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Summary Judgment¤ - Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 allows any party in a civil action to file a motion for judgment in their favor on a claim, counter-claim, or crossclaim without having a trial. The court may grant such a motion only when, taking all available evidence in the light most favorable to the party against whom such a judgment is sought, no genuine issue of material fact exists that a trial could resolve.

Absent exigent circumstances, reasonably believable evidence sufficient to create a genuine issue of material fact must actually be produced by the party against whom such a judgment is sought. Mere allegations in the pleadings or offers to produce such evidence will not normally be enough.

The motion may be directed at all or part of a claim or defense. From the standpoint of the party filing the motion, it may be based on pleadings, the case record or other evidentiary material yet to be produced, most commonly affidavits.

¤Adapted from BLACK'S LAW DICTIONARY 1287 (5th ed. 1979)

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