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California Summary Judgment 2018

Covers everything you need to know to move for or oppose motions for summary judgment or summary adjudication—includes the latest case, statutory, and rule developments.

Covers all you need to know to move for or oppose motions for summary judgment or summary adjudication—includes the latest case, statutory, and rule developments.

  • Use the checklists, judicial perspectives, and practice tips to handle the nuts and bolts of these motions
    • —Learn key timing factors and legal criteria for a motion
    • —Understand evidentiary burdens on moving and opposing parties
    • —Decide when to move for alternative relief
  • Anticipate strategies the other side will use
  • Make effective courtroom presentations to win or to defeat a summary judgment or summary adjudication motion
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Covers all you need to know to move for or oppose motions for summary judgment or summary adjudication—includes the latest case, statutory, and rule developments.

  • Use the checklists, judicial perspectives, and practice tips to handle the nuts and bolts of these motions
    • —Learn key timing factors and legal criteria for a motion
    • —Understand evidentiary burdens on moving and opposing parties
    • —Decide when to move for alternative relief
  • Anticipate strategies the other side will use
  • Make effective courtroom presentations to win or to defeat a summary judgment or summary adjudication motion

1

Strategic Overview

Marshall C. Wallace

  • I.  INTRODUCTION  1.1
    • A.  Statutory Authorization: CCP §437c  1.2
    • B.  Purpose of Summary Judgment  1.3
    • C.  Summary Judgment Procedure Is Constitutional  1.4
    • D.  Procedure Is Not Disfavored  1.5
    • E.  When Summary Judgment Is Appropriate  1.6
  • II.  STRATEGIC CONSIDERATIONS  1.7
    • A.  Benefits of Summary Judgment and Summary Adjudication Motions
      • 1.  Provide Victory Without Trial  1.8
      • 2.  Aid in Early Case Resolution  1.9
      • 3.  Educate Judge  1.10
      • 4.  Provide Two Opportunities to Prevail  1.11
      • 5.  Narrow Issues for Trial  1.12
      • 6.  Compel Disclosure of Opponent’s Evidence  1.13
      • 7.  Advance Trial Preparation  1.14
      • 8.  Provide Chance to Eliminate Punitive Damages  1.15
      • 9.  Increase Chances of Settlement or Voluntary Dismissal  1.16
    • B.  Downsides of Summary Judgment and Summary Adjudication Motions
      • 1.  Add Significant Expense  1.17
      • 2.  Entail High Risk of Defeat  1.18
      • 3.  Weaken Settlement Position  1.19
      • 4.  Educate Opponent  1.20
      • 5.  Generate Cross-Examination Evidence From Declarants  1.21
      • 6.  Result Is Less Stable on Appeal  1.22
  • III.  ALTERNATIVES FOR TERMINATING LITIGATION OR NARROWING ISSUES  1.23
    • A.  Alternative Procedures for Terminating Litigation or Narrowing Issues
      • 1.  Pretrial Alternatives
        • a.  Anti-SLAPP Motion  1.24
        • b.  Demurrer  1.25
        • c.  Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings  1.26
        • d.  Motion to Strike  1.27
      • 2.  Alternatives During Trial
        • a.  Objection to Introduction of All Evidence  1.28
        • b.  Motions In Limine  1.29
        • c.  Cottle Motion  1.30
        • d.  Motion for Nonsuit  1.31
        • e.  Motion for Directed Verdict and Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict (JNOV)  1.32
        • f.  Motion for Judgment (Nonjury Trial)  1.33
    • B.  Chart: Comparison of Summary Judgment and Adjudication Motion to Alternative Dispositive Motions  1.34
  • IV.  ASSESSING CASE FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND SUMMARY ADJUDICATION MOTION
    • A.  Consider Alternatives to Narrow Issues  1.35
    • B.  Review Case for Disputed Matters  1.36
      • 1.  Pleadings  1.37
      • 2.  Discovery  1.38
      • 3.  Investigation  1.39
    • C.  Distinguish Factual From Legal Disputes  1.40
      • 1.  Legal Issues  1.41
      • 2.  Fact Issues
        • a.  Determine Whether Case Involves Genuine Factual Disputes  1.42
        • b.  When Facts Are Disputed  1.43
          • (1)  Material Issue of Fact  1.44
          • (2)  Nonmaterial Issue of Fact  1.45
        • c.  When Facts Are Undisputed  1.46
        • d.  When Dispute Is Over Application of Law to Undisputed Facts  1.47
    • D.  Identify Matters That Can Be Disposed of Completely  1.48
      • 1.  Summary Adjudication Under CCP §437c(f)  1.48A
      • 2.  Summary Adjudication Under CCP §437c(t)  1.48B
    • E.  Consider Other Tactical Maneuvers  1.49
  • V.  CHECKLISTS
    • A.  Checklist: Initial Case Review  1.50
    • B.  Checklist: Overview of Process  1.51

2

Availability of Relief

James Neudecker

  • I.  INTRODUCTION  2.1
    • A.  Availability of Summary Judgment
      • 1.  When Summary Judgment Is Available  2.2
        • a.  Court Must Grant Motion if No Triable Issue of Material Fact Exists  2.3
        • b.  Special Rules Apply to Unlawful Detainer and Forcible Entry Actions  2.4
      • 2.  When Summary Judgment Is Unavailable  2.5
        • a.  Consumer Class Actions  2.6
        • b.  Actions to Terminate Parental Rights  2.7
        • c.  Election Contests  2.8
        • d.  Medical Malpractice When Undertaking Required  2.9
        • e.  Proceedings Under Sexually Violent Predators Act  2.10
    • B.  Governing Law
      • 1.  Code of Civil Procedure §437c  2.11
      • 2.  Rules of Court  2.12
  • II.  SUMMARY JUDGMENT VERSUS SUMMARY ADJUDICATION  2.13
    • A.  Summary Judgment
      • 1.  Resolves Entire Action  2.14
      • 2.  Showing Required to Prevail  2.15
    • B.  Summary Adjudication  2.16
      • 1.  Resolves Only Portions of Action   2.17
      • 2.  Showing Required to Prevail
        • a.  Summary Adjudication Under CCP §437c(f)
          • (1)  Individual Cause of Action  2.18
            • (a)  When Separate Causes of Action Are Commingled  2.19
            • (b)  When Declaratory Relief Claim Is Intertwined With Other Causes of Action  2.20
          • (2)  Individual Affirmative Defense  2.21
          • (3)  Claim for Punitive Damages  2.22
          • (4)  Issue of Duty  2.23
        • b.  Summary Adjudication Under CCP §437c(t)
          • (1)  Legal Issue or Damages Claim  2.23A
          • (2)  Punitive Damages Are Excluded  2.23B
          • (3)  Chart: Comparison of Summary Adjudication Provisions  2.23C
      • 3.  Effect of Grant of Summary Adjudication  2.24
    • C.  Tactical Considerations
      • 1.  Moving for Summary Judgment Only
        • a.  Benefits  2.25
        • b.  Risks  2.26
      • 2.  Moving for Summary Adjudication Only
        • a.  Benefits  2.27
        • b.  Risks  2.28
      • 3.  Moving for Summary Judgment and Summary Adjudication in the Alternative  2.29
  • III.  COMPARISON WITH FEDERAL LAW
    • A.  Federal Law on Summary Judgment  2.30
    • B.  California Law Has Moved Closer to Federal Law on Summary Judgment  2.31
    • C.  Main Difference Between California and Federal Law on Summary Judgment  2.32

