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Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.

Supreme Court of the United States

December 3, 1985, Argued ; June 25, 1986, Decided

No. 84-1602

Opinion

 [*244]   [***209]   [**2508]  JUSTICE WHITE delivered the opinion of the Court.

In New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 279-280 (1964), we held that, ] in a libel suit brought by a public official, the First Amendment requires the plaintiff to show that in publishing the defamatory statement the defendant acted with actual malice -- "with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not." We held further that such actual malice must be shown with "convincing clarity." Id., at 285-286. See also Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323, 342 (1974). These New York Times requirements we have since extended to libel suits brought by public figures as well. See, e. g., Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts, 388 U.S. 130 (1967).

 This case presents the question whether the clear-and-convincing-evidence [****6]  requirement must be considered by a court ruling on a motion for summary judgment under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in a case to which New York Times applies.  The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that that requirement need not be considered at the summary judgment stage. 241 U. S. App. D. C. 246, 746 F. 2d 1563 (1984). We granted certiorari, 471 U.S. 1134 (1985), because that holding was in conflict with decisions of several other Courts of Appeals, which had held that the New York Times requirement of clear and convincing evidence must be considered on a motion for summary judgment.2 We now reverse.

 [****7]  I

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477 U.S. 242 *; 106 S. Ct. 2505 **; 91 L. Ed. 2d 202 ***; 1986 U.S. LEXIS 115 ****; 54 U.S.L.W. 4755; 4 Fed. R. Serv. 3d (Callaghan) 1041; 12 Media L. Rep. 2297

ANDERSON ET AL. v. LIBERTY LOBBY, INC., ET AL.

Prior History:  [****1]  CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT.

Disposition:  241 U.S. App. D.C. 246, 746 F.2d 1563, vacated and remanded.

CORE TERMS

genuine, convincing, malice, evidentiary, conspiracy, libel, nonmoving, weigh, preponderance, one-sided, finder, credibility, prevail, quantum, defeat, jurors, facie, fair-minded, deposition, antitrust, arrested, quantity, clarity

Torts, Defamation, Public Figures, Actual Malice, Constitutional Law, Freedom of Speech, General Overview, Public Figures, Intentional Torts, Libel, Clear & Convincing Evidence, Voluntary Public Figures, Limited Purpose Public Figure, Civil Procedure, Summary Judgment, Opposing Materials, Discovery, Methods of Discovery, Judgments, Motions for Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Genuine Disputes, Legal Entitlement, Materiality of Facts, Supporting Materials, Discovery Materials, Burdens of Proof, Appropriateness, Evidentiary Considerations, Scintilla Rule, Evidentiary Considerations, Judicial Officers, Judges, Trials, Judgment as Matter of Law, Directed Verdicts, Jury Trials, Province of Court & Jury, Procedural Matters