Contact Us Today! (877) 276-5084

Attorney Steve® Blog

What is Summary Judgment in the 9th Circuit?

Posted by Steve Vondran | Jul 06, 2021

Attorney Steve® Litigation Tips - Summary Judgment Explained

motion for summary judgment


One way a case (lawsuit) may end is via a summary judgment motion, whether for the Plaintiff or the Defendant.  But what it is and how does it work?

Summary Judgment Motion - Burdens of Proof

Summary judgment is appropriate when there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). The moving party has the initial burden of identifying the portions of the pleadings and record that it believes demonstrate the absence of an issue of material fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).  If a moving party can prove there is no issue of material fact, the Court may grant the motion, in whole or in part, and the case may end there.

Where the non-moving party bears the burden of proof at trial, the moving party need not produce evidence negating or disproving every essential element of the nonmoving party's case. Id. at 325. Instead, the moving party need only prove there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case. Id.; In re Oracle Corp. Sec. Litig., 627 F.3d 376, 387 (9th Cir. 2010). The moving party must show that “under the governing law, there can be but one reasonable conclusion as to the verdict.” See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986).

If the moving party has sustained its burden, the non-moving party must then show that there is a genuine issue of material fact that must be resolved at trial. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324. The non-moving party must make an affirmative showing on all matters placed at issue by the motion as to which it has the burden of proof at trial. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322; Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252. A genuine issue of material fact exists “if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.

“This burden is not a light one. The non-moving party must show more than the mere existence of a scintilla of evidence.” In re Oracle, 627 F.3d at 387 (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252).

When deciding a motion for summary judgment, the court construes the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. See Barlow v. Ground, 943 F.2d 1132, 1135 (9th Cir. 1991).

Thus, summary judgment for the moving party is proper when a “rational trier of fact” would not be able to find for the non-moving party based on the record taken as a whole. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).

Watch Attorney Steve® Explain Motion for Summary Judgment

Steve Vondran attorney

Click on the image to watch this video.  Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to our great law YouTube channel.  We are over 32,000 subscribers and have had over 3.5 million video views.  This video is over 60,000 views.

Contact a Federal IP Lawyer

Our law firm is a leader in federal copyright infringement litigation.  We specialize in all types of infringements actions whether it involves computer software. photo infringement, TV signal piracy cases, fair use opinion letters or Strike 3 Holdings BitTorrrent file sharing cases.  We have appeared in over 200 cases since our founding in 2004.  We handle certain infringement revenue recovery cases on a contingency fee basis including photo, book, and software infringement.

About the Author

Steve Vondran

Thank you for viewing our blogs, videos and podcasts. As noted, all information on this website is Attorney Advertising. Decisions to hire an attorney should never be based on advertising alone. Any past results discussed herein do not guarantee or predict any future results. All blogs are written by Steve Vondran, Esq. unless otherwise indicated. Our firm handles a wide variety of intellectual property and entertainment law cases from music and video law, Youtube disputes, DMCA litigation, copyright infringement cases involving software licensing disputes (ex. BSA, SIIA, Siemens, Autodesk, Vero, CNC, VB Conversion and others), torrent internet file-sharing (Strike 3 and Malibu Media), California right of publicity, TV Signal Piracy, and many other types of IP, piracy, technology, and social media disputes. Call us at (877) 276-5084. AZ Bar Lic. #025911 CA. Bar Lic. #232337

Contact us for an initial consultation!

For more information, or to discuss your case or our experience and qualifications please contact us at (877) 276-5084. Please note that our firm does not represent you unless and until a written retainer agreement is signed, and any applicable legal fees are paid. All initial conversations are general in nature. Free consultations are limited to time and availability of counsel and will depend on the type of case you are calling about (no free consultations for other lawyers). All users and potential clients are bound by our Terms of Use Policies. We look forward to working with you!
The Law Offices of Steven C. Vondran, P.C. BBB Business Review