In Reid v. Google, the California Supreme Court addressed and resolved a well-known procedural trap for California attorneys: if you file your objections to your opponent’s evidence on a summary judgment motion, but the trial court never specifically rules on them, are the objections preserved on appeal? The Supreme Court’s answer: “yes.”

In opposing a summary judgment motion, Google made numerous written objections to its opponent’s evidence (175, in fact). The trial court failed to specifically rule on the objections, merely stating that it was “relying only on competent and admissible evidence” pursuant to Biljac. After reviewing the legislative history of C.C.P. § 437c  , the Court found that once an objection is properly made, it is not waived on appeal. If the trial court fails to rule on the objection it is considered overruled and the trial court is presumed to have considered the evidence, but the objection is preserved for appeal.

In doing so, the Supreme Court disapproved: 1) bothAnn M. and Sharon P. to the extent they each hold that the failure of the trial court to rule on objections to summary judgment evidence waives those objections on appeal; 2) Biljac to the extent it permits the trial court to avoid ruling on specific evidentiary objections; and 3) numerous court of appeal decisions which were contrary to this ruling (see footnote 7 of the opinion). For more procedural history of Reid v. Google, see the Summary Judgment update page.