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Contents Intoroduction Preliminaries Chapter 1 Chapter 2
Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Appendix Index

I Summary Judgment Review

The aim of the summary judgment procedure is to discover whether the parties possess evidence requiring the fact-weighing procedures of a trial. (Chern v. Bank of America (1976) 15 Cal.3d 866, 873; Corwin v. Los Angeles Newspaper Service Bureau, Inc. (1971) 4 Cal.3d 842, 851.) "[T]he trial court in ruling on a motion for summary judgment is merely to determine whether such issues of fact exist, and not to decide the merits of the issues themselves." (Molko v. Holy Spirit Assn. (1988) 46 Cal.3d 1092, 1107.) In reviewing the propriety of a summary judgment, the appellate court must resolve all doubts in favor of the party opposing the judgment. (Palma v. U.S. Industrial Fasteners, Inc. (1984) 36 Cal.3d 171, 183.) The reviewing court conducts a de novo examination to see whether there are any genuine issues of material fact or whether the moving party is entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law. (Lichty v. Sickels (1983) 149 Cal.App.3d 696, 699.) While "[s]ummary judgment is a drastic procedure, should be used with caution [citation] and should be granted only if there is no issue of triable fact" (Brose v. Union-Tribune Publishing Co. (1986) Cal.App.3d 1079, 1081), it is also true "[j]ustice requires that a defendant be as much entitled to be rid of an unmeritorious lawsuit as a plaintiff is entitled to maintain a good one." (Larsen v. Johannes (1970) 7 Cal.App.3d 491, 507.) "A defendant is entitled to summary judgment if the record establishes as a matter of law that none of the plaintiff's asserted causes of action can prevail. [Citation.]" (Molko v. Holy Spirit Assn., supra, 46 Cal.3d at p. 1107.)

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