below that summary judgment was improper because of the photograph. The argument has accordingly been waived. The district court’s grant of summary judgment should be affirmed.
THE DISTRICT COURT DID NOT ABUSE ITS DISCRETION IN STRIKING THE TESTIMONY OF HODSON OR LAFFERTY
It Was Not An Abuse Of Discretion To Strike Hodson’s Affidavit
“The purpose of summary judgment motions — ‘to weed out unfounded claims, specious denials, and sham defenses,’ — is served by a rule that prevents a party from creating issues of credibility by allowing one of its witnesses to contradict his own prior testimony.” Adelman-Tremblay v. Jewel Cos., Inc., 859 F.2d 517, 521 (7th Cir. 1988). Courts are “highly critical of efforts to patch up a party’s deposition with his own subsequent affidavit” (Russell v. Acme-Evans Co., 51 F.3d 64, 67 (7th Cir. 1995) (Posner, C.J.)), especially where (as here) those efforts crop up in the context of opposing summary judgment, because “such an affidavit is not difficult to produce,” Bank of Illinois v. Allied Signal Safety Restraint Systems, 75 F.3d 1162, 1173 (7th Cir. 1996) (Cudahy, J., concurring). “Inherently depositions carry an increased level of reliability” (Darnell v. Target Stores, 16 F.3d 174, 176 (7th Cir. 1994)) compared to affidavits; “[d]epositions are adversarial in nature” (ibid.), whereas affidavits are “drafted by the lawyers.” Russell, 51 F.3d at 67. Accordingly, “when a witness has contradicted directly his or her own earlier statements without explaining adequately the contradiction or without attempting to resolve the disparity,” the affidavit is properly disregarded. Bank of Illinois, 75 F.3d at 1168.
Applying these well-settled principles, the district court granted defendants’ motion to strike the made-for-summary-judgment affidavit of Melissa Hodson. It did so because “Hodson’s affidavit clearly contradicts her prior sworn testimony given in her deposi- tion.” NR 87:6. This Court reviews a district court’s ruling on a motion to strike “for