Legal Memorandum: Summary Judgment Standard

Issue: Can summary judgment be granted if the moving party is unable to demonstrate they are entitled to judgment?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Summary judgment; No genuine issues of material fact; Standard for granting
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: 92 F.3d 743; 47 F.3d 953
Cited Statutes: Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)
Date: 01/01/2013

Summary judgment may be granted only when there are no genuine issues of material fact and the moving party can demonstrate that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c).  A fact is material if it might affect the outcome of the suit, and a dispute is genuine if the evidence is such that it could lead a reasonable jury to return a verdict for either party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247 (1986).  The Court must view the evidence and all inferences that may reasonably be drawn therefrom in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.  Enterprise Bank v. Magna Bank of Mo., 92 F.3d 743, 747 (8th Cir. 1996).

The moving party bears the burden of showing that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.  See id. at 747.   The nonmoving party must demonstrate the existence of specific facts in the record that create a genuine issue for trial.  See Krenik v. County of Le Sueur, 47 F.3d 953, 957 (8th Cir. 1995).  In determining whether to grant summary judgment, the court’s role does not include weighing the evidence or making findings of fact.  Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 249-50.  The proper inquiry is “whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a […]

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