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Trial courts should refrain from entertaining summary judgment motions until after the parties have had a sufficient opportunity to conduct necessary discovery. See Carmona v. Toledo, 215 F.3d 124, 132-33, 135-36 (1st Cir. 2000); Berkovitz v. Home Box Office, Inc., 89 F.3d 24, 29-30 (1st Cir. 1996). It follows that when a party moves for summary judgment, the opposing party must be afforded a fair chance to obtain and synthesize available information before being required to file an opposition. Cases make it pellucid, however, that this prophylactic rule is not self-executing. A party who legitimately requires more time to oppose a motion for summary judgment has a corollary responsibility to make the court aware of its plight. Typically, this is accomplished by way of either a Rule 56(f) motion or its functional equivalent. The rule provides that: Should it appear from the affidavits of a party opposing the motion that the party cannot for reasons stated present by affidavit facts essential to justify the party's opposition, the court may refuse the application for judgment or may order a continuance to permit affidavits to be obtained or depositions to be taken or discovery to be had or may make ...

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