Our Civ Pro prof, who was awesome in a crazy way, gave some cases that he thought were better examples of summary judgment than the ones in teh book.  He described the perfect summary jedgment case (A “slam dunk” but god help you if you said a case was a slam dunk in class, because he wanted us to use grown up words when talking, but in order to get the concept drilled into our sad little 1L heads, he used idioms like whoa.  Including calling the WalMart false imprisonment case from torts to be “a chickshit case.”  I’m gonna miss his off-the-wall crazy)…. where was I?

Oh right.  The slam dunk SJ case is a promissory note case, in which one person (Say, a hapless 0L) signs a document saying “I will pay back this shitton of money I have borrowed from Freddie Mae, Evil Lender of Evil.”  And then the hapless 0L becomes a 3L+ with no job, and Freddie Mae goes after him and says “YOUR HONOR I HAVE THIS THING HE SIGNED IT I WANT MY MONEY.” And the judge goes “why, yes, no reasonable jury could ever find that Hapless, Jobless 3L+ doesn’t owe you the money (even though you are evil I hate you and everything you stand for).”  So there.

The case the prof gave us was Community National Bank v. Dawes, and it goes something like.

Dawes signed an indorsement saying he would pay back the money he owes CNB.  When it comes time to do so, Dawes does not pay.  CNB files suit, and then goes to the judge.

CNB:  I have this piece of paper he signed saying he would pay back the money.  He has not paid back the money.  QED.

Dawes:  Look, I know I signed the thing.  That is my signature, but I don’t have to pay back the money.

CNB: ….

Judge:  ….

Dawes:  Really.

CNB:  Um, yeah, so, I can has summary judgment now?

Dawes: NOOOOOOOO.  You can’t give him summary judgment.  I HAVE DEFENSES.

Judge:  And do you care to share these defense with the class?

Dawes:  It doesn’t matter!  You can’t just give him a summary judgment because DEFENSES:  I HAS THEM.

Judge: It matters a little bit.

Dawes:  Fine.  I signed that thing, but it’s an indorsement, not an endorsement.  QED.  I can use Latin, too.

CNB: ::headdesk::

Judge:  ::headbench::

Dawes:  😀

CNB:  Right….. so I can has summary judgment?  And a cookie?

Judge:  Summary judgment allowed, cookie only if you bring me one.


Judge:  ….this is a state case.


Appellate Court:  We like cookies. And pay the bank.  And don’t pretend you know Latin.

Supreme Judicial Court:  We like summary judgments.  It’s very polite of you to bring this case jsut when we needed to review the new summary judgment rule.  HEY.  IT WORKS THE WAY WE INTENDED.  Now go pay the bank.  And bring us some cookies, too.