After the December 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, I co-authored two publications noting some of the differences between the new Federal Rules and the Maryland Rules. M. Berman & A. Shelton, “Commentary: With ESI, difference between federal, state rules,” The Daily Record (June 17, 2016); M. Berman, et al., eds., “Electronically Stored Information in Maryland Courts” (Md. State Bar Ass’n. 2020) (Chap. 8, co-authored with Alicia Shelton, Esq.).
There are a number of other important differences, one of which is the summary judgment rule. A side-by-side comparison follows. There are notable similarities and differences. The Maryland Rules do not cite to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 as a “source” of Maryland Rule 2-501.
The 1937 Advisory Committee Notes to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 state: “Summary judgment procedure is a method for promptly disposing of actions in which there is no genuine issue as to any material fact. It has been extensively used in England for more than 50 years….” The 1963 Notes state that: “The very mission of the summary judgment procedure is to pierce the pleadings and to assess the proof in order to see whether there is a genuine need for trial.” The 2010 Amendment was designed “to improve the procedures for presenting and deciding summary-judgment motions and to make the procedures more consistent with those already used in many courts.”
Md. Rule 2-501
|(a). A party may move for summary judgment, identifying each claim or defense–or the part of each claim or defense–on which summary judgment is sought.||(a). Any party may file a written motion for summary judgment on all or part of an action on the ground that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.|
|(c)(1). A party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must support the assertion by: (A) citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials; or (B) showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.
The Advisory Committee Note states: “Subdivision (c)(1)(B) recognizes that a party need not always point to specific record materials. One party, without citing any other materials, may respond or reply that materials cited to dispute or support a fact do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute. And a party who does not have the trial burden of production may rely on a showing that a party who does have the trial burden cannot produce admissible evidence to carry its burden as to the fact.”
|(a). The motion shall be supported by affidavit if it is (1) filed before the day on which the adverse party’s initial pleading or motion is filed or (2) based on facts not contained in the record.|
|(b). Unless a different time is set by local rule or the court orders otherwise, a party may file a motion for summary judgment at any time until 30 days after the close of all discovery.
The Advisory Committee Note states: “The timing provisions in former subdivisions (a) and (c) are superseded. Although the rule allows a motion for summary judgment to be filed at the commencement of an action, in many cases the motion will be premature until the nonmovant has had time to file a responsive pleading or other pretrial proceedings have been had. Scheduling orders or other pretrial orders can regulate timing to fit the needs of the case.”
|(a). A motion for summary judgment may not be filed: (A) after any evidence is received at trial on the merits, or (B) unless permission of the court is granted, after the deadline for dispositive motions specified in the scheduling order entered pursuant to Rule 2-504(b)(1)(E).|
|(c)(2). A party may object that the material cited to support or dispute a fact cannot be presented in a form that would be admissible in evidence.
(c)(3). The court need consider only the cited materials, but it may consider other materials in the record.
(e). If a party fails to properly support an assertion of fact or fails to properly address another party’s assertion of fact as required by Rule 56(c), the court may: (1) give an opportunity to properly support or address the fact; (2) consider the fact undisputed for purposes of the motion; (3) grant summary judgment if the motion and supporting materials–including the facts considered undisputed–show that the movant is entitled to it; or (4) issue any other appropriate order.
|(b). A response to a motion for summary judgment shall be in writing and shall (1) identify with particularity each material fact as to which it is contended that there is a genuine dispute and (2) as to each such fact, identify and attach the relevant portion of the specific document, discovery response, transcript of testimony (by page and line), or other statement under oath that demonstrates the dispute. A response asserting the existence of a material fact or controverting any fact contained in the record shall be supported by an affidavit or other written statement under oath.|
|(c)(4). An affidavit or declaration used to support or oppose a motion must be made on personal knowledge, set out facts that would be admissible in evidence, and show that the affiant or declarant is competent to testify on the matters stated.
