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Thursday, February 21, 2013

LEGAL UPDATE: Summary Judgment

Alfano v. Schaud,  (New Jersey Appellate Division)

This case involves a police traffic stop and at first blush has very little to do with business law. However, putting aside the facts of the case,  the appellate division's holding concerning what happens when opposing parties tell two different stories, one of which is blatantly contradicted and discredited, is entirely relevant to business litigation. 

At the summary judgment stage, facts must be viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party only if there is a "genuine" dispute as to those facts. Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party, there is no genuine issue of material fact for trial.


When opposing parties tell two different stories, one of which is blatantly contradicted by the record, so that no reasonable jury could believe it, a court should not adopt that version of the facts for purposes of ruling on a motion for summary judgment.



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