3

Timing Requirements and Planning Strategies

  • I.  INTRODUCTION  3.1
    • A.  Chart: Timing Provisions in CCP §437c  3.2
    • B.  Checklist: Moving Party’s Preparation and Moving Papers  3.3
    • C.  Checklist: Opposing Party’s Preparation and Opposition  3.4
    • D.  Checklist: Moving Party’s Reply  3.5
    • E.  Chart: Deadlines and Client Dates  3.6
  • II.  PLANNING STRATEGIES
    • A.  When to Begin Planning  3.7
    • B.  Tactical Considerations
      • 1.  Early Motions
        • a.  Before All Parties Have Appeared  3.8
        • b.  Before Discovery Is Completed  3.9
        • c.  Sham Pleadings  3.10
      • 2.  When Evidence Is Developed on Dispositive Question  3.11
      • 3.  Completion of Discovery  3.12
  • III.  TIMING REQUIREMENTS
    • A.  Motion for Summary Adjudication Under CCP §437c(t)  3.12A
      • 1.  Joint Stipulation and Application for Court Permission Required  3.12B
      • 2.  Objections by Nonstipulating Parties  3.12C
      • 3.  Court’s Ruling on Application  3.12D
    • B.  Moving Party
      • 1.  Earliest Date to Move  3.13
        • a.  Purpose of Waiting 60 days After General Appearance  3.14
        • b.  What Constitutes General Appearance  3.15
      • 2.  Required Notice
        • a.  75 Days’ Notice for Personal Service  3.16
        • b.  Notice Extended for Service Other Than Personal Service  3.17
        • c.  Court May Not Shorten Notice Period Absent Parties’ Consent  3.18
        • d.  Motion for Joinder to Summary Judgment  3.19
        • e.  If Service Is Delayed  3.20
      • 3.  Latest Date to Hear Motion  3.21
        • a.  Schedule Motion Before Deadline to Guarantee Hearing  3.22
        • b.  Court’s Authority to Hear Motion Less Than 30 Days Before Trial  3.23
          • (1)  What Constitutes Good Cause  3.24
          • (2)  Declaration to Obtain Order Shortening Time  3.25
          • (3)  Contents of Application for Order Shortening Time  3.26
          • (4)  Contents of Proposed Order  3.27
      • 4.  Motion Filed Within Time Limits Must Be Heard  3.28
      • 5.  Prematurely Filed Motion  3.29
    • C.  Opposing Party
      • 1.  Papers Must Be Served and Filed 14 Days Before Hearing  3.30
      • 2.  Service by Method Calculated to Ensure Next-Day Delivery  3.31
    • D.  Reply  3.32
    • E.  Unavailability of Counsel  3.33
  • IV.  CONTINUANCE
    • A.  When Continuance Is Available
      • 1.  Essential Evidence Exists But Cannot Be Presented at Hearing  3.34
      • 2.  Timing of Request for Continuance  3.35
    • B.  Strategy Considerations on Whether to Request Continuance  3.36
    • C.  Checklist: Options for Requesting Continuance  3.37
    • D.  Request for Continuance
      • 1.  To Conduct Further Discovery  3.38
        • a.  Required Showing for Continuance  3.39
        • b.  Declaration in Support of Continuance  3.40
      • 2.  Court Decision on Continuance Request  3.41
        • a.  Denial Based on Progress of Litigation  3.42
        • b.  Denial Based on Lack of Diligence  3.43
        • c.  Denial Based on Relevance  3.44
    • E.  When Continuance Is Granted and Moving Party Fails to Allow Discovery  3.45
    • F.  When Request Is Denied  3.46

4

Evidentiary Burdens and Presumptions

Michael C. Denison

  • I.  INTRODUCTION  4.1
    • A.  Principal Authority: CCP §437c and Aguilar  4.2
    • B.  Summary of Required Burdens
      • 1.  Moving Party  4.3
      • 2.  Opposing Party  4.4
  • II.  APPLICABLE BURDENS IN SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTIONS  4.5
    • A.  Burden of Production  4.6
      • 1.  Initial Burden; Prima Facie Showing  4.7
      • 2.  Shifting Burden; Triable Issue of Fact  4.8
    • B.  Burden of Persuasion  4.9
    • C.  Burden of Proof  4.10
      • 1.  How Trial Burden of Proof Standard Affects Motion  4.11
      • 2.  Effect of Trial Standard of Proof on Prima Facie Case  4.12
      • 3.  How Trial Court Reviews Evidence  4.13
    • D.  Effect of Presumptions  4.14
  • III.  EVIDENTIARY ISSUES RELATING TO SUMMARY JUDGMENT BURDENS
    • A.  Evidence Is Required  4.15
      • 1.  Evidence Must Be Admissible  4.16
      • 2.  Weight of Direct Versus Circumstantial Evidence  4.17
      • 3.  When Direct Evidence Is Sufficient  4.18
      • 4.  When Circumstantial Evidence Is Sufficient  4.19
      • 5.  Credibility; Facts Presented Only by Single Witness  4.20
    • B.  Factually Devoid Discovery Responses  4.21
      • 1.  When Factually Devoid Responses Shift Burden  4.22
      • 2.  When Factually Devoid Responses Do Not Shift Burden  4.23
  • IV.  MOVING PARTY’S CASE
    • A.  Moving Party With Burden of Proof at Trial
      • 1.  Plaintiff’s or Cross-Complainant’s Burden as Moving Party  4.24
        • a.  Prove All Elements  4.25
        • b.  Not Required to Disprove Affirmative Defenses  4.26
        • c.  Not Required to Prevail on Every Theory Pleaded  4.27
        • d.  Must Carry Initial Burden Even if Motion Unopposed  4.28
      • 2.  Defendant’s Burden as Moving Party Seeking to Establish Defense  4.29
    • B.  Moving Party Without Burden of Proof at Trial
      • 1.  Defendant’s or Cross-Defendant’s Burden
        • a.  Prove That Elements of Cause of Action Cannot Be Established  4.30
        • b.  Not Required to Negate Element of Plaintiff’s Claims  4.31
        • c.  Failure to Shift Burden  4.32
      • 2.  Moving Plaintiff Seeking to Eliminate Affirmative Defense  4.33
  • V.  OPPOSING PARTY’S CASE
    • A.  When Moving Party Meets Its Burden
      • 1.  If Opposing Party Is Defendant  4.34
      • 2.  If Opposing Party Is Plaintiff  4.35
    • B.  When Moving Party Does Not Meet Its Burden  4.36
    • C.  Showing Triable Issue of Fact  4.37
      • 1.  Examples of Party Establishing Triable Issues  4.38
      • 2.  Examples of Party Not Establishing Triable Issues  4.39
    • D.  Methods of Showing Disputed Facts  4.40
      • 1.  Permissible Methods of Creating Triable Issue
        • a.  Presenting Specific Conflicting Facts  4.41
        • b.  Producing Essential Material Facts  4.42
      • 2.  Impermissible Methods of Creating Triable Issue
        • a.  Using Own Pleadings  4.43
        • b.  Offering Speculation  4.44
        • c.  Promising to Prove Facts at Later Date  4.45
    • E.  Construing Evidence and Factual Inferences  4.46

