Standard of Review Summary Judgment
A defendant is entitled to summary judgment only if he or she establishes as a matter of law that none of plaintiff's asserted causes of action can prevail. (Code Civ. Proc., 437c, subd. (c)).
On appeal from a summary judgment, we conduct an independent review, applying the same three-step process as the trial court. ( AARTS Productions, Inc. v. Crocker National Bank (1986) 179 Cal. App. 3d 1061, 1064 225 Cal. Rptr. 203).
We first look to the pleadings to identify the elements of the cause of action for which relief is sought.
We then examine the moving party's motion to see whether it shows " 'that one or more elements of the cause of action . . . cannot be established or that there is a complete defense to that cause of action.' " ( Union Bank v. Superior Court (1995) 31 Cal. App. 4th 573, 583 37 Cal. Rptr. 2d 653; Code Civ. Proc., 437c, subd. (o)(2)).
If the moving party has made the requisite showing, the burden shifts to the party opposing the motion to set forth specific facts "to show that a triable issue of one or more material facts exists as to that cause of action or a defense thereto." (Code Civ. Proc., 437c, subd. (o)(2); Union Bank v. Superior Court, supra, 31 Cal. App. 4th at p. 590; Barton v. Elexsys Internat., Inc. (1998) 62 Cal. App. 4th 1182, 1187 73 Cal. Rptr. 2d 212.) If the opposing party fails to sustain this burden, summary judgment is proper. (Code Civ. Proc., 437c, subd. (n)(2); Union Bank v. Superior Court, supra, 31 Cal. App. 4th at p. 593).
The proper interpretation of a statute is a question of law, subject to our independent review ( Simpson v. Unemployment Ins. Comp. Appeals Bd. (1986) 187 Cal. App. 3d 342, 350 231 Cal. Rptr. 690), as is the application of a statute to undisputed facts. (Bullock v. City & County of San Francisco (1990) 221 Cal. App. 3d 1072, 1094-1095 271 Cal. Rptr. 44).