1. Be careful to distinguish motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim from motions for summary judgment. R. 56(c) says that summary judgment should be granted if there is "no genuine issue of material fact" and the movant is entitled to "a judgment as a matter of law." How is summary judgment a matter of law? Does that mean that you don't have to look to the evidence to determine that the movant deserves summary judgment? What does it mean for there to be no genuine issue of material fact? Does that mean that the facts are not contested by the parties?
2. What materials are allowed in support of summary judgment? How do
pleadings count when considering whether to grant or deny summary
3. Hearsay is an out of court statement offered in court in favor of the truth of the matter asserted in the statement. Affidavits and depositions are all hearsay and are for this reason not generally allowed at trial (although there are exceptions). Why are they hearsay? Why are they nevertheless allowed in deciding summary judgment motions?
4. Causes of action are made up of elements. What does a plaintiff have to show with respect to the elements of a cause of action in order to get summary judgment? What does a defendant have to show in order to get summary judgment? When is partial summary judgment appropriate?
6. P is suing D in negligence for personal injuries in connection
with a car accident. D moves for summary judgment, offering as evidence
an affidavit from P’s doctor stating that P is not harmed. Has D met
his burden of showing the summary judgment is appropriate?
7. P is suing D in negligence for personal injuries in connection with a car accident. D moves for summary judgment, offering the argument that P has presented no evidence that he has been harmed. Has D his burden of showing the summary judgment is appropriate?