5

Developing and Proffering Evidence

  • I.  INTRODUCTION  5.1
  • II.  GATHERING EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT OR OPPOSE SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION  5.2
    • A.  Evidence Must Be Admissible  5.3
      • 1.  No Ultimate Facts  5.4
      • 2.  Sources of Evidence
        • a.  Permissible Sources  5.5
        • b.  Impermissible Sources  5.6
    • B.  Evidence Must Be Directed to Issues Raised by Pleadings  5.7
  • III.  DECLARATIONS AND AFFIDAVITS
    • A.  Used As Support for or in Opposition to Motion  5.8
      • 1.  Differences Between Declarations and Affidavits  5.9
      • 2.  When to Use Declaration or Affidavit  5.10
      • 3.  Potential Limitations on Use of Declaration or Affidavit
        • a.  When State of Mind Is at Issue  5.11
        • b.  When Declarant Is Sole Witness  5.12
      • 4.  Format of Declarations and Affidavits  5.13
        • a.  Declaration Subscription Requirement  5.14
        • b.  Affidavit Oath Requirement  5.15
      • 5.  Substantive Requirements for Declarations and Affidavits  5.16
        • a.  Must Be Presented in Good Faith  5.17
        • b.  Must Be Based on Personal Knowledge  5.18
          • (1)  Speculative Evidence Is Insufficient  5.19
          • (2)  “To the Best of My Knowledge” May Be Insufficient  5.20
          • (3)  Counsel’s Personal Declaration Is Generally Insufficient  5.21
          • (4)  Expert Opinion Is Sufficient Alternative  5.22
        • c.  Competence  5.23
      • 6.  Types of Opinion Evidence
        • a.  Lay Opinion  5.24
        • b.  Expert Opinion  5.25
          • (1)  Requirements for Expert Declaration
            • (a)  State Expert’s Qualifications  5.26
            • (b)  Include Factual Basis for Opinion  5.27
            • (c)  Must Not Be Based on Speculation or Conjecture  5.28
            • (d)  Must Not Be Merely Conclusory  5.29
          • (2)  Examples of Inadmissible and Inadequate Expert Declarations  5.30
    • B.  Checklist: Common Defects in Affidavits and Declarations  5.31
  • IV.  EVIDENCE OBTAINED THROUGH DISCOVERY  5.32
    • A.  Deposition Transcripts  5.33
      • 1.  Accompany Transcript With Authenticating Declaration  5.34
      • 2.  Obtain Signed Deposition  5.35
      • 3.  Prepare Deposition as Exhibit  5.36
      • 4.  Lodge Original  5.37
    • B.  Interrogatories and Request for Admissions  5.38
    • C.  Documentary Evidence Obtained Through Discovery  5.39
      • 1.  Prepare Supporting Declaration  5.40
      • 2.  Prepare Documentary Evidence as Exhibit  5.41
  • V.  ADMISSIONS IN PLEADINGS AND STIPULATIONS  5.42
    • A.  Application of Judicial Estoppel  5.42A
    • B.  Admissions in Pleadings  5.43
      • 1.  Cannot Be Controverted  5.44
      • 2.  May Be Implied  5.45
    • C.  Stipulations
      • 1.  Stipulation as Admission of Fact  5.46
      • 2.  Attorney’s Authority to Bind Client  5.47
  • VI.  MATTERS JUDICIALLY NOTICED
    • A.  Matters Subject to Judicial Notice  5.48
      • 1.  Mandatory Notice  5.49
      • 2.  Discretionary Notice  5.50
      • 3.  When Discretionary Becomes Mandatory  5.51
      • 4.  No Judicial Notice of Hearsay in Official Records  5.52
    • B.  Procedures for Requesting Judicial Notice  5.53
      • 1.  Use Separate Document  5.54
      • 2.  Provide Copies to Court and Each Party  5.55
      • 3.  Comply With Procedures for Requesting Judicial Notice of Court File
        • a.  When File Is in Same Court  5.56
        • b.  When File Is From Another Court  5.57
  • VII.  LAYING FOUNDATION FOR EVIDENCE  5.58
    • A.  Authenticate Documentary Evidence  5.59
      • 1.  Use of Declarations to Authenticate  5.60
      • 2.  Methods of Authentication  5.61
    • B.  Secondary Evidence Rule  5.62
      • 1.  Electronic Evidence and Secondary Evidence Rule  5.63
        • a.  Computer Printouts  5.64
        • b.  Business Records in Electronic Form  5.65
      • 2.  Checklist: Declaration for Documentary Secondary Evidence  5.66
      • 3.  When Secondary Evidence Is Not Permitted  5.67
        • a.  If Party Proffering Document Possesses Original  5.68
        • b.  If Opposing Party Possesses Original  5.69
        • c.  If Third Party Possesses Original  5.70
    • C.  Hearsay Rule  5.71
      • 1.  Exceptions to Hearsay Rule Generally  5.72
      • 2.  Exceptions Commonly Arising in Summary Judgment Context  5.73
        • a.  Business Records Exception  5.74
        • b.  Official Records Exception  5.75
    • D.  Incorporation of Document by Reference in Declaration  5.76
      • 1.  Do Not Incorporate Entire Court File  5.77
      • 2.  Do Not Incorporate Documents Containing Inadmissible Matter  5.78
  • VIII.  DECLARATION CHECKLISTS
    • A.  Checklist: Contents for All Declarations  5.79
    • B.  Checklist: Contents of Declarations for Authentication of or Laying Foundation for Documentary Evidence  5.80
    • C.  Checklist: Contents for Expert Declarations  5.81

