to the existence of a genuine issue for trial should be resolved against the moving party. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 330 n.2.  “Viewed under this lens, if there is any evidence in the record from any source from which a reasonable inference in the nonmoving party’s favor may be drawn, the moving party simply cannot obtain summary judgment.”  Aman, 85 F.3d at 1081 (quoting Celotex, 477 U.S. at 330 n.2) (internal punctuation omitted)).


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