Lawyers and Lawsuits


What is summary judgment?

Summary judgment is a motion filed by a party, requesting that the court grant that party a judgment before the matter ever reaches trial. In a summary judgment motion, a party explains to the court why it should prevail as a matter of law and that there are no disputed issues of material fact that need to be decided by a jury. Remember that juries decide questions of fact and judges decide questions of law.

Throughout discovery, a party can establish facts and then explain why he or she should prevail. Most often defendants attempt to win cases on summary judgment, while plaintiffs hope to settle a case or take it to trial. In other words, plaintiffs hope to avoid summary judgment, while defendants attempt to win on summary judgment. This is not always the case, as sometimes plaintiffs will file summary judgment motions as well.


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