6

Moving Papers

  • I.  INTRODUCTION  6.1
  • II.  INITIAL TASKS
    • A.  Decide Whether to Move for Summary Judgment and/or Summary Adjudication  6.2
    • B.  Review Timing  6.3
    • C.  Review Statutory Procedural Requirements  6.4
      • 1.  Statutory Procedure Cannot Be Altered by Local Rules  6.5
      • 2.  Statutory Procedure Cannot Be Altered by Parties’ Stipulation  6.6
      • 3.  Statutory Requirements in Particular Proceedings  6.7
    • D.  Evaluate Pleadings
      • 1.  Motion Limited to Issues Raised by Pleadings  6.8
      • 2.  Pleadings Reveal Elements to Be Proved  6.9
      • 3.  Pleadings May Be Amended  6.10
    • E.  Review Discovery and Other Evidence  6.11
      • 1.  Gather Evidence  6.12
      • 2.  Complete Necessary Discovery
        • a.  Moving Party Cannot Rely on Its Pleading to Support Motion  6.13
        • b.  Moving Party Needs Declarations and Discovery Responses to Support Motion  6.14
      • 3.  Determine Which Documents Are Necessary to Prepare
        • a.  Required Documents
          • (1)  Documents Common to Motions for Summary Judgment and Summary Adjudication  6.15
          • (2)  Special Requirements for Motion for Summary Adjudication Under CCP §437c(t)  6.15A
            • (a)  Joint Stipulation and Declaration  6.15B
            • (b)  Special Language for Notice of Motion if Court Allows Motion Under CCP §437c(t)  6.15C
        • b.  Optional Documents  6.16
      • 4.  Consider Order of Document Preparation  6.17
        • a.  Prepare Separate Statement First  6.18
        • b.  Draft Supporting Memorandum First  6.19
    • F.  Checklist: Initial Tasks  6.20
  • III.  PREPARING MOVING PAPERS
    • A.  Separate Statement  6.21
      • 1.  Purpose of Separate Statement  6.22
      • 2.  Effect of Failure to File Adequate Separate Statement  6.23
      • 3.  Contents  6.24
        • a.  Identify Only Material Undisputed Facts  6.25
        • b.  Identify Only Necessary Facts  6.26
        • c.  Do Not Overstate Facts  6.27
        • d.  Identify Evidence for Each Fact  6.28
          • (1)  Evidence Must Be Admissible  6.29
          • (2)  Additional Requirement for Summary Adjudication Motions  6.30
          • (3)  Sample Application of Evidence to Undisputed Facts  6.31
      • 4.  Format  6.32
        • a.  Two-Column Requirement  6.33
        • b.  Electronic Version Requirement  6.34
      • 5.  Checklist: Preparing Separate Statement  6.35
    • B.  Evidence in Support of Motion  6.36
      • 1.  Permissible Types of Evidence  6.37
        • a.  Declarations and Affidavits  6.38
        • b.  Judicial Admissions  6.39
        • c.  Stipulations  6.40
        • d.  Discovery Responses  6.41
          • (1)  Depositions  6.42
          • (2)  Interrogatories and Requests for Admission  6.43
          • (3)  Demands for Inspection  6.44
        • e.  Matters Judicially Noticed  6.45
      • 2.  Impermissible Types of Evidence  6.46
      • 3.  Format  6.47
        • a.  Must Bind Separately if Over 25 Pages  6.48
        • b.  Bind Each Exhibit Together and Create Index to Exhibits  6.49
        • c.  Use Proper Format for Deposition Transcript as Exhibit  6.50
      • 4.  Checklist: Supporting Evidence  6.51
    • C.  Notice of Motion
      • 1.  Contents  6.52
        • a.  When Seeking Summary Adjudication  6.53
        • b.  When Requesting Judicial Notice  6.54
      • 2.  Format  6.55
      • 3.  Checklist: Notice of Motion  6.56
    • D.  Supporting Memorandum  6.57
      • 1.  Contents  6.58
      • 2.  Optional Summary of Issues and Evidence  6.59
      • 3.  Format
        • a.  Memorandum Cannot Exceed 20 Pages  6.60
          • (1)  If Over Ten Pages, Table of Contents and Table of Authorities Required  6.61
          • (2)  If Over 15 Pages, Opening Summary Required  6.62
          • (3)  Ex Parte Request for Relief From Page Limits  6.63
        • b.  Copies of Out-of-State, Federal, and Recent Authority Required  6.64
      • 4.  Checklist for Supporting Memorandum  6.65
    • E.  Proposed Order Granting Motion  6.66
  • IV.  SCHEDULING HEARING DATE FOR MOTION
    • A.  When to Schedule Hearing Date
      • 1.  Hearing on Motion Must Be at Least 30 Days Before Trial  6.67
      • 2.  Court May Waive 30-Day Rule for Good Cause  6.68
    • B.  How to Set Hearing Date  6.69
  • V.  SERVING AND FILING MOTION
    • A.  Serve Motion
      • 1.  What to Serve  6.70
      • 2.  When to Serve  6.71
        • a.  Court Cannot Shorten Time for Service Without Parties’ Consent  6.72
        • b.  Only 5 Days’ Notice Required in Unlawful Detainer Actions  6.73
    • B.  File Motion in Court
      • 1.  When to File  6.74
      • 2.  What to File  6.75
      • 3.  Filing Fee  6.76

7

Opposition Papers

  • I.  INTRODUCTION  7.1
  • II.  INITIAL TASKS
    • A.  Review Timing  7.2
    • B.  Review Moving Papers for Possible Challenges
      • 1.  Procedural Challenges
        • a.  Untimely Notice  7.3
        • b.  Improper Notice of Motion  7.4
        • c.  Invalid Separate Statement  7.5
        • d.  Failure to Comply With Statutes and Court Rules  7.6
        • e.  Checklist: Procedural Challenges  7.7
      • 2.  Evidentiary Challenges  7.8
      • 3.  Substantive Challenges
        • a.  Burden Not Met  7.9
        • b.  Different Law Applies  7.10
        • c.  Summary Adjudication Is Inappropriate  7.11
        • d.  Checklist: Substantive Challenges  7.12
    • C.  Evaluate Pleadings
      • 1.  Opposition Limited to Issues Raised in Pleadings  7.13
      • 2.  Pleadings May Be Amended  7.14
        • a.  Courts Liberally Grant Leave to Amend  7.15
        • b.  Court May Continue Hearing to Allow Time to Amend  7.16
        • c.  Court May Grant Oral Motion to Amend  7.17
      • 3.  Checklist: Evaluating Pleadings  7.18
    • D.  Review Discovery and Other Evidence  7.19
  • III.  PREPARING OPPOSITION PAPERS
    • A.  Purpose of Opposition Papers  7.20
      • 1.  Required Documents  7.21
      • 2.  Optional Documents  7.22
    • B.  Separate Statement in Opposition  7.23
      • 1.  Effect of Failure to File Adequate Separate Statement  7.24
      • 2.  Contents  7.25
      • 3.  Format  7.26
        • a.  Use Two-Column Format  7.27
        • b.  Request Electronic Copy of Moving Party’s Separate Statement  7.28
      • 4.  Checklist: Separate Statement in Opposition  7.29
    • C.  Evidence in Opposition  7.30
      • 1.  Permissible Types of Evidence  7.31
        • a.  Affidavits and Declarations  7.32
        • b.  Matters to Be Judicially Noticed  7.33
      • 2.  Impermissible Types of Evidence  7.34
      • 3.  Format  7.35
      • 4.  Checklist: Evidence in Opposition  7.36
    • D.  Objecting to Moving Party’s Evidence  7.37
      • 1.  Objections May Be Made in Writing or Orally  7.38
      • 2.  Objections Not Made Are Waived  7.39
      • 3.  Checklist: Objecting to Moving Party’s Evidence  7.40
    • E.  Opposition Memorandum
      • 1.  Contents  7.41
      • 2.  Format  7.42
      • 3.  Checklist: Opposition Memorandum  7.43
    • F.  Proposed Order Denying Motion  7.44
  • IV.  SERVING AND FILING OPPOSITION  7.45
  • V.  FILING CROSS-MOTION
    • A.  When Appropriate  7.46
    • B.  Timing and Other Requirements  7.47
    • C.  Checklist: Cross-Motions  7.48
  • VI.  DIAGNOSTIC QUESTIONS: OPPOSING PARTY’S TACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS  7.49

