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In writing an Opposition to the Motion for Summary Judgment,

Sheboygan, WI |

must affidavits be used in disputing facts and introducing new facts or is attaching copies of documents enough?

Sorry, I really didn't give enough info...we are being sued by our attorney for an unpaid bill. The documents I'm speaking of are 1. an email between the attorney and myself and 2. a letter sent to me by the firm telling me that our attorney was no longer with the firm (let go for the exact reason that we're not paying the bill).

Attorney Answers 6

  1. The affidavit would be, and should be used, to introduce facts -which would include making reference to the "document" being relied upon and the significance of that document to the opposing of summary judgment.

  2. It depends. Every piece of evidence must be scrutinized for admissibility in light of what the proponent seeks to prove, under the applicable rules of evidence. "Documents" is too vague a term to permit a definitive response. Some kinds of documents are self-authenticating and independently admissible while others need a sponsor, and others are simply not admissible.

    If the purpose of the Opposition is to establish a bona fide dispute as to the material facts, it makes sense to err on the side of caution so as to minimize the risk that any given piece of evidence necessary to your argument will be stricken for want of admissibility. If you cannot do this analysis yourself, you must obtain the advice of counsel.

    Not legal advice as I don't practice law in Wisconsin. It's just my two cents in light of general principles of law. If you need legal advice, please consult a lawyer who holds Wisconsin licensure. I practice in Vermont ONLY.

  3. The answer to your question is one of procedure, and varies in every courthouse subject to local court rules. If you cannot research the governing rules, then you may want to find a local attorney to help you.

    Generally, the answer is that the court needs EVIDENCE in order to create a genuine dispute as to a material fact such as to preclude summary judgment. Mere copies of documents are generally not evidence but rather are mere allegations. In order to be evidence, the documents must be sworn to and an adequate foundation must be laid from sworn evidence to authenticate the document. Authentication made by evidence sufficient to convince the court that the documents are in fact what they purport to be.

    For example, if I wanted to introduce a copy of my electric bill in a suit against my electric company, I would swear to the court that I am a customer of Company X, that I live at address Y, that my account with the company is Account Z, that I receive bills from Company X each month, that I remember receiving the bill at issue, and that the document presented to the court is a true and accurate copy of the bill that I received from company X at address Y bearing account number Z.

    I hope this general answer helps. If so, please do not forget to rate the answer as helpful. Good luck!

  4. This is such a hard question to answer because none of us know the "documents" or "facts" you intend to dispute. Affidavits are always helpful, and the facts must be adduced from evidence properly authenticated and admissible at trial. You'd be wise to consult an attorney because if you lose a Motion for Summary Judgment, this would effectively be the end of your case.

    DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided for informational purposes only and the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice relating to your specific situation, I strongly urge you to consult with an attorney in your area. NO COMMUNICATIONS WITH ME ARE TO BE CONSTRUED AS ARISING FROM AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP AND NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP WILL BE ESTABLISHED WITH ME UNLESS I HAVE EXPRESSLY AGREED TO UNDERTAKE YOUR REPRESENTATION, WHICH INCLUDES THE EXECUTION OF A WRITTEN AGREEMENT OF RETAINER.

  5. The simple answer to a somewhat complex question of statutory and case law is that affidavits are required. They should set forth disputes of fact that would preclude summary judgment and/or authenticate documents attached to the affidavits that do the same. It would be best to retain counsel as soon as possible, as it is more difficult and expensive to move for reconsideration of and/or appeal an adverse summary judgment decision than it is to oppose it in the first place.

    This answer is provided for general information only. No legal advice can be given without a consult as to the specifics of the case.

  6. The only thing I can add to the answers already given is to be sure your affidavit is addressing a material fact issue. There may be a lot of factual issues in a given case, but many may not be material. Some examples of potentially material factual issues, in defending against a claim for attorneys fees, include whether there was a contract or agreement for services, was it legally sufficient (and there are ethical requirements that govern fee agreements), and whether it was breached in some material way. You need to focus your affidavit on attacking the elements of their claim, or legally recognized defenses to their claim.