Legal Memorandum: Summary Judgment Standard in NY

Issue: Under New York law, what is the standard for granting a motion for summary judgment?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Summary judgment; Standard for granting motion
Jurisdiction: New York
Cited Cases: 33 N.Y.2d 169
Cited Statutes: N.Y. C.P.L.R. 3212(b);
Date: 02/01/2001

A motion for summary judgment may be granted

if, upon all the papers and proof submitted, the cause of  action  or  defense  shall  be established  sufficiently  to  warrant  the  court as a matter of law in directing judgment in favor of any party. . . . [T]he motion shall be denied if any party shall show facts sufficient to require a trial of any issue of fact.

N.Y.  C.P.L.R. 3212(b).

On a motion for summary judgment by the defendant, a trial court has a duty to construe the evidence in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.  See N.Y. C.P.L.R. 3212(b).  Where a trier of fact could well find that the testimony of certain witnesses to be more persuasive than the opinions of the other party’s experts; the parties are entitled to have a jury hear the conflicting evidence and decide the case.  See Hartford Acc. & Indem. Co. v. Wesolowski, 33 N.Y.2d 169, 172 305 N.E.2d 907, 350 N.Y.S.2d 895, 898 (1973).


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