8

Reply Papers

  • I.  STRATEGY FOR REPLY PAPERS  8.1
  • II.  INITIAL TASKS
    • A.  Review Timing
      • 1.  Must Be Filed at Least 5 Days Before Hearing  8.2
      • 2.  Must Be Served by Method That Ensures Next-Day Delivery  8.3
      • 3.  Time to Reply Not Extended by Manner of Service of Opposition  8.4
    • B.  Request Electronic Version of Opposing Party’s Separate Statement  8.5
    • C.  Review Opposition Papers for Possible Challenges
      • 1.  Procedural Challenges  8.6
      • 2.  Untimely Opposition  8.7
        • a.  Inadequate Opposition Separate Statement  8.8
        • b.  Failure to Submit Written Objections in Proper Format  8.9
      • 3.  Evidentiary Challenges: Opposing Party’s Evidence Is Inadmissible
        • a.  Object to Inadmissible Evidence  8.10
        • b.  Evidentiary Objections Waived if Not Made at Hearing  8.11
      • 4.  Substantive Challenges
        • a.  Opposition Did Not Meet Its Burden  8.12
        • b.  Opposition Applied Incorrect Law  8.13
    • D.  Checklist: Initial Tasks  8.14
  • III.  DOCUMENTS TO BE FILED  8.15
  • IV.  PREPARING REPLY PAPERS
    • A.  Reply Memorandum
      • 1.  Format  8.16
      • 2.  Scope of Reply  8.17
    • B.  No Reply Separate Statement  8.18
    • C.  Objections to Evidence  8.19
    • D.  Response to Objections to Evidence  8.20
    • E.  Affirmative Evidence  8.21
    • F.  Proposed Order  8.22
    • G.  Checklist: Preparing Reply Papers  8.23
  • V.  CHALLENGING REQUEST FOR CONTINUANCE TO OBTAIN EVIDENCE
    • A.  How to Challenge  8.24
    • B.  Checklist: Challenge Request for Continuance  8.25
  • VI.  DETERMINING WHETHER GROUNDS FOR SANCTIONS EXIST
    • A.  Bad Faith  8.26
    • B.  Checklist: Determining Whether Grounds for Sanctions Exist  8.27

9

Objections to Evidence

Stephen G. Blitch

  • I.  STRATEGIC CONSIDERATIONS
    • A.  Importance of Attacking Evidence  9.1
      • 1.  Produce Evidence to Support or Defeat Motion  9.2
      • 2.  Raise Objections or Waive Them  9.3
      • 3.  Obtain Trial Court’s Ruling on Material Objections  9.4
        • a.  Express Ruling on Each Objection [Deleted]  9.5
        • b.  Exception: Fruitless Act After Repeated Requests [Deleted]  9.6
    • B.  Case Strategy  9.7
      • 1.  Identify Potential Evidentiary Objections Early  9.8
      • 2.  Analyze Case Issues Before Discovery  9.9
      • 3.  Prepare Witnesses in Light of Case Issues  9.10
  • II.  METHODS OF OBJECTING  9.11
    • A.  Written Objections
      • 1.  Timing  9.12
      • 2.  Format  9.13
      • 3.  Proposed Order  9.14
    • B.  Oral Objections  9.15
  • III.  OBJECTING TO OPPOSING EVIDENCE  9.16
    • A.  Common Objections
      • 1.  Attacking Form and Sufficiency of the Evidence  9.17
      • 2.  Attacking Expert’s Qualifications  9.18
      • 3.  Attacking Expert’s Opinion  9.19
      • 4.  Attacking Lay Opinion  9.20
      • 5.  Attacking Speculative Evidence  9.21
      • 6.  Attacking Business and Official Records  9.22
      • 7.  Attacking Secondary Evidence  9.23
    • B.  Ineffective Objections
      • 1.  Attacking Moving Party’s Credibility  9.24
      • 2.  Evidence of State of Mind  9.25
    • C.  Commonly Overlooked Objections  9.26

10

Hearing and Oral Argument

  • I.  INTRODUCTION  10.1
    • A.  Hearing Requirement  10.2
    • B.  What Constitutes a Hearing  10.3
    • C.  Appellate Review of Denial of Hearing  10.4
  • II.  TENTATIVE RULING  10.5
    • A.  Obtain Tentative Ruling  10.6
    • B.  Contest Tentative Ruling  10.7
      • 1.  Contesting Party Must Comply With Court Rules  10.8
      • 2.  Uncontested Tentative Ruling Becomes Court Order  10.9
    • C.  Effect of Tentative Ruling on Plaintiff’s Ability to Voluntarily Dismiss
      • 1.  On Summary Judgment Motion  10.10
      • 2.  On Summary Adjudication Motion  10.11
  • III.  PREPARING FOR HEARING  10.12
    • A.  Opportunities Presented by Hearing  10.13
    • B.  Prepare for Hearing When Tentative Ruling Is in Favor of Client  10.14
      • 1.  Ruling Is Only Partially in Favor of Client  10.15
      • 2.  Request Sanctions  10.16
    • C.  Prepare for Hearing When Tentative Ruling Is Against Client  10.17
    • D.  Prepare for Hearing When There Is No Tentative Ruling  10.18
    • E.  Tailor Arguments to Meet Burdens of Production and Persuasion  10.19
      • 1.  Moving Party’s Substantive Burden
        • a.  When Moving Party Is Plaintiff  10.20
        • b.  When Moving Party Is Defendant  10.21
      • 2.  Opposing Party’s Substantive Burden
        • a.  When Moving Party Has Not Met Burden  10.22
        • b.  When Moving Party Has Met Burden  10.23
  • IV.  ADVOCATING AT HEARING  10.24
    • A.  Effective Oral Advocacy  10.25
    • B.  Evidentiary Objections at Hearing  10.26
    • C.  Preserve Issues for Appellate Review
      • 1.  Ensure Evidentiary Objections Are Not Waived on Appeal  10.27
      • 2.  Ask Court to Specify Findings for Order  10.28

11

Decision and Order

  • I.  INTRODUCTION  11.1
  • II.  RULING ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION
    • A.  Statutory Test  11.2
      • 1.  Court’s Three-Step Analysis  11.3
      • 2.  When Facts Essential to Motion Exist but Cannot Be Presented  11.4
      • 3.  Supplemental Declarations and Late Papers  11.5
    • B.  Consideration of Proffered Evidence  11.6
      • 1.  Court Must Construe Evidence in Favor of Party Opposing Motion  11.7
        • a.  Exception: When Opposing Party Repudiates Earlier Admissions  11.8
        • b.  Exception: When Moving Party Establishes Defense With Opposing Party’s Admissions  11.9
      • 2.  Court May Draw Inferences From Evidence Presented
        • a.  Inferences Must Be “Reasonably Deducible”  11.10
        • b.  Conflicting Inferences Cannot Be Weighed Against Each Other  11.11
      • 3.  Uncontroverted Evidence
        • a.  Court Must Accept as True  11.12
          • (1)  When Only Proof of Fact Is Declaration of Sole Witness  11.13
          • (2)  When Fact Is Individual’s State of Mind Established by Affirmation Only  11.14
        • b.  Court May Not Make Credibility Determinations  11.15
      • 4.  Court Discretion to Consider Evidence Not Presented in Moving Party’s Separate Statement  11.16
        • a.  When Evidence Is in Evidentiary Materials Filed With Separate Statement  11.17
        • b.  When Evidence Is First Submitted With Moving Party’s Reply  11.18
  • III.  COURT ORDER ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND SUMMARY ADJUDICATION
    • A.  Preparation and Approval of Court Order
      • 1.  Prevailing Party Usually Prepares Order  11.19
      • 2.  Timing  11.20
    • B.  Contents of Court Order
      • 1.  When Summary Judgment Motion Is Granted
        • a.  Court Must Specify Reasons and Evidence  11.21
          • (1)  Checklist: Contents of Proposed Order Granting Motion  11.22
          • (2)  Effect of Failure to Provide Sufficient Statement of Reasons  11.23
        • b.  Court Does Not Make Findings of Fact  11.24
        • c.  Order Should Include Direction That Judgment Be Entered  11.25
      • 2.  When Summary Judgment Motion Is Denied
        • a.  Court Must Specify Reasons and Evidence  11.26
          • (1)  Checklist: Contents of Proposed Order Denying Motion  11.27
          • (2)  Effect of Failure to Specify Disputed Factual Issues  11.28
        • b.  Appellate Court Must Vacate Defective Orders  11.29
      • 3.  When Summary Adjudication Motion Is Granted
        • a.  Order Must Specify Matter Adjudicated and Reasons for Granting Motion  11.30
        • b.  Checklist: Contents of Proposed Order Granting Summary Adjudication  11.31
        • c.  Checklist: Contents of Order When Motion Granted for Lack of Triable Issue Should Specify Evidence  11.32
        • d.  Costs Imposed as Sanctions  11.33
      • 4.  When Summary Adjudication Motion Is Denied
        • a.  Court Must State Reasons and Evidence  11.34
        • b.  Checklist: Contents of Proposed Order Denying Summary Adjudication  11.35
        • c.  Costs Imposed as Sanctions  11.36
    • C.  Obtaining Attorney Fees and Sanctions
      • 1.  Contractual Attorney Fees  11.37
        • a.  Prevailing Party Defined  11.38
        • b.  Procedure for Obtaining Contractual Attorney Fees  11.39
      • 2.  Sanctions for Bad Faith Affidavits  11.40

