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Summary Judgments in Texas: State and Federal Practice
Judge David Hittner
This Article addresses the confluence of procedural changes that have shaped summary judgment practice. These changes are built upon a framework set out in the federal summary judgment trilogy - Celotex1, Matsushita2, and Liberty Lobby3 - and the application of the Texas "no-evidence" summary judgment rule.4 Also at play are the gatekeeping functions expressed in the U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc.5 and the Texas Supreme Court opinion in E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. v. Robinson6 and their impact upon expert testimony as a component of summary judgment practice. Most recently, the advent of a "reasonable juror" standard for evaluating the sufficiency of the evidence plays a role in the changing framework upon which summary judgment practice has been built.7 Upon these pillars, this Article examines the procedural and substantive aspects of obtaining, opposing, and appealing a summary judgment, reviews the types of cases amenable to summary judgment, and, finally, provides an overview of federal summary judgment practice.
Judge David Hittner & Lynne Liberato, "Summary Judgments in Texas," 46 Hous. L. Rev. 1379 (2010).
To read the full article, click on the PDF linked below.
PDF - Summary Judgments in Texas: State and Federal Practice.pdf
1 Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986).
2 Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574 (1986).
3 Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986).
4 TEX. R. CIV. P. 166a(i).
5 Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms., Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 580 (1993).
6 E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. v. Robinson, 923 S.W.2d 549, 555 (Tex. 1995).
7 Timpte Indus., Inc. v. Gish, 286 S.W.3d 306, 310 (Tex. 2009) (citing City of Keller v. Wilson, 168 S.W.3d 802, 827 (Tex. 2005)).