Saturday, June 21, 2008

Barney Alert: Summary Judgment Escape Route

This post won't be of much interest to non-lawyers, though if you do find this interesting and you're not a lawyer, law school might be a good option for you.

Those who litigate with any frequency have probably moved for summary judgment (or been served with a motion) before discovery is complete. One somewhat risky way to defeat such a motion without meeting it head-on is to file an affidavit under Rule 56(f), saying, in essence: "I could beat this motion if you gave me discovery on the following issues." In Alphas Co. Inc. v. Kilduff, Mass. App. Ct. No. 07-P-157, the Appeals Court spells out what you need to put in that Rule 56(f) affidavit to stave off the summary judgment bludgeon. It's helpful stuff.

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