12

Challenging the Decision

  • I.  INTRODUCTION  12.1
  • II.  WHEN SUMMARY JUDGMENT IS GRANTED
    • A.  Trial Court Motions  12.2
      • 1.  Motion for Reconsideration  12.3
        • a.  Timing  12.4
        • b.  Grounds  12.5
        • c.  Entry of Judgment Is Implied Denial of Motion  12.6
        • d.  Court May Reconsider Its Ruling Sua Sponte  12.7
      • 2.  Motion for New Trial  12.8
        • a.  Timing  12.9
        • b.  Grounds  12.10
      • 3.  Motion to Vacate Under CCP §473
        • a.  Discretionary Relief  12.11
          • (1)  Timing  12.12
          • (2)  Grounds  12.13
        • b.  Mandatory Relief  12.14
      • 4.  Motion or Separate Action to Set Aside Judgment for Extrinsic Fraud or Mistake  12.15
        • a.  Timing  12.16
        • b.  Grounds  12.17
    • B.  Appellate Court Review
      • 1.  Appeal From Final Judgment Only  12.18
        • a.  What Constitutes a “Final” Judgment  12.19
        • b.  When Order Granting Judgment Is Construed as “Final” Judgment  12.20
      • 2.  When to File Notice of Appeal  12.21
      • 3.  Scope of Review  12.22
      • 4.  Standard of Review  12.23
      • 5.  Review of Evidence  12.24
        • a.  Facts Limited to Those in Separate Statements  12.25
        • b.  Waiver of Evidentiary Objections
          • (1)  Failure to Appeal Trial Court’s Ruling Sustaining Objections  12.26
          • (2)  Failure to Object to Admission in Trial Court  12.27
        • c.  No Waiver of Evidentiary Objections Not Ruled On by Trial Court  12.28
          • (1)  Implied Overruling of Objections Not Specifically Sustained [Deleted]  12.29
          • (2)  Objections May Be Preserved if Not Expressly Ruled On [Deleted]  12.30
      • 6.  Supplemental Briefing  12.31
    • C.  Checklist for Opposing Party if Summary Judgment Is Granted  12.32
  • III.  WHEN SUMMARY ADJUDICATION IS GRANTED  12.33
    • A.  Trial Court Procedures
      • 1.  Motion for Reconsideration  12.34
      • 2.  Motion for Relief Under CCP §473  12.35
    • B.  Appellate Court Review
      • 1.  Petition for Peremptory Writ of Mandate  12.36
      • 2.  Appeal From Final Judgment Only  12.37
    • C.  Checklist for Opposing Party if Summary Adjudication Is Granted  12.38
  • IV.  WHEN SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR ADJUDICATION IS DENIED
    • A.  Trial Court Motions
      • 1.  Motion for Reconsideration  12.39
        • a.  Timing  12.40
        • b.  Grounds for Reconsideration  12.41
        • c.  Court May Reconsider Its Ruling Sua Sponte  12.42
      • 2.  Renewal of Summary Judgment or Summary Adjudication Motion  12.43
        • a.  Timing  12.44
        • b.  Grounds for Renewal  12.45
      • 3.  Subsequent Motion for Summary Judgment Based on Same Evidence  12.46
    • B.  Appellate Court Review
      • 1.  Petition for Peremptory Writ  12.47
        • a.  Timing  12.48
        • b.  Grounds  12.49
      • 2.  Appeal From Final Judgment After Trial Only  12.50
    • C.  Checklist for Moving Party if Summary Judgment or Adjudication Is Denied  12.51
  • V.  CHARTS: CHALLENGES TO GRANTING OR DENIAL OF MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION
    • A.  Chart: Trial Court Procedures  12.52
    • B.  Chart: Appellate Court Review  12.53

13

Considerations in Particular Cases: Unlawful Detainer and Employment Discrimination

  • I.  INTRODUCTION  13.1
  • II.  UNLAWFUL DETAINER CASES
    • A.  Nature and Purpose of Summary Judgment  13.2
    • B.  Summary Adjudication is Available  13.3
    • C.  Procedural Timelines are Shortened
      • 1.  Filing and Service of Papers  13.4
      • 2.  Extensions of Time
        • a.  Available to Complete Discovery  13.5
        • b.  No Extension to Trial Setting Period  13.6
    • D.  Uncertainty Exists About Type of Supporting Papers Required by Statute  13.7
    • E.  Uncertainty Exists About Type of Supporting Papers Required by Rules of Court  13.8
    • F.  Opposing Papers; Oral Opposition Allowed  13.9
    • G.  Attorney Fees  13.10
  • III.  EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION CASES
    • A.  Litigation Goals
      • 1.  Defendant Employer  13.11
      • 2.  Plaintiff Employee  13.12
    • B.  Discovery Plan  13.13
      • 1.  Plaintiff  13.14
      • 2.  Defendant  13.15
    • C.  Allocation of Burdens Between Parties  13.16
      • 1.  Employer Moving for Summary Judgment  13.17
      • 2.  Employee Opposing Summary Judgment  13.18
        • a.  Evidence of Pretext  13.19
        • b.  Insufficient Evidence of Pretext  13.20
        • c.  Attacking Credibility of Employer’s Declarations  13.21

