Summary of Summary Judgment

One of the most common, if not the most common motion in litigation is the Motion for Summary Judgment. But what is summary judgment? Here is an excerpt from one of my briefs:

CPLR § 3212(b) provides the applicable standards for this motion:

A motion for summary judgment shall be supported by affidavit, by a copy of the pleadings and by other available proof, such as depositions and written admissions. The affidavit shall be by a person having knowledge of the facts; it shall recite all the material facts; and it shall show that there is no defense to the cause of action or that the cause of action or defense has no merit. The motion shall 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. Except as provided in subdivision (c) of this rule the motion shall be denied if any party shall show facts sufficient to require a trial of any issue of fact.

When a court reviews a motion for summary judgment, it must determine whether the moving party met its burden of establishing “a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, tendering sufficient evidence to demonstrate the absence of any material issues of fact.” Winegrad v. New York Univ. Med. Center, 64 N.Y.2d 851, 853 (1985); Zuckerman v. City of New York, 49 N.Y.2d 557, 562 (1980). If the moving party fails to establish a prima facie showing, the court must deny the motion. Id. The moving party has a high burden because the facts must be viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Gradwohl v. Stop and Shop Supermarket Co., LLC, 70 A.D.3d 634 (2d Dept. 2010).


If you have any legal questions or need help with a summary judgment motion, please contact Attorney Scott Lanin at (212) 764-7250 x 201 or use the contact form in the right sidebar.


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