The Advisory Committee Note states: “A formal affidavit is no longer required. 28 U.S.C. § 1746 allows a written unsworn declaration, certificate, verification, or statement subscribed in proper form as true under penalty of perjury to substitute for an affidavit.”
|(c). An affidavit supporting or opposing a motion for summary judgment shall be made upon personal knowledge, shall set forth such facts as would be admissible in evidence, and shall show affirmatively that the affiant is competent to testify to the matters stated in the affidavit.|
|(d). If a nonmovant shows by affidavit or declaration that, for specified reasons, it cannot present facts essential to justify its opposition, the court may: (1) defer considering the motion or deny it; (2) allow time to obtain affidavits or declarations or to take discovery; or (3) issue any other appropriate order.
|(d). If the court is satisfied from the affidavit of a party opposing a motion for summary judgment that the facts essential to justify the opposition cannot be set forth for reasons stated in the affidavit, the court may deny the motion or may order a continuance to permit affidavits to be obtained or discovery to be conducted or may enter any other order that justice requires.|
|(h). If satisfied that an affidavit or declaration under this rule is submitted in bad faith or solely for delay, the court–after notice and a reasonable time to respond–may order the submitting party to pay the other party the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, it incurred as a result. An offending party or attorney may also be held in contempt or subjected to other appropriate sanctions.
|(e). (1) A party may file a motion to strike an affidavit or other statement under oath to the extent that it contradicts any prior sworn statement of the person making the affidavit or statement. Prior sworn statements include (A) testimony at a prior hearing, (B) an answer to an interrogatory, and (C) deposition testimony that has not been corrected by changes made within the time allowed by Rule 2-415.
(2) If the court finds that the affidavit or other statement under oath materially contradicts the prior sworn statement, the court shall strike the contradictory part unless the court determines that (A) the person reasonably believed the prior statement to be true based on facts known to the person at the time the prior statement was made, and (B) the statement in the affidavit or other statement under oath is based on facts that were not known to the person and could not reasonably have been known to the person at the time the prior statement was made or, if the prior statement was made in a deposition, within the time allowed by Rule 2-415(d) for correcting the deposition.
|(a). The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The court should state on the record the reasons for granting or denying the motion.
(f). After giving notice and a reasonable time to respond, the court may: (1) grant summary judgment for a nonmovant; (2) grant the motion on grounds not raised by a party; or (3) consider summary judgment on its own after identifying for the parties material facts that may not be genuinely in dispute.
|(f). The court shall enter judgment in favor of or against the moving party if the motion and response show that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the party in whose favor judgment is entered is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. By order pursuant to Rule 2-602(b), the court may direct entry of judgment (1) for or against one or more but less than all of the parties to the action, (2) upon one or more but less than all of the claims presented by a party to the action, or (3) for some but less than all of the amount requested when the claim for relief is for money only and the court reserves disposition of the balance of the amount requested. If the judgment is entered against a party in default for failure to appear in the action, the clerk promptly shall send a copy of the judgment to that party at the party’s last known address appearing in the court file.|
|(g). If the court does not grant all the relief requested by the motion, it may enter an order stating any material fact–including an item of damages or other relief–that is not genuinely in dispute and treating the fact as established in the case.||(g). When a ruling on a motion for summary judgment does not dispose of the entire action and a trial is necessary, the court may enter an order specifying the issues or facts that are not in genuine dispute. The order controls the subsequent course of the action but may be modified by the court to prevent manifest injustice.|
 This history of Md. Rule 2-501 is: Adopted April 6, 1984, eff. July 1, 1984. Amended eff. April 8, 1985; April 7, 1986, eff. July 1, 1986; March 22, 1991, eff. July 1, 1991; Dec. 8, 2003, eff. July 1, 2004; June 16, 2009, eff. June 17, 2009; March 2, 2015, eff. July 1, 2015.
 The Advisory Committee Note states: “Subdivision (c)(2) provides that a party may object that material cited to support or dispute a fact cannot be presented in a form that would be admissible in evidence. The objection functions much as an objection at trial, adjusted for the pretrial setting. The burden is on the proponent to show that the material is admissible as presented or to explain the admissible form that is anticipated. There is no need to make a separate motion to strike. If the case goes to trial, failure to challenge admissibility at the summary-judgment stage does not forfeit the right to challenge admissibility at trial.”
 The Advisory Committee Note states: “Subdivision (a) also adds a new direction that the court should state on the record the reasons for granting or denying the motion. Most courts recognize this practice. Among other advantages, a statement of reasons can facilitate an appeal or subsequent trial-court proceedings. It is particularly important to state the reasons for granting summary judgment. The form and detail of the statement of reasons are left to the court’s discretion.”
 The Advisory Committee Note to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 states that “summary judgment cannot be granted by default even if there is a complete failure to respond to the motion….” However, the Note also states that: “Subdivision (e)(2) authorizes the court to consider a fact as undisputed for purposes of the motion when response or reply requirements are not satisfied. This approach reflects the ‘deemed admitted’ provisions in many local rules. ”