Superlawyer Badges
AV Preeminent Badge
AVVO Rating 10.0 - Top Attorney Criminal Defense
AVVO Rating 10.0 - Top Attorney Personal Injury
AVVO Top Contributor - Criminal Defense
AVVO Clients' Choice - Car Accidents
AVVO Top Contributor - Family
AVVO Clients' Choice - Criminal Defense
BBB

Summary Judgment Hearings - Objecting to Affidavits

What happened?

In 1986, Stuart Electric and Summers Electric entered into a credit agreement whereby Stuart would buy supplies and equipment from Summers and promised to repay them. The owners of Stuart, Barry and Zac Stuart, also signed personal guarantees to pay Summers back for anything purchased by Stuart.

In 2008, the Stuarts sold their company. At that time, they contacted Summers, which was now known as Rexel, to inform them that they sold the company. According to the testimony of the Stuarts, Rexel confirmed at that time that the Stuarts had been removed from the account and had no further liability to Rexel.

After the Stuarts sold the company, Stuart Electric continued to buy supplies and equipment from Rexel. But Stuart failed to make payment for materials purchased on that account. As a result, Rexel brought suit against the company as well as against Barry and Zac Stuart claiming that the personal guarantees they signed in 1986 still made them responsible for payments on the account.

What happened in court?

Rexel moved for summary judgment, and the trial court granted the Motion. On appeal, the key issue centered around the affidavits of Barry and Zac Stuart that were included in their response to the motion for summary judgment. Those affidavits included the testimony of the Stuart’s that Rexel had confirmed to them that they had no further liability to Rexel after the Stuart’s sold their company.

Rexel unsuccessfully tried to have those affidavits struck by the trial court, and asked the appellate court to find that trial court had abused its discretion in failing to do so. The reasoning of Rexel was that the statements contained in the affidavits were not “readily controvertible” as required by law. However, the court found that “readily controvertible” does not mean easily controvertible. And the court found that Rexel could have controverted the statements by the Stuarts that Rexel represented that the Stuarts had no more liability by inquiring of its own employees about the representations made to the Stuarts.

The appellate court then moved on to consider whether the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to Rexel. The standard for summary judgment is a fairly simple one. The party moving for summary judgment must show there is no genuine issue of material fact. To defeat a motion for summary judgment, the respondent must only raise a fact issue. The question here is whether the affidavits of the Stuarts raised a fact issue to defeat summary judgment. Because the court already found the affidavits were valid summary judgment evidence, they found the affidavits did raise a fact issue. As a result, the court overturned the summary judgment and sent the case back to the trial court.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Guest and Gray law firm is wonderful. I have had the chance to work with three of the lawyers and they all have been wonderful. They will tell you when you need a lawyer and when you don't. They actually try to save you money. They respond very fast to questions and try to help you understand what is going on. They are caring and are really judgment free. If I needed a lawyer again I would use this firm in a second and recommend them. K.K.
★★★★★
I used Guest and Gray to deal with my ex wife's accusations of child neglect.I dealt with Robert Guest and Tracy Gray. Both were excellent attorneys and surpassed every expectation I had in fighting the false accusations. We Won ! M.B.
★★★★★
I used Guest & Gray for a child custody case and they were great. I was really nervous about the case but they took care of everything and answered all my questions. I would recommend their services to anyone. J.R.
★★★★★
I can highly recommend Guest and Gray. I have worked on a number of cases with Robert Guest and and Scott Gray and find it amazing how MOTIVATED they are to do everything they can for their clients, not to mention that there superior knowledge, etc. In criminal cases supportive relatives always want to know "what can I do" to help. Hire Guest and Gray. C.S.