Hastings Law Journal


In Celotex v. Catrett, the United States Supreme Court redefined the initial burden of production on a party moving for summary judgment when that party will not have the burden of proof at trial. The Court also approved the use of inadmissible evidence to oppose such a summary judgment motion. This Article discusses the new initial burden standard, which no longer requires that the moving party "negate" each essential element of the nonmoving party's case, and proposes certain refinements necessary to integrate this new standard with the discovery rules. The Article also examines the Court's approval of the use of inadmissible evidence to oppose summary judgment. The Article concludes that the use of such evidence would be antithetical to the Court's goal of encouraging the use of summary judgment in appropriate cases. Finally, .the Article discusses the lower courts' response to Celotex and analyzes the steps involved in seeking and opposing summary judgment after the decision in Celotex.

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