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Litigation Update: California Summary Judgment Rules to be Amended

By Jessica H. Antoniades, Esq.  of Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. posted on Friday, September 4, 2015.

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed Senate Bill 470, which amends California Code of Civil Procedure section 437c regarding summary judgment and summary adjudication.  In addition to correcting grammar throughout the code section, the amendments will excuse judges from ruling on all evidentiary objections deemed not material to a motion for summary judgment.  The following subsection will be added to the code section effective January 1, 2016:

“(q) In granting or denying a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication, the court need rule only on those objections to evidence that it deems material to its disposition of the motion. Objections to evidence that are not ruled on for purposes of the motion shall be preserved for appellate review.”

 This amendment codifies the 2010 California Supreme Court case Reid v. Google, in which the court held evidentiary objections contained in summary judgment papers are preserved for appellate review even if the trial court does not rule on the objections.  The amendment will lift some of the burden from the courts of having to rule on the voluminous evidentiary objections attorneys frequently include in summary judgment papers.  However, it will not relieve practitioners from having to make all necessary objections in their papers; objections not made in the parties’ papers will not be preserved for appeal.  

 Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C.’s San Diego, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York attorneys handle a wide range of litigation and arbitration matters.  Contact us today for a confidential analysis of your situation.

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