Anderson v. Liberty Lobby
In Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986), the Supreme Court addressed the question of when summary judgment should be available for defendants in libel suits on the question of malice.
The Court explained that in determining whether a genuine factual issue exists as to actual malice the district court "must bear in mind the actual quantum and quality of proof necessary to support liability under New York Times." 106 S.Ct. at 2513.
"The appropriate summary judgment question will be whether the evidence in the record could support a reasonable jury finding either that the plaintiff has shown actual malice by clear and convincing evidence or that the plaintiff has not." Id. at 2514.