Legal Memorandum: Fraudulent Transaction by a Fiduciary

Issue: What is the standard for summary judgment in California in a case involving an allegedly fraudulent transaction by a fiduciary?

Area of Law: Business Organizations & Contracts
Keywords: Summary judgment; Fraudulent transaction; Fiduciary
Jurisdiction: California
Cited Cases: 153 Cal. App. 4th 1436; 129 Cal. App. 4th 825; 11 Cal. 3d 1; 241 P.2d 4; 107 Cal. Rptr. 2d 841; 102 Cal. App. 4th 125; 152 Cal. App. 2d 260; 213 Cal. App. 2d 495; 313 P.2d 30; 38 Cal. 2d 458; 24 P.3d 493
Cited Statutes: Cal. Code Civ. P. § 437c(c)
Date: 05/01/2008

In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court must consider all of the evidence and the inferences reasonably drawn therefrom in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion.  Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal. 4th 826, 843, 107 Cal. Rptr. 2d 841, 856, 24 P.3d 493.  The court’s function is to determine from the evidence submitted whether there is a “triable issue as to any material fact.”  Cal. Code Civ. P. § 437c(c) (emphasis added).  If a single such issue exists as to the claim sought to be adjudicated, the motion must be denied.  Weil & Brown, Civil Procedure Before Trial (Rutter Group 2005) § 10:270.  Reflecting a cautious judicial approach to summary adjudication motions, declarations and evidence offered in opposition to such a motion are to be construed liberally, while declarations and evidence offered in support are to be strictly construed.  Id. § 10:309 (citing D’Amico v. Bd. of Med. Examiners (1974) 11 Cal. 3d 1, 21, 112 Cal. Rptr. 786, 801.) 

If a moving party raises points in their motion that require the resolution of questions of fact, then that case is inappropriate for summary judgment.  If one of the primary issues before the court concerns which jurisdiction’s laws apply, that question often hinges on a determination as to the place of performance of the underlying contract.  See Neil A. Helfman, 14 pt. 1 Cal. Jur. 3d Contracts § 222.  […]

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