Sunday, October 16, 2005

Seventh Circuit Upholds Rejection of SJ Opposition Papers for Failure to Comply with Local Rule

The Seventh Circuit in F.T.C. v. Bay Area Business Council, Inc., 423 F.3d 627 (7th Cir. Aug. 25, 2005 ) recently upheld a district court's refusal to consider the defendants' affidavits submitted in opposition to the FTC's summary judgment motion because they did not comply with Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1. That rule requires the party opposing summary judgment to submit a response to each numbered paragraph of the movant's statement of material facts (a.k.a. the movant's "Rule 56.1 statement"), "including, in the case of any disagreement, specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon." Id. 56.1(b)(3)(A). Concluding that the defendants' affidavits did not comply with the strictures of the rule, the district court disregarded them. The Seventh Circuit wrote, "We are hard-pressed to see how [defendants'] affidavit could constitute compliance with Rule 56.1" and thus considered only the facts in the FTC's Rule 56.1 statement.


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