14

Forms

  • I.  INTRODUCTION  14.1
    • A.  Format Requirements Generally  14.2
    • B.  Specific Format Requirements for Summary Judgment and Summary Adjudication Motions  14.3
      • 1.  Length of Memorandum  14.4
      • 2.  Separate Statement  14.5
      • 3.  Documentary Evidence  14.6
      • 4.  Written Objections to Evidence  14.7
  • II.  SAMPLE FORMS
    • A.  Moving Party
      • 1.  Form: Sample Defendant’s Notice of Motion for Summary Judgment or Summary Adjudication  14.8
      • 2.  Form: Sample Defendant’s Memorandum in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment or Summary Adjudication  14.9
      • 3.  Form: Sample Declaration Supporting Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment or Summary Adjudication  14.10
      • 4.  Defendant’s Separate Statement of Undisputed Material Facts
        • a.  Form: Sample Defendant’s Separate Statement for Summary Judgment or Summary Adjudication in the Alternative  14.11
        • b.  Form: Sample Defendant’s Separate Statement for Summary Judgment  14.12
        • c.  Form: Sample Defendant’s Separate Statement for Summary Adjudication  14.13
      • 5.  Form: Sample Defendant’s Proposed Order Granting Summary Judgment  14.14
      • 6.  Form: Sample Defendant’s Proposed Order Granting Summary Adjudication  14.15
    • B.  Opposing Party
      • 1.  Form: Sample Plaintiff’s Response to Separate Statement of Disputed and Undisputed Facts  14.16
      • 2.  Form: Sample Plaintiff’s Proposed Order Denying Summary Judgment and Summary Adjudication  14.17
    • C.  Orders and Judgments
      • 1.  Form: Order for Entry of Summary Judgment  14.18
      • 2.  Form: Judgment by Court Under CCP §437c  14.19
      • 3.  Form: Order Denying Motion for Summary Judgment  14.20
    • D.  Postjudgment Forms
      • 1.  Form: Notice of Motion for Reconsideration of Order Granting Motion for Summary Judgment  14.21
      • 2.  Form: Notice of Intention to Move for New Trial  14.22

CALIFORNIA SUMMARY JUDGMENT

(1st Edition)

July 2018

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

File Name

Book Section

Title

CH01

Chapter 1

Strategic Overview

01-050

§1.50

Checklist: Initial Case Review

01-051

§1.51

Checklist: Overview of Process

CH03

Chapter 3

Timing Requirements and Planning Strategies

03-003

§3.3

Checklist: Moving Party’s Preparation and Moving Papers

03-004

§3.4

Checklist: Opposing Party’s Preparation and Opposition

03-005

§3.5

Checklist: Moving Party’s Reply

03-037

§3.37

Checklist: Options for Requesting Continuance

CH05

Chapter 5

Developing and Proffering Evidence

05-014

§5.14

Declaration Subscription Requirement

05-031

§5.31

Checklist: Common Defects in Affidavits and Declarations

05-066

§5.66

Checklist: Declaration for Documentary Secondary Evidence

05-079

§5.79

Checklist: Contents for All Declarations

05-080

§5.80

Checklist: Contents of Declarations for Authentication of or Laying Foundation for Documentary Evidence

05-081

§5.81

Checklist: Contents for Expert Declarations

CH06

Chapter 6

Moving Papers

06-020

§6.20

Checklist: Initial Tasks

06-033

§6.33

Two-Column Requirement

06-035

§6.35

Checklist: Preparing Separate Statement

06-051

§6.51

Checklist: Supporting Evidence

06-056

§6.56

Checklist: Notice of Motion

06-065

§6.65

Checklist for Supporting Memorandum

CH07

Chapter 7

Opposition Papers

07-007

§7.7

Checklist: Procedural Challenges

07-012

§7.12

Checklist: Substantive Challenges

07-018

§7.18

Checklist: Evaluating Pleadings

07-027

§7.27

Use Two-Column Format

07-029

§7.29

Checklist: Separate Statement in Opposition

07-036

§7.36

Checklist: Evidence in Opposition

07-040

§7.40

Checklist: Objecting to Moving Party’s Evidence

07-043

§7.43

Checklist: Opposition Memorandum

07-048

§7.48

Checklist: Cross-Motions

07-049

§7.49

DIAGNOSTIC QUESTIONS: OPPOSING PARTY’S TACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

CH08

Chapter 8

Reply Papers

08-014

§8.14

Checklist: Initial Tasks

08-023

§8.23

Checklist: Preparing Reply Papers

08-025

§8.25

Checklist: Challenge Request for Continuance

08-027

§8.27

Checklist: Determining Whether Grounds for Sanctions Exist

CH09

Chapter 9

Objections to Evidence

09-009

§9.9

Analyze Case Issues Before Discovery

09-013

§9.13

Format

09-014

§9.14

Proposed Order

CH11

Chapter 11

Decision and Order

11-022

§11.22

Checklist: Contents of Proposed Order Granting Motion

11-027

§11.27

Checklist: Contents of Proposed Order Denying Motion

11-031

§11.31

Checklist: Contents of Proposed Order Granting Summary Adjudication

11-032

§11.32

Checklist: Contents of Order When Motion Granted for Lack of Triable Issue Should Specify Evidence

11-035

§11.35

Checklist: Contents of Proposed Order Denying Summary Adjudication

CH12

Chapter 12

Challenging the Decision

12-032

§12.32

Checklist for Opposing Party if Summary Judgment Is Granted

12-038

§12.38

Checklist for Opposing Party if Summary Adjudication Is Granted

12-051

§12.51

Checklist for Moving Party if Summary Judgment or Adjudication Is Denied

CH14

Chapter 14

Forms

14-008

§14.8

Sample Defendant’s Notice of Motion for Summary Judgment or Summary Adjudication

14-009

§14.9

Sample Defendant’s Memorandum in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment or Summary Adjudication

14-010

§14.10

Sample Declaration Supporting Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment or Summary Adjudication

14-011

§14.11

Sample Defendant’s Separate Statement for Summary Judgment or Summary Adjudication in the Alternative

14-012

§14.12

Sample Defendant’s Separate Statement for Summary Judgment

14-013

§14.13

Sample Defendant’s Separate Statement for Summary Adjudication

14-014

§14.14

Sample Defendant’s Proposed Order Granting Summary Judgment

14-015

§14.15

Sample Defendant’s Proposed Order Granting Summary Adjudication

14-016

§14.16

Sample Plaintiff’s Response to Separate Statement of Disputed and Undisputed Facts

14-017

§14.17

Sample Plaintiff’s Proposed Order Denying Summary Judgment and Summary Adjudication

14-018

§14.18

Order for Entry of Summary Judgment

14-019

§14.19

Judgment by Court Under CCP §437c

14-020

§14.20

Order Denying Motion for Summary Judgment

14-021

§14.21

Notice of Motion for Reconsideration of Order Granting Motion for Summary Judgment

14-022

§14.22

Notice of Intention to Move for New Trial

 

Selected Developments

July 2018

Summarized below are some of the more important developments included in this update since publication of the 2016 edition.

All amendments, repeals, and additions to California statutes and Rules of Court were integrated into the text. Attorneys should be aware that electronic filing is permissible in many of the superior courts across the state, and a number of courts have made it mandatory in some proceedings. Attorneys should review local court rules to determine whether electronic filing is required in particular proceedings.

Alternative Dispositive Motions

Cottle Motion. In Department of Forestry & Fire Protection v Howell (2017) 18 CA5th 154, the court of appeal held that a Cottle hearing in a complex civil case violated due process when plaintiffs were not afforded adequate time to present their prima facie case and cure any deficiencies. See §1.30.

Timing Requirements

Continuance. In Denton v City and County of San Francisco (2017) 16 CA5th 779, the court of appeal held there was “good cause” to continue a hearing on a motion for summary judgment when a significant, unanticipated change in the status of the case left the plaintiff without counsel and unprepared to oppose the motion. See §3.34.

Availability of Relief

Punitive Damages. In CRST, Inc. v Superior Court (2017) 11 CA5th 1255, the court of appeal directed the trial court to grant an employer’s motion for summary adjudication on the issue of punitive damages because the employee failed to meet its burden to produce “clear and convincing” evidence in support of the claim. See §2.22.

