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Legal Memorandum: Discovery Extension and Summary Judgment Motion

Issue: When a party has just agreed to an extension of discovery, is it appropriate for a court to entertain a summary judgment motion from that party?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Discovery extension; Motion for summary judgment
Jurisdiction: Federal, Third Circuit
Cited Cases: 732 F.2d 49
Cited Statutes: Fed. R. Civ. P. 26, Rule 56(f)
Date: 04/01/2006

To stipulate to a discovery extension and simultaneously file a motion for summary judgment is a clear circumvention of the liberal discovery provisions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as well as an improper use of the summary judgment process, which plainly warrants relief pursuant to Rule 56(f).  See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26; see also St. Surin, 21 F.3d at 1314 (abuse of discretion to rule on summary judgment motions while Rule 56(f) application pending and key discovery still outstanding); accord Sames v. Gable, 732 F.2d 49, 51 (3d Cir. 1984).

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