Legal Memorandum: Standards for Summary Judgment

Issue: In the Third Circuit, what are the applicable standards for summary judgment?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Summary judgment; Applicable standard
Jurisdiction: Federal, Third Circuit
Cited Cases: 477 U.S. 317
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 04/01/2006

The Third Circuit has held repeatedly that the applicable standard requires that the party moving for summary judgment bear the burden of demonstrating the absence of material facts and that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law; “this burden remains with the moving party regardless of which party would have the burden of persuasion at trial.”  Aman, 85 F.3d at 1080 TA s "Aman v. Cort Furn. Rent. (3d Cir. 1996)"  (citing Chipollini v. Spencer Gifts, Inc., 814 F.2d 893, 896 (3d Cir. 1987)).  In determining if the burden has been met, the facts asserted by the non-moving party, supported by evidentiary material, as well as all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from any of the underlying facts in the record “must be viewed in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion.”  Aman, 85 F.3d at 1081 TA s "Aman v. Cort Furn. Rent. (3d Cir. 1996)"  (emphasis in original).  Thus, any doubt as to the existence of a genuine issue for trial should be resolved against the moving party.  Id. TA s "Aman v. Cort Furn. Rent. (3d Cir. 1996)"   

Thus, in sum, the proper standard requires that “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 a summary judgment.”  Id. TA s "Aman v. Cort Furn. Rent. (3d Cir. 1996)"  (citing Celotex

Corp. v Catrett,