Evidentiary Burdens

Sufficiency of Evidence. In Gonzalez v Mathis (2018) 20 CA5th 257, the court of appeal reversed summary judgment in favor of defendant in a premises liability case because photos and videos taken 3 years after plaintiff’s workers were injured on the property did not establish that they could have guarded against the inherent risks by using reasonable safety precautions. See §4.29.

In Foltz v Johnson (2017) 16 CA5th 647, the court of appeal affirmed summary adjudication against plaintiff on the issue of duty when the record showed defendant’s actions were insufficient as matter of law to increase the inherent risks of off-road dirt biking. See §4.29.

Separate Statement. Rush v White Corp. (2017) 13 CA5th 1086, the court of appeal held it was not an abuse of discretion for the trial court to grant summary judgment for defendants after affording plaintiffs repeated opportunities to correct their separate statement by providing required pinpoint citations to evidence. See §4.37.

Developing and Proffering Evidence

In Turley v Familian Corp. (2017) 18 CA5th 969, the court of appeal held that it was error for the trial court to disregard a witness declaration on the ground that it contradicted the witness’ deposition testimony when the contradiction was ambiguous. See §8.12.

In Jacobs v Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Co. (2017) 14 CA5th 438, the court of appeal held that a party moving for summary judgment could submit additional evidence with the reply papers as long as the opposing party had notice and opportunity to respond. See §8.21.

Opposition Papers

In Jacobs v Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Co. (2017) 14 CA5th 438, the court of appeal held that plaintiffs could not oppose summary judgment on an unpled theory of liability when a defendant or a court reading the complaint would not reasonably anticipate such a claim. See §7.14.

Summary Judgment in Employment Discrimination Cases

Mixed-motive Cases. In Husman v Toyota Motor Credit Corp. (2017) 12 CA5th 1168, the court of appeal applied Harris v City of Santa Monica (2013) 56 C4th 203 to hold that a mixed-motive discrimination claim is not properly resolved on summary judgment if triable issues of material fact exist whether discrimination was a “substantial motivating reason” for the defendant’s adverse employment action. See §13.16.

In Light v California Dep’t of Parks & Recreation (2017) 14 CA5th 75, the court of appeal reiterated that evidence of pretext is not required to defeat a summary judgment motion; the central issue is whether the evidence as a whole supports a reasoned inference that the employer engaged in unlawful discrimination. See §13.19.

Evidence of Pretext. In Cornell v Berkeley Tennis Club (2017) 18 CA5th 908, the court of appeal held that evidence showing a manager harbored discriminatory animus and was involved in plaintiff’s termination raised a triable issue of material fact as to whether defendant’s proffered reason for the termination was pretextual. See §13.18.

About the Authors and Consultants

Stephen G. Blitch is a private neutral with ADR Services, Inc. He was formerly a partner in the Oakland and San Francisco offices of Reed Smith LLP, where he specialized in business litigation, including business torts, product liability, class actions, construction, real estate, financial services, and environmental litigation. Mr. Blitch lectures frequently on the subjects of trial evidence and trial practice, and has taught for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA). Mr. Blitch is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is also an associate member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), a member of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, a member of the Alameda County Bar Association and past chair of its Trial Practice Section, a member of the Litigation Section of the California State Bar Association, and a member of the Bar Association of San Francisco. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White, 2006–2010). He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, College of Environmental Design (Architecture), and received his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Mr. Blitch is a contributing author of California Trial Objections (Cal CEB) and Jefferson’s California Evidence Benchbook (4th ed Cal CEB).

Michael C. Denison is a partner in the Los Angeles firm of Towle Denison & Maniscalco LLP. He is a civil trial lawyer who emphasizes the areas of civil litigation, commercial litigation, malicious prosecution, civil RICO, and insurance. Mr. Denison is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the State Bar of California, the Defense Research Institute, and the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel. He has written about and spoken on litigation issues for several years. He received his J.D. from Loyola Law School. Mr. Denison is a contributing author of Making and Opposing Special Motions to Strike Under the California Anti-SLAPP Statute (Cal CEB Action Guide).

James Neudecker is an associate in the San Francisco office of Reed Smith LLP. He is a civil litigator who focuses primarily on commercial litigation and product liability cases. Mr. Neudecker received his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Marshall C. Wallace is a partner in the Oakland office of Reed Smith LLP. Mr. Wallace is a civil trial lawyer, focusing on complex business cases, including business tort, unfair competition, real estate, financial services, insurance, and land use litigation. He has handled dozens of jury trials, bench trials, arbitrations, expedited injunction proceedings, and class actions. Mr. Wallace is a member of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, the Trial Practice Section of the Alameda County Bar Association, and the Litigation Section of the California State Bar Association. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1986, receiving a J.D. from the School of Law and an M.B.A. from the School of Business. Mr. Wallace is a contributing editor of California Trial Objections (Cal CEB Annual).

Mary N. Abbott is a founding partner in the Los Angeles office of Nielson, Haley & Abbott LLP. She is an experienced litigator who specializes in litigation of cases involving personal injury, professional liability, premises liability, products liability, security services, and insurance bad faith, as well as civil appeals. Before joining in the formation of her firm and opening the Los Angeles office, Ms. Abbott spent more than 20 years as a member and managing partner of Stolpman, Krissman, Elber, Mandel & Katzman, a noted Long Beach tort litigation firm, primarily handling plaintiffs’ litigation. She is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Defense Research Institute. Ms. Abbott received her J.D. from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

Valerie T. McGinty is a partner at Smith & McGinty, representing plaintiffs on appeal. Ms. McGinty practiced employment litigation at Lawless & Lawless, and externed for the Honorable John E. Munter of the San Francisco Superior Court and Presiding Justice J. Anthony Kline of the Court of Appeal, First District, Division Two. Ms. McGinty received her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Honorable Ronald S. Prager is a retired Judge of the San Diego Superior Court. He began his judicial service in 1988 and presided over a wide spectrum of civil cases, including complex matters such as the statewide coordinated tobacco class actions and the natural gas antitrust cases. He is a frequent panelist on civil litigation topics before various bar associations and the Association of Business Trial Lawyers. Judge Prager also serves as a judicial advisor to the Executive Committee of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of California and on the Judicial Advisory Board of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers. Before being appointed to the bench, he worked as a prosecutor for the San Diego District Attorneys Office and the State of California Attorney General’s office. Judge Prager graduated from the University of Southern California Law School.

Roy G. Weatherup is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP and is a member of the firm’s Appellate Practice Group. He is a Certified Specialist in Appellate Law, certified by the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California. Mr. Weatherup has been responsible for more than 1500 briefs in over 1000 cases, resulting in over 200 published opinions. He has handled many cases at the trial court level that were resolved prior to trial and been sole or lead trial attorney in 13 cases tried to conclusion. Mr. Weatherup is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, the Stanford Law Society, the Supreme Court Historical Society, the California Supreme Court Historical Society, and a sustaining member of the Product Liability Advisory Council. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, in Super Lawyers, in Who’s Who in America, and in Who’s Who in American Law. Mr. Weatherup is a contributing author of California Civil Appellate Practice (3d ed Cal CEB), Privacy Compliance and Litigation in California (Cal CEB), and Making and Opposing Summary Judgment Motions (Cal CEB Action Guide). He also served as a consultant for California Civil Procedure Before Trial (4th ed Cal CEB). Mr. Weatherup received his J.D. from Stanford